GREENEVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) – To help support the expansion and operation of local foster support homes, businesses and properties across the region opened donation-only lemonade stands on Saturday.
Isaiah 117 House is a foster care holding program that offers comfortable housing for children that for any reason are out of their home and in the care of the Department of Child Services.
Founded by Ronda Paulson, the program began in Carter County, Tennessee, and has rapidly expanded throughout the region and beyond.
The program serves to provide a safe and comforting rest area between homes, as often children must wait in DCS offices before moving to the next step.
Greeneville Isaiah 117 House care coordinator Gwynn Southerland told News Channel 11 that houses accept kids from birth to 18 years old and that some stay for as little as an hour for a hot meal and a bath.
Others can stay for longer, with an average of around eight hours.
“People ask us all the time, ‘What can we do?'” said Southerland. “Children, youth groups, those kinds of things ask ‘what can we do to help you?’ this is something youth groups and people can get involved in, is to have a lemonade stand, and we have had a lot of children that have participated in this.”
Southerland said around 29 other locations ran stands this year, and that they were happy with the turnout.
Isaiah 117 House releases a monthly newsletter with a needs list for items that the program would prefer first, but donations are always open. For those interested in donating to the cause, click here.