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Washington 5-year-old donates thousands of dollars in lemonade stand funds to Maui fire victims

After just a few days the family amassed donations of more than $16,000 and redirected the money to the Maui Community Fund.

SEATTLE — Edison is a name that’s synonymous with great ideas and for a north Seattle family, it’s their 5-year-old son, Edison, that sparked a brilliant and helpful plan.  

Ami and Matt Juel were among the tourists vacationing in Hawaii when the wildfire broke out. They were safe on Oahu but had just been on Maui and stayed in Lahaini in January with their two boys.  

“Edison kept asking about Hawaii and heard on the news so many people lost everything and he wanted to know if that meant kids didn’t have toys or even a bed,” Ami said.  

On a family walk last week Edison told his parents he wanted to have “one of those stands.” The 5-year-old was referring to a lemonade stand and his parents thought it was the perfect teachable moment and an opportunity to show some support for a place the family loves.  

“I thought maybe we could raise $100 and didn’t know people would be so generous,” said Ami.   

Edison liked his parents' suggestion of branding his stand with “Lemonade for Lahaina” but he had bigger visions. “Food & Stuff & Lemonade For Lahaina” was the compromise and Edison sold toys, popsicles, suckers, sparkling water and lemonade for the everyday price of just $1.  

“It was seriously his idea to accept Venmo!” Ami laughed. The stand was set up and word spread throughout the neighborhood and on social media.  

“We got a $500 Venmo donation and couldn’t believe it but Edison was more excited about the kid who showed up with a bag full of coins,” Ami said.  

The couple realized they could leverage the generosity of their employer's corporate match offers to the tune of 3:1 and the results were dramatic. Edison made more than $3,300 from his Lemonade for Lahaina campaign and the donations keep coming.  

“Even after the sale ended we had people contacting me to donate and Venmo, just kept adding to the totals," Ami said. “We had several people tell us that they felt helpless and didn’t know how they could support Hawaii and it was a cup of lemonade that gave them a way to contribute,” says Ami.  

After just a few days the family amassed donations of more than $16,000 and redirected the money to the Maui Community Fund.  

Edison starts Kindergarten in a few weeks and his little brother Archie is mostly focused on getting to drink more lemonade. Ami and Matt Juel want to thank the neighbors, community and the complete strangers who supported their efforts to send support to Hawaii.


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