Kids 4 Change 757 founder Cartier Carey came up with the idea when he noticed the strains that the COVID-19 pandemic is putting on families.

By Hana Hong
July 31, 2020
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A lemonade stand in Hampton, Va. is selling lemonade and other tasty treats. But this isn’t just any lemonade business—the stand selling sweets has an even sweeter philanthropic purpose.

Eleven-year-old Cartier Carey came up with the idea once he noticed the strain the COVID-19 pandemic put on families. Although the pandemic hit everyone hard, it’s been especially taxing for single mothers who suddenly found their daycare and babysitting options cut off. Add to that the shortage of diapers and baby wipes in grocery stores, and it’s been a very tough few months.

“I just wanted to raise money and spread awareness about single mothers that are struggling during this pandemic. They’re doing everything on their own so I decided to help,” Carey told Live with Kelly and Ryan. Wanting to provide a bit of relief, the rising sixth-grader decided to open up a lemonade stand outside of his house. Their singular goal is to raise money by selling lemonade and other tasty treats, with 100 percent of the proceeds going straight towards buying materials for mothers in need.

With some help from his family and friends, the lemonade stand has already yielded over $4,500 since its inception. Every night after the stand closes, Carey says it fills up to about three carts full of baby materials, including baby clothes, baby wipes, and diapers. In addition to donating to different shelters, the altruistic family even drove an hour out to Richmond to hand-deliver some of the care packages.

"He doesn't want to spend any of the money on himself," Britany Stewart, Carey’s mom, told CNN. "He just wants to continue to keep buying diapers and giving each day."

The lemonade stand isn’t Carey’s first benevolent initiative. About a year ago, he founded a non-profit called Kids 4 Change 757, a youth organization born from Carey’s desire to help the homeless. The organization helps individuals in need around his community, and has been known for creating care packages called "Carti packs," filled with deodorant, toothbrushes, and hand warmers to give to the homeless population.

According to Stewart, Carey’s altruistic drive has always been a part of him, and his desire to help those in need only continues to expand as he gets older.

Due to the rising number of coronavirus cases in Virginia, Carey’s lemonade stand was unfortunately forced to close just two days ago. However, Carey isn’t stopping there. Determined to keep the ball rolling, the lemonade stand and snack bar is going virtual. They will be hosting live on their Facebook page and Instagram page all week long starting Wednesday from 1:45 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. ET.

If you want to get involved, there are several ways you can help out. Carey recently posted a video with a massive truck that he intends to fill up with baby items by August 6. Local Virginians can drop diapers or wipes off to the truck directly, or you can purchase items from their Amazon wish list. The group also has donation portals through PayPal and Venmo (@Kids4Change757), along with a GoFundMe page that has reached $3,863 of its $10,000 goal as of today. 

This story originally appeared on Real Simple.