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Little girl at a lemonade stand and a little girl hugging her mother.

Girl Raises $15K For Mom's Tombstone With Lemonade Stand

Facebook/ Jennifer.Bordner and
Uplifting News

7-Year-Old’s Family Can't Afford to Buy Her Late Mom a Tombstone - So She Starts a Lemonade Stand

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

Two months ago, 7-year-old Emouree Johnson woke up to the "worst news of her life." Tragically, her single mother, Karli, had died unexpectedly at the age of 29.

Without insurance, the loss was not only emotionally devastating but also financially straining for the family. Barely able to cover funeral costs, the family couldn't afford to buy a proper headstone.

And that's when little Emouree got to work.

Heartbroken Girl Starts a Lemonade Stand to Honor Her Mother in the Sweetest Way

Karli Bordner's grave plaque

Karli Bordner's grave plaque

CBS News

During her first visit to her mother's grave, Emouree noticed it wasn't like the others. While other graves around her were marked with large granite tombstones, Emouree's mother's just had a tiny metal plaque with a printed piece of paper.

"It felt like she was being left out," the second-grader told CBS News.

Her grandmother, Jennifer Bordner, explained to the heartbroken girl that the family just didn't have the funds for anything else.

Emouree immediately decided to raise money for a headstone. And she would do it the only way she knew how — the good, old-fashioned way — with a lemonade stand.

“I knew my grandmother didn’t have the money,” Emouree explained of her decision. “And I was really trying to help her.”

The young entrepreneur started her business with just four lemons. It's all she needed.

Every day after school, Emouree worked at her stand, selling a cup of lemonade for a dollar. To try to drum up business, she asked her grandmother to post a picture of her on Facebook.

As word spread throughout the community, so did her line-up, all the way down the street and around the corner.

Support, like the lemonade, poured in. Strangers showed up with batches of fresh lemons to help keep her stand going.

"I didn't know just making a little lemonade would bring this many people to my house. It's fun, but it's unbelievable at the same time."

Emouree Johnson

People were so moved by the little girl's actions for her mama, that soon, the $1 bills turned into $100 bills.

"The most that we got from one cup of lemonade was $300," Emouree said.

Emouree's "signature drink" brought customers from all over Scottsboro, Alabama, and beyond. EVERYONE showed up, including nurses, firefighters, deputies, and a group of bikers who know a little something about her grief.

A Little Girl's Lemonade Stand Raises More Than $15,000...And A Headstone For Her Mom

Group of people at a lemonade stand

7-year-old Emouree Johnson selling lemonade to the Secret Society Chapter of the Widows Sons

Facebook/ Jennifer.Bordner

Thanks to the big heart of one little girl, her mother is finally getting that granite headstone.

The family has exceeded their fundraising goal thanks to the lemonade stand, which raised over $15,000 and a GoFundMe campaign which has raised more than $17,000 to date.

Turns out, Emouree's sweet gesture touched more than just her community, it touched people from all over the globe.

"Support for brave little Emouree and her family from France," wrote one person on the GoFundMe page.

"Sending you lots of love all the way from Northern Ireland. Keep being the fabulous person you clearly are and do great things with your life. When you lose a mammy a little bit of them lives on in your heart so she will still be with you for the journey ahead," wrote another.

Best of all? All of that money is going towards supporting little Emouree and her future.

Because in addition to the community stepping up for one of their own, so did a number of local businesses. They not only covered the cost of Karli's funeral but a local monument company is providing the headstone free of charge.

“It feels like this is a gift from God, from a bad situation. It’s something to make her smile. It’s overwhelming to me. I’ve never seen a community do like this. It’s very special, and I thank everyone.”

Jennifer Bordner

Giving Comfort and Support One Cup at a Time

little girl at a lemonade stand and a line of people at a lemonade stand.

Emouree Johnson Lemonade Stand

Facebook/ Jennifer.Bordner

Losing a parent is one of the most difficult losses a person has to face in life. The fact that Emouree has to face it at such a young age is beyond heartbreaking.

But thanks to an incredible community, she doesn't have to face it alone.

What started out as one little jug of water and four lemons turned into an incredible outpouring of love.

Emouree's lemonade didn't just fill a literal empty cup, it also helped to fill the cup of one heartbroken little girl. And her mama? Would be proud.

"Yeah, she would say that I was doing good," Emouree said.

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