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Atlanta child’s lemonade stand raises $13,000 for immigrant children separated from parents

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A 6-year-old in Atlanta wanted to help immigrant children who were being separated from their families at the U.S.-Mexico border. His idea? A lemonade stand.

Shannon Cofrin Gaggero, the mother and writer of StrivingParent.com, discussed the border issues with her 6-year-old and 3-year-old and asked how they thought they could help. This was when her son offered to create a lemonade stand.

Gaggero made several posts on Facebook asking her local community if anyone would be interested in helping create this lemonade stand, “The respond was overwhelming. Families from all around the area jumped in to assist immediately” she wrote.

“I created a ‘virtual lemonade stand’ with Facebook’s fundraiser tool in support of RAICES, an organization that promotes justice by providing free and low-cost legal services to underserved immigrant children, families and refugees in Central and South Texas” Gaggero continued.

In addition to the virtual lemonade stand that allowed people to donate directly online, Gaggero helped her children make a real lemonade stand. Other families joined, and they gathered to sell lemonade for a cause.

She set a goal of $1,000, but quickly surpassed that. With the real lemonade stand and the money from donations online, the family raised over $13,000.

Gaggero ended the fundraiser after reaching $13,000 so she could quickly get the money to the organization, as “Facebook fundraisers pay out donations every two weeks once the minimum payout amount of $100 is met.”

Gaggero said her son was extremely happy with the outcome.

In a conversation over online messaging with All the Moms, Gaggero said she encourages people to donate to border-state organizations like RAICES, but to also do research into their own local community organizations helping immigrants.

Gaggero also told All the Moms that she wants people to know this lemonade stand was not a one-off event. “We have been trying to raise our kids to be racially and socially conscious for several years,” she said.

Gaggero’s blog, StrivingParent.com, was created after nine people were shot at a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina. Gaggero said she was “horrified… by my own passivity when it came to racial justice and how I was raising my kids.”

In light of all the media surrounding her son’s lemonade stand, Gaggero said she wanted to juxtapose her situation with that of the #PermitPatty event, in which a woman called the cops on an 8-year-old girl in San Francisco for selling water bottles without a permit. The woman, Alison Ettel, was white. The child was black. At the time, Ettel was a CEO of a California cannabis company, she has since resigned.

“We didn’t have a permit and were playing loud music, blocking sidewalks, etc. Without incident,” she told All the Moms. “This would not have happened had we been black, brown or lived in an over-policed community.”