Surrey girl’s lemonade stand raises hundreds for B.C. wildfire victims

Hayden Rodgers, 6, fundraises for B.C. wildfire victims and Surrey Memorial Hospital’s Children’s Unit

SURREY — A six-year-old Surrey girl has raised more than $500 for charity, through an online and offline lemonade stand.

It all began a few months ago after Hayden Rodgers saw another girl in the United States who raised money at a lemonade stand. Hayden told her mom she wanted to follow suit and raise money for the Children’s Unit at Surrey Memorial Hospital.

The idea seemed to be stuck in her mind, and she reminded her mom often.

Then, after hearing about all the victims of the B.C. wildfires, Hayden decided she would raise money for both of the causes.

Close to 50,000 people have been under evacuation orders or alerts at some point this season.

“I wanted to help out so the people can have houses,” Hayden told the Now-Leader, “and they can live in houses and they don’t have to sleep outside when it’s cold.”

So the family set about making a lemonade stand.

Mom Tabitha said Hayden made a list of supplies, which she bought with her own money.

Hayden made some “very smart decisions,” Tabitha added.

“We painted it,” said Hayden. “My mommy and my daddy helped me paint it. I told them what colour to paint it.”

Much to her amusement, she added, “I told them what to do.”

But Hayden didn’t just sell the lemonade, she helped make it.

“I got to wash (the lemons), I got to squeeze them, I got to mix it and I got to pour it,” she said.

Tabitha then starting the online component of the fundraiser.

“I just thought with all the social media outlets out there now, like GoFundMe, to just try that and see how it works. We set up the lemonade stand, and put it all together on the Saturday night. Then we created the Facebook event page and the GoFundMe on the Sunday and within a week, we had raised more than $400 online.”

And, on the day of the lemonade stand in Surrey’s City Centre area, they made another $163.

“We had random people stopping by to support her,” said mom. “People that weren’t even part of the online campaign.”

A proud Hayden took $300 out of the money raised and donated it to Red Cross Wildfire Relief at Safeway, which matched her donation to make $600.

“The cashiers were so amazed by this kind girl who just wants to help others,” said Tabitha.

The remaining money will be donated to the Children’s Unit at Surrey Memorial Hospital.

“It is just completely heartwarming that a six-year-old can have that kind of compassion and thoughtfulness and kindness,” said Tabitha. “She’s a taekwondo member going toward leadership, she’s a Spark in Girl Guides, so she’s a pretty well-rounded little girl.

“It was never prompted by mom and dad,” she added. “It was all her.”

Are more lemonade stands on the horizon?

Sounds like it.

“The wildfires are a usual thing that happen every year so I don’t see why we can’t make it a yearly event,” said Tabitha.

To donate to Hayden’s campaign, visit gofundme.com/HaydensLemonadeStand.

amy.reid@surreynowleader.com

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Six-year-old Hayden Rodgers at her lemonade stand, which raised money for Surrey Memorial Hospital’s Children’s Unit as well as victims of the B.C. wildfires. (Photo: Submitted)

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