These kids get it and are doing something that’s an outward and visible sign of their desire to help the victims of the Charleston shooting. What a wonderful gesture and a way to teach them how to be charitable!
Help for the victims of the Emanuel AME shooting that claimed nine lives took the form of a lemonade stand on the Isle of Palms last week.
Rini Kosmos and her children, along with help from several kids in the neighborhood have been spending their summer days on a Waterway Boulevard corner offering lemonade and cookies to passers-by.
“My daughter and I went to a yard sale last Saturday in Mount Pleasant and there was a family with small children setting up a lemonade stand with the same signs and I thought, ‘What a great idea,'” said Kosmos.
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The plan was to try it for just a day, but in four hours they raised more than $400, so plans changed and the kids have been spending six hours every day with their signs drawing in customers.
“It makes me feel good that we raised way over $2,000 and we’re going to be able to help the church a lot, doing our part,” said 15-year-old Cole Petit, who lives nearby and volunteered to help.
“It’s unbelievable how many people are stopping. We expected to raise maybe $800 to $1,000 but, I mean, everyone’s just being stopped and it means so much.”
Kosmos said the kids participating have been tireless and have enjoyed finding a way to give back. She says it’s serving as a little bit of group therapy, too.
“After seeing the enthusiasm of the kids, and the enthusiasm of people so willing to go out of their way to donate, people hearing about us and coming over to Waterway and parking and getting out and everybody talking about it is — it was a way of coping not only for the kids but for everybody donating too,” Kosmos said.
A couple in an SUV who stopped to donate said they stopped because they thought it was for someone’s mother and the kids had nice signs. Upon learning it was for Mother Emanuel, they donated more money.
Another couple from Connecticutt stopped to make a donation and applauded the Lowcountry’s reaction to the shootings, pointing out the unity walk on the bridge and the acts of brotherhood and fellowship that have become synonymous with Charleston.
“It makes me feel good that we live in such a strong and nice community,” said Petit. “It just shows how strong everyone is here.”
For Petit, he’s in awe of the family members who stepped forward in bond court a day after the shootings and offered forgiveness to the suspect, Dylann Roof.
“I just can’t imagine someone just killed your family members and then a day later you’re forgiving them and saying God bless them right to their face. It’s just — I’m not sure I could do that,” he said.
Kosmos says this has proven to be a lesson for her children and her neighborhood that with a little work a terrible situation can be met with compassion.
“We’re hoping next week to put it in envelopes so each child will actually hand deliver to the church so that way they can see where this is going and what this is doing,” she said.
HOW YOU CAN HELP:
–Donations can be made at any Wells Fargo branch or city office; by mailing a check made out to “Mother Emanuel Hope Fund” to P.O. Box 304, Charleston, SC 29402; by texting ‘prayforcharleston’ to 843-606-5995; or online at www.bidr.co/prayforcharleston. People can also donate on the city’s website: http://www.charleston-sc.gov/index.aspx?NID=1330
*Donations to this fund are not tax-deductible.*
–Donations to “Lowcountry Ministries – Reverend Pinckney Fund,” can be sent to The Palmetto Project, 6296 Rivers Ave., Bldg. #100, North Charleston, SC 29406; or by donating online at www.palmettoproject.org.
–Library donations can be sent to: Charleston County Public Library, c/o Cynthia Graham Hurd Memorial Fund, 68 Calhoun Street, Charleston, S.C. 29401
–If you would like to make a donation to Charleston Southern’s Chris Singleton Memorial Fund, you may send a check to: Charleston Southern University; attn. Advancement Office; PO Box 118087, Charleston, SC 29423. Please put “Singleton Memorial Scholarship” in the memo line.
–To donate to the Lowcountry Unity Fund, checks should be written out to Coastal Community Foundation with “Lowcountry Unity Fund” in the memo line. Online contributions can be made at https://coastalcommunityfoundation.org/donate-today/ by designating the gift to “Other” and typing in “Lowcountry Unity Fund” in the text box.