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Lemonade Love: Little Girl Raises Big Bucks to Pay for Classmates' Lunches

09-12-2017

At the tender age of six, Amiah Van Hill already understands what it means to sacrifice for others.  

The Idaho second grader raised money from an old-fashioned lemonade stand and donated it to pay her classmates' school lunch debt. Her random act of kindness then blossomed into something much bigger.

Amiah got the idea to help her buddies when she read a newspaper article about a Seattle dad who raised money to pay the lunch debt his son's classmates owed.

"She's a really strong reader, so she read the story and said, 'Wow, this is great! I wonder if there's any kids at my school that need help paying their lunches,'" her mother, Rachel Van Hill, told ABC News

Amiah found out a number of her school chums hadn't paid off their school lunch bill. They owed a total of more than $40.  

So Amiah and her four-year-old sister Aria patched together some wooden crates, erected a sign that read, "Lemonade 4 Lunch," and raised the 40 bucks one sweet glass at a time.

The girls promptly delivered the money to the Hayden Meadows Elementary Principal Lisa Pica.

"We are very proud of Amiah for the work she has done. Our school believes in giving back to the community and we work to instill that value in all of our students," Pica said. 

"We are thrilled that Amiah has embraced that value at such a young age and we are so very proud that she has taken it upon herself to find a way to help those in need," the principal continued. "She is a very special little lady."

And it didn't stop there. Amiah discovered giving to the needy feels really good. So she set her sights on helping kids from two other schools in her area. 

She and her kid sister went back to the lemonade stand and this time around raised more than $300 to pay off the lunch debts owed by kids from nearby Ramsey Magnet School of Science and Bolton Elementary.

Amiah wasn't done yet. She wanted to keep on raising money to pay of lunch debts. This time she told her mother she wanted to pay off the lunch debt for every kids in the entire re Coeur d'Alene Public School District.

Unfortunately, that bill was a whopping $23,000. Not knowing how much money that really was, Amiah's mother had to explain to her daughter it would not be possible to sell enough lemonade to pay that hefty bill. 

However, her mother did offer another option: a GoFundMe page, which is making steady progress toward the goal of paying off every child's school lunch debt in that part of Idaho.  

The school district praised young Amiah's efforts.

"We are so impressed with Amiah's big heart," Scott Maben, a spokesman for Coeur d'Alene Public Schools, said in a statement.

"She heard about families who struggle to pay, and she took action," he said. "Amiah is an inspiration, and we are excited to recognize her for her good deed."

 

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