JONESBOROUGH, Tenn. (WJHL) – A local 10-year-old boy ran a lemonade stand to raise funds for a unique cause.
After Grayson Fink heard his best friend, Ariana, had to move, he wanted to help. the reason – Ariana’s mom is a single mother of four kids who all have some sort of disability.
Grayson’s mom, Angela Fink is also best friends with Ariana’s mom. She got a call roughly a month ago from a frantic single mother asking for advice.
“[She said] ‘We have you know, X amount of days to be out, and I don’t know where to go. I don’t know what to do.’ So we started brainstorming,” Fink told News Channel 11. “with the way the market is now you know, a single mom of four kids. It’s tough. You can’t find anything, you know, within a reasonable price range right now. So when we found out what she was approved for, there was like three houses in the area and they weren’t even in livable condition really.”
Fink was able to track down an appropriate home for the family in Parrotsville, Tennessee, which is about an hour away from Jonesborough.
“Ended up it was going to be like $9,000 over what the bank was approving her for. And we sat down like ‘what can we do? What can we possibly do?’ Because if we were able, we would give them the $9,000 we would hand it over but you know, we’re not in a position to do that,” she said
And then it dawned on them – a lemonade stand.
Grayson and his dad, Cody Crawford, started a GoFundMe page, but it didn’t seem like enough, so they went with Grayson’s original fundraiser idea.
“He’s been wanting to do lemonade stand anyway, he might as well start it now. So they got everything together and they’ve managed to raise you know, almost the amount so,” Fink said.
Grayson and his parents were shocked by the support that was shown by the community.
“We had over 30 cars yesterday, like it was a small car show!” he said of all the people that showed up to buy a cup of the drink.
“The intensified car club from Greeneville came up. There was well over 30 vehicles they showed up. We had peacemakers come out, the 421 racing crew. We had hundreds of people show up,” Crawford said.
Fink said one of her cousin’s works for DoorDash, the food delivery service, and posted in a group chat about the lemonade stand. She said somehow a screenshot of her cousin’s message about the fundraiser ended up on social media and it “spread like wildfire.”
“We expected a good amount. But the showing that we had was beyond what we could have ever dreamed up. But I mean, it takes a village and especially in times like these right now people can’t survive without community. They can’t, it takes everybody and everybody putting in just a little bit, it’s nothing, you know, major out of anybody’s pocket really. But every little bit added up to what we have now and it was phenomenal,” Fink said.
Grayson’s parents beamed with pride during their interview with News Channel 11.
“He’s such a such a giver. It still It amazes me and I’ve lost count of how many people came up to me and said, What an amazing and selfless kid he is. And just the world could use a little bit more that,” Crawford said of his son.
Fink explained that she’s always known her son to be selfless and giving, as well as special, but now, she’s proud that others can see it too.
“It’s been really heartwarming the things people say about you know the encouragement that they give and how you know they wish more kids are like him, you know or had a drive like he does. You know concerning things like this. more than once I’ve had tears in my eyes this weekend because of the compliments and things people say about him and everything,” she said.
She mentioned an example of Grayson’s kind nature during the lemonade fundraiser.
“Someone came through and they had put in a pretty good amount of money in the jar. And they handed him $40 and said this is for you. You go do what you want with it. And without hesitation, he looked at it and he put it in the jar,” Fink said.
Over the two-day lemonade fundraiser, Grayson raised around $5,000 for his friend.
But why is the fundraiser so important to him?
“Because we met in first grade and she was really nice and she’s my best friend, I would hate it if she went homeless,” he said. “She’s got she got three brothers and one mom. They all have disabilities, even the mom and their grandmother has a rare lung disorder that no one in Tennessee knows about.”
Property prices continue to soar, along with gas prices and inflation in general, so finding the perfect home for this specific family was no easy feat.
Fink said it would be great to raise the necessary $9,000 to help the family afford the down payment on their new house, but it would be even better if they were able to raise more funds to help the family get settled.
“The house that they’re getting, it’s not in disrepair, but it’s not great either. You know, there’s small things that need to be done. The flooring needs to be redone. There’s a set of steps that will need to be refinished. Just because they’re not exactly sturdy. They’ll need a fence,” she said.
She explained the fence would be an absolute necessity for the new home.
“Their youngest, he likes to explore. So yeah, they’ll need a fence and they have service animals also and emotional support animals you know so a fenced in backyard would help greatly,” Fink said.
She added that a moving company would also be of great use, since the mom and children all have disabilities, either physical and developmental, so lifting heavy boxes would be too difficult for them to manage alone.
“They’re an autism family, more than one child is diagnosed with autism – Grayson’s best friend is diagnosed with autism, and they’re like two peas in a pod. They like get along so well and have since day one,” Fink said.
Fink said “this isn’t Grayson’s first charitable event.”
Grayson’s mom explained that the 10-year-old only has one request on birthdays or Christmas – to give gifts to someone else, not himself.
“Because I’m like, I just like to help others more than me. Because people need stuff more than me. A lot of people in the world are homeless. And they need people need stuff more than me,” he said.
For Christmas last year, instead of asking for presents for himself, Grayson adopted a Salvation Army Angel, and for his past birthdays he has donated gifts to his local animal shelter and the Isaiah 117 House.
And the community noticed.
All day Wednesday, a Johnson City tattoo studio offered flash tattoos for $100 for black and white, and $150 for color tattoos. All of the proceeds went to Grayson’s fund to help his friend.
If you’d like to help by donating to the cause, CLICK HERE.