When 11-year-old Alizay Kashif was selling lemonade at her stand in her neighborhood in Naperville, Illinois, she experienced an unusual trail of events which taught her some valuable lessons in life.
Alizay was selling refreshments to aid Feeding America, a national network of food banks. As she earned $9, a group of teens took off with her money basket leaving her devastated. He dad then took to neighborhood social media platform Nextdoor, writing how sad his daughter was and asking for advice on what to do about the theft.
Neighbors started arriving to help, Ben Hutchinson a former journalist, read the story and was deeply impacted, he said, “When I was a reporter, I often saw people in bad times, and I couldn’t help them.” This time he wanted to help.
Even after the theft incident, Alizay and her sister, Emaan, insisted on using the lemonade stand to raise money for the food bank. “They had a quiet area, not very visible,” Hutchinson said. “So I offered them my busy street corner.”
A cop kept watch this time round and told them, “I think I might have a few friends coming.” Soon police cars drove up with their lights on and sirens blaring. “The police took it to the next level,” Hutchinson said.
Local officers pitched in and collected almost $170 to support the charity enterprise, together with lemonade sales and Facebook donations, the two sisters received $350. “The parents wanted to teach their kids a lesson about perseverance,” Hutchinson said. It worked; the girl’s passion helped bring a neighborhood closer together.
Last week, Alizay & Emaan set up a lemonade stand to raise money for @FeedingAmerica. Teens stole the jar w/$9 they made in 2.5 hours. I saw the post & told their dad they could set up on our corner. @NapervillePD showed up & donated $170! In total, they raised over $300 👍🚔🍋 pic.twitter.com/ju7CKL0qKE
— Ben Hutchison (@Ben__Hutchison) July 15, 2019
Hutchinson said he left TV news to be near his family in Naperville, where he grew up. “This reinforced the same sense of the community that I felt when I was growing up here,” he said.
We salute the efforts put in by Hutchinson, the police and the community in helping the sisters achieve their goal towards Feeding America.