Stuttgart lemonade stand raises thousands for disabled

STUTTGART, Ark. (KTHV) - In small communities support isn't hard to come by, and Sarah Smith couldn't be more thankful.

"They help us navigate," she said, referring to the her entire Stuttgart community.

A mother of two she's had her hands full raising her kids, particularly the youngest.

"I just had a feeling things weren't developing the way that they should," she continued.

Three-year-old Londyn was born with moderate global parenchymal volume loss, a brain condition that slows her development. It's forced her to use a walker up until recently, and she still can't speak- but her family is working through it.

"It's great to see her progress, of course we'd love to see her progress more than she has," said Londyn's father Ward Smith.

Sarah and Ward enrolled Londyn in Easter Seals only a few months after she was born, a program that helps enrich the lives of disabled adults and kids, and on July 26th set up a lemonade stand in Stuttgart.

"Letting my 7-year-old do one came to mind," Smith said of the stand. "You know, I thought that'd be really great for him to learn how to give back."

The stand became a quick success. On the first day the stand made $450. All items at the stand were free and donations came from the willingness of community members. The second day it made a little more. By the sixth day the stand had grown so much it made $638 in just the first three hours.

"I would pull up to one [of the stands] and just to see the kids out there with their signs-and some of them don't know Londyn-and just to know that they were excited about raising money for Londyn and all her friends at Easter Seals is huge," Sarah said between tears.

In the two weeks the stand has been open it has raised more than $4,200. It relies on complete strangers who together have helped Londyn, her family, and their community grow in a way no disability can slow.

"I haven't been able to fill in a lot of stuff in her baby book because our milestones came at way different points," Smith continued. "But this is definitely one of those things I can't wait to write down and talk about the community of Stuttgart."

The lemonade stand's last day is Thursday and all profits are going towards the Easter Seals.

As for Londyn, her family says doctors aren't sure how much or little she'll be able to develop but say right now she is doing very well.


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