A lemonade stand became a huge success, generating more than $15,000 in donations. Alyssa De La Sala, a 10-year-old girl living with her family in Tampa, Florida, lost her home to an electrical fire two years ago.
With the help of her 13-year-old brother Damien, Alyssa started a lemonade stand to bring in money to help rebuild the family’s home.
De La Sala’s attached garage caught on fire in March 2013. The fire spread to the house and completely burned the roof, making the family dwelling uninhabitable.
To this day, the cause of the fire is still unknown. Nevertheless, for the last two years, the De La Sala family had to find shelter in hotels and apartments while they waited for contractors to reconstruct their home.
According to ABC News’ coverage, Alyssa’s father, Joe De La Sala, said the contractors, Davis Ventures, stated they would need six to eight months to complete repairs on the home. However, two years have gone by and the contractors have entirely stopped reconstruction efforts.
If that isn’t enough, ABC Action News reports Davis Ventures have $600,000 worth of judgments on the De La Sala family and the family’s home is going into foreclosure.
Joe De La Sala briefly explained to ABC News the family’s hardship.
“It started a roller coaster of money I had to come up with. We started scrambling for money. The insurance company still has $50,000 left of the money so we’re trying to figure out how to come up with the rest.”
Fourth-grader, Alyssa came up with an idea and shared it with her father. Joe didn’t think much of Alyssa’s suggestion–nonetheless, he humored her.
Joe shared Alyssa’s plan to bring in money with a lemonade stand.
“She says, ‘Daddy, I can have a lemonade stand,’ and I, as a dad, am like, ‘Sure honey you can have a lemonade stand.'”
Alyssa started her lemonade stand with hopes of raising money by selling lemonade and baked goods. But first, before setting up her entrepreneur endeavor, Alyssa wrote a letter to The Kane Show, a national, coast-to-coast radio show.
In her letter, Alyssa asked the broadcasters to advertise her lemonade stand on the show.
The Kane Show interviewed Alyssa on the air, drawing more attention to her efforts and the family’s lemonade stand. Alyssa didn’t stop there. The young girl contacted the local television station, as well.
Alyssa and Damien set up the lemonade stand in front of their destroyed home on Saturday. Joe De La Sala said they were able to receive more than $10,000 in donations. In fact, one person bought a cup of lemonade for $1,000.
There was so much traffic at the lemonade stand; police officers had to come to the area to direct traffic.
Joe De La Sala attempted to share his surprise concerning the turn of events that took place at the Alyssa’s lemonade stand.
“I was totally amazed by the turnout. There are a lot of people who are in a lot worse situations but to see people still come out and support us for what we’re going through it’s really amazing. I’m at a loss of words.”
De La Sala said he was speechless when a man, who recently lost his 13-year-old son to cancer, donated $100. The man told Joe, “Life is short. Life is precious.”
Joe added, “He said, ‘For her to do this, you must be doing a good job.'”
After a 7-year-old boy heard about Alyssa’s lemonade stand on the radio, he asked his mother to take him to the De La Sala family’s house. The boy gave Alyssa some toys, a book, and a blanket.
So far, Alyssa and her brother Damien raised more than $15,000 with their lemonade stand and GoFundMe page.
Alyssa’s mother, Jenn De La Sala, commented about her daughter’s efforts to help the family with her lemonade stand.
“She took it upon herself to do something to help mommy and daddy; I don’t think she expected it to be anything like this either.”
First responders to the fire and deputies joined in with their support. They contacted local businesses and asked them to reach out and help the De La Sala family by donating.
Deputy Mark Montano told ABC News how the community is pitching in with their support.
“They really shined on this one. We are proud that we are able to bridge that gap and to help the family with some of the stuff they had in need.”
“I’m speechless, overwhelmed. It is amazing. Thank you for your support, everything counts and helps us get home.”
[Featured image via WLS-TV]