A six-year-old from Massachusetts was devastated when her beloved dog suddenly died. However, despite receiving lemons, she decided to make lemonade — literally. Jaylyn Keeney set up a lemonade stand to raise money for an animal shelter to dedicate to her pup’s memory.
“Our dog’s name was Dexter. He was a mini golden-doodle. He ended up having a cardiac issue and he outlived his expectancy, but suddenly passed of a heart issue,” said Rebecca Keeney, Jaylyn’s mom. “Jaylyn had a tough time with it. It was her first best friend. She wanted to do something in his memory, so she decided to set up a lemonade stand and let the local community know, family and friends.”Kiro7
Jaylyn’s Lemonade Stand
So, on Memorial Day, Jaylyn opened her lemonade stand in her driveway, with the support of her parents. “We went to the store and got anything we could find that had to do with lemonade,” said Rebecca.
Her father, Raymond Keeney, also mentioned that the stand was all his daughter’s idea, “which was pretty awesome.” And in keeping with this goal, Jaylyn placed a picture of her and Dexter on the lemonade stand, alongside a stufffed animal that looked like him.
“He’s up in the sky,” said Jaylyn. “I loved it when he played with me.“
It was also her idea to donate the earnings from the stand to the Seekonk Animal Shelter. “When dealing with the loss, Jaylyn really wanted to do something to give back and help out other dogs,” said Rebecca. This is a really mature and productive use of grief, especially for a kindergartener.
“She’s very young, but she just gets it,” said Raymond. “I really do think she’s like the greatest human being I’ve ever met and I’m not just saying that because she’s my daughter.”
Raising Money For “Dogs Who Don’t Have Homes”
The proud parents shared the news of the lemonade stand with their friends, family members, and acquaintances on Facebook. “The weather was somewhat decent on Monday and it was kind of on our side that the weather wasn’t that great, so if anybody had plans, they ended up just swinging by and showing their support,” said Rebecca. “We weren’t expecting this much support, so it was wonderful. A lot of people have huge hearts and want to support our local furry friends that don’t have homes, so it was really great.”
Jaylyn sold the lemonade for a dollar a cup, but many people added more money or came just to donate for the animal shelter. The six-year-old thoughtfully chalked her driveway with social-distancing lines. Neighbors and even strangers came by to contribute.
“My Venmo has over a thousand dollars in it. It’s really cool to have that type of support,” said Raymond.
The Keeney’s arranged their donation with the shelter, needing a few days to process the money sent by Venmo. More donations came even after the lemonade stand ended.
“We’re very proud of her for giving back to the community and just understanding that people all have losses, but to do something to make lemonade out of lemons, it’s a definite life lesson,” said Rebecca.KATU2 abc
Helping Others While Grieving
Volunteering and similar charity work have been shown to help ease feelings of grief. After all, this kind of work helps channel the pain into something meaningful and beneficial for others. After losing a loved one, it’s easy to get lost in the past, unable to move on; it’s imperative to move forward, and volunteering could aid that by honing and learning new skills.
For one thing, helping others is a meaningful way to honor a loved one, like what Jaylyn did with her lemonade stand. It could bring that feeling of connection because you know you are doing something with a purpose. It honors their life and allows them to live on in the goodness you give to others.
Additionally, volunteer work could take your mind off of the grief. Getting out and doing something productive could be a good distraction. But more importantly, charity could help you step back and see that the world is vast with so much good in store for you.
Remember, volunteer work doesn’t need to be anything big or grandiose. In fact, it should reflect your interests. You could choose to volunteer at a hospital, visit the elderly in a nursing home, or help organize an event at a community center. If you love to knit, you could make hats or blankets for homeless people. If you enjoy books, you could do readings for children at your local library. Giving to the community could be a way for you to give back to yourself.
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