It started out as just a way to keep a little girl busy. Molly Stephens was hosting a three-day yard sale at her home in Germantown, and needed an activity to keep her daughter, Lainie, occupied during the day.
She came up with the idea of a lemonade stand, thinking it would be a good learning opportunity and a chance to donate to the Germantown Police Department’s K9 Unit, which is completely community funded.
Stephens expected Lanie to make $40 max by the end of the three days. But when Germantown Police Chief Peter Hoell stopped by and posted a photo of Lainie and the stand on the department’s Facebook page, it got much bigger.
Lainie and her lemonade ended up making over $700. By the end of the weekend, people were coming from across town to try Lainie’s lemonade, with some donating upwards of $50 to the cause.
“It was pretty incredible,” Molly told CNN.
Lainie, for her part, gave excellent customer service. She would run down to meet people as they walked up the driveway, exclaiming “Welcome to our rummage sale!” and, of course, offering up some lemonade with some puppy chow to snack on.
The Germantown Fire Department even stopped by, and Lainie served them personally.
When asked about her stand, Lainie told CNN, “My lemonade is really tasty and my puppy chow is really yummy!”
Lainie hand delivered the money to the police department on Thursday. The money will help the department purchase another K9 and an accompanying squad car, Lt. Todd Grenier said.
Grenier told CNN fundraisers for the department’s K9 Unit are pretty common, with a group of kids doing a similar thing in the last few months. But he said that’s not the norm for most communities.
“People in Germantown are extremely generous and extremely supportive,” he said.
“[There’s a] great sense of community,” she said. “Everybody working toward the greater good of the community and wanting it to be a great place to live.”
Having a cute kid selling some lemonade doesn’t hurt, either.