MAPLE LAKE, Minn. (WCCO) — The old saying “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade” has special meaning for a Minnesota girl who’s doing a good deed.
Ellie Fuller’s lemonade stand at her home in Maple Lake is just a small part of how she’s helping other kids. She might be young, but she’s full of compassion.
“She’s a doll,” said Lori Hausken, one of Ellie’s customers. “It’s amazing. She’s got more wisdom than a lot of adults.”
Fuller isn’t pocketing profits. She’s making a direct deposit into the hearts of needy kids. Her mission is to use the money she earns from her lemonade stand to by “Build-a-Bears” and blankets and donate them to Gillette Children’s Hospital and a local homeless shelter.
So far her lemonade stand has raised enough to buy nearly 40 bears. The family room actually looks like a bear’s den now with stuffed animals that fill a good portion of the room. There is a pile of fleece blankets on the couch too. They’ll go to children Fuller has never met, but that doesn’t matter to her.
“Because I want to make them really happy,” she said.
Her best friend, her brother Keegan, inspired her. He is 10 years old and has two rare neurological disorders that hinder his motor skills and speech. Ellie has seen him and other hospitalized kids struggle.
“She thinks the bears and blankets will give them a little hope, a little smile,” Ellie’s mother, Melody, said. “She has a very rare compassion that she’s developed just being around her brother and seeing the struggle he has and the other children with disabilities that are sick go through.”
Ellie is getting support in town from Natalie McClory who owns Irish Blessings coffee shop. She couldn’t resist giving Ellie a corner of her coffee house to sell potholders and raise money.
“She showed up with her smile and her little project, and it’s so hard to say no to that little face,” McClory said. “It’s so awesome they don’t have any concept they can’t change the world, and she was making her stuff, and it was an easy decision.”
Ellie set a lofty goal of 100 bears and 100 blankets for sick children at Gillette Children’s Hospital in St. Paul and at a Minnesota homeless shelter. She plans to give out her bears and blankets as Christmas presents, dress as an elf and hand them out with Santa. They’re good deeds from a compassionate kid.
Here are places you can find Ellie’s potholders:
- Irish Blessings Coffee House and Shear Attitudes in Maple Lake.
- Morrie’s Buffalo Ford in Buffalo.
- All Good Things and Sassy Salon in Annandale.
- The Litchfield Flea Market on Sept. 24.