When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade, and for 12-year-old Aidan Simler that means using lemonade for a good cause.
With the help of his friends, Aidan started an annual lemonade stand to raise money for DuPage Pads, a local nonprofit that provides housing solutions to end homelessness.
“I think it helps by saying this is money that we want to raise for people who deserve a home. The first time when I saw one of those shelters with those people in there, when I met them, everyone was so nice to each other and it was so encouraging to see what happens around there,” said Aidan.
Aidan first got the idea in 2012 when his grandmother, Carol Simler, the president and CEO of the DuPage Pads, told him about her work there.
That kicked off five separate events, where Aidan and his friends collect donations and sell lemonade and brownies to those in the Knoch Knolls neighborhood.
“They thought about the homeless, they thought about what they could do for homeless, which I think is amazing for kids this age, and then they did something about it, by doing the lemonade stand, and you can see the activity today. This has grown from what I think I remember four kids four or five years ago, to this now a crowd. So I applaud them for what they’re doing,” said Bill Hamik, the chairman of the board for DuPage Housing Solutions.
This year, the stand raised a total of $1,300. Over the past six years of the fundraiser, the group has raised over $6,000 that will go toward DuPage Pads’ Run4Home event, held in September.
“I thought it was an awesome idea to try to help out the homeless and it was really fun to do it also,” added volunteer Gabe Patrascu, who has helped with the fundraiser for all five years.
A cup of lemonade that’s making a sweet impact on those who need it most.
Naperville News 17’s Christine Lena reports.
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