7-Year-Old's Lemonade Stand Touches an Entire Community

Alabama's Emouree Johnson raises $10K to help pay for mom's headstone after her sudden death
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 8, 2024 11:35 AM CDT
Girl, 7, Raises $10K for Mom's Headstone With Lemonade
Making lemonade out of lemons.   (Getty Images/Christopher Robbins)

Emouree Johnson's mom passed away suddenly last month, and as funeral expenses started stacking up, the Alabama 7-year-old did the only thing she could think of: opened a lemonade stand to raise money to pay for Karli Bordner's headstone. Per WAFF, Emouree sold cups of the tart beverage for $1 a cup last week, but thanks to a rallying community, she has since raised almost $10,000. More:

  • Bordner's death: "It was a sudden thing. We didn't know what happened," Bordner's mother, Jennifer Bordner, says of the March 13 passing of her 29-year-old daughter, who lived with her and had been trying to rebuild her life after a rough patch, per the Jackson County Sentinel. Jennifer Bordner notes she, Karli, and Emouree had watched a movie together in their Scottsboro home the night before Karli died: "She left, and that's the last time we saw her."

  • Emouree in action: The youngster took the four lemons they had in the house and set up her stand last week. "She said, 'I just want to do it to help out with my mommy's stuff,'" Jennifer Bordner says. "And she told me to take a picture of her and put it on Facebook."
  • Viral: That picture spread, helped along by a Facebook post by a local restaurant, and soon, the town converged on the stand to help Emouree, reports AL.com. "So much of the community was there—police officers, a motorcycle group, judges, EMS workers, nurses—to show their support," says the outlet, noting that Emouree had between 100 and 150 customers on Thursday alone.
  • Other assistance: AL.com reports some customers brought donations from others who couldn't make it to the lemonade stand, while others went out and purchased supplies for Emouree, as well as donated food and clothes to her.
  • A pattern: Jennifer Bordner tells AL.com that her granddaughter's thoughtfulness isn't unusual, noting that Emouree has been known to put together baskets for new neighbors, as well as for one whose dog died. "She wants everyone to be happy," Bordner says.
  • Success: In addition to the $10,000 Emouree has raised so far, multiple monument companies have offered to donate a headstone for Karli, so the money can be put toward other expenses instead. "It feels like this is a gift from God," Jennifer Bordner tells the Sentinel. "It's overwhelming to me. I've never seen a community do like this."
(More lemonade stand stories.)

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