After spending an entire spring day creating and selling sweet lemonade, you may expect a third-grader to want to buy themself a toy or splurge on a special dessert.
Not every nine-year-old would want to donate their hard-earned efforts to a local animal shelter. But that’s the exact reason that Ben Miller was inspired to start his annual lemonade stand in the first place.
This decision came easily for Ben. He started his lemonade to help make life a little happier for the rescue cats at his local animal shelter and get the eldest, long-time residents adopted. Ben was inspired to begin his fundraising efforts three years ago after he and his grandmother visited the Idaho Humane Society.
Being an avid animal lover, Ben noticed that some of the rescue cats didn’t have any toys. So he decided to step in and lend a helping hand. At just seven years old, Ben set up his first stand and sold his first cups of lemonade. He was happy to help and proud to have raised $200, which he promptly donated to the Idaho Humane Society.
Last year, he sought to surpass his initial efforts and was able to donate $600. This year, Ben set the ambitious goal of raising $1000! So he and his family pulled out all the stops.
Together, they set up the stand, created a Venmo for fundraising, shared a Facebook post, baked homemade chocolate chip cookies, and even offered two different delicious flavors of lemonade (classic and lavender). They even had tasty treats on hand for any furry friends who stopped by.
Ben and his family were completely blown away by the outpouring of love and support from their local community. Not only did Boise locals flock to his stand, but supporters who couldn’t come by in person made donations by mail and via Venmo. An entire carload of people even showed up after hearing Ben’s fundraiser mentioned on the radio.
Ben smiled ear to ear as he proudly walked into the Idaho Humane Society to deliver a large Ziploc bag bursting with cash. He surpassed his $1000 goal and was able to donate an impressive $1,150!
The long-time animal lover was more than happy to hand over the money he made so it could help care for animals awaiting their forever homes.
“He would have spent every dollar here, adopting every cat if I would let him. I am so proud of him and his heart. It makes me so happy,” shared Ben’s mother.
Over three years, Ben has donated just shy of $2,000 to the Idaho Humane Society. And, as you may have expected, Ben won’t stop setting up his lemonade stand anytime soon. He plans to keep raising money every year for the animals in his local community.