After hearing how a wildfire devastated Lytton, BC, two Chilliwack friends rolled up their sleeves to give back to the community in need.
According to Global News, nine-year-old Emily Loewen and her friend Gracie set up a lemonade stand to sell lemonade and other refreshments during a record-shattering heatwave. All proceeds from the sales were donated to help rebuild the town.
Locals flocked to the lemonade stand, which raised over $3,400 throughout a couple of weeks. Among her customers were local firefighters and Lytton's mayor.
"We heard about Emily’s efforts to support the people of Lytton, and we wanted to come down and do our part," said Chilliwack Fire Capt. Trevor Kirkpatrick.
Emily’s lemonade garnered attention from local media and radio, where she met Lytton’s mayor, to whom she gave the proceeds. "He’s a nice guy," she said: "He invited me to Lytton when all the stuff is rebuilt."
When asked what the funds would be used for, Emily said: "They’re going to make libraries, schools and parks for kids."
Lytton, located about 250 kilometres northeast of Vancouver, suffered an estimated $78 million of damage, killing two residents. While insurance companies have promised to assist in rebuilding, it’s unclear when that can begin as the province continues to grapple with wildfires that have burned over a half million hectares of land this year.
Statistics from Emergency Management BC indicated 64 evacuation orders by the BC government, which affected around 4,300 properties. Residents of some 21,000 other properties also received a warning to be ready to leave on short notice.
BC Wildfire Service said that personnel have to contend with two dozen new fires over the past 48 hours, adding to the almost 270 active fires across the province.