A girl began selling homemade lemonade to raise money to help her struggling Ukrainian neighbors. One day, cops in motorbikes surrounded her, and what happened next brought her to tears.
"When are we going home, mama?" a teary-eyed Sophia, 8, asked her mother, Olga. "Our beautiful house, will it be there when we return? Will dad be found? He told me he would buy me that bicycle...."
Olga couldn't answer those questions. Tears flowed down her eyes as she looked at the bright, blue sky. "I don't know, dear."
Sophia and her mother had arrived with shattered hopes from Ukraine to Princeton, New Jersey. They'd lost everything in the shelling and had come to the US to live with Olga's mother's aunt. They had nothing more than a backpack of just a few clothes and a loaf of bread that had gotten stale.
Sophia and Olga had lost all their hope after stepping out of their homeland. That's when a little American girl took a risk to show them what miracles look like, unaware of the twist on that fateful day...
Olga & Sophia came to the US from Ukraine with shattered hopes & lost courage. | Source: Unsplash
"Hey, are you new here?" Avery White asked Sophia while collecting fallen feathers from the dewy lawn. "Why are you crying?"
"Only Almighty knows if we will return to our country. But even if that happens, I'll never forget you and your help."
Sophia looked at the girl and smiled. "I came here with my mother last week from Ukraine."
9-year-old Avery often watched the world news at home, so she was aware of the general circumstance in Sophia's home country.
"Oh, are you going to live here forever? Our country is lovely, and I'm sure you'll love it here."
Sophia smiled. But the wetness in her eyes revealed that she was bothered about something, much to Avery's curiosity.
"But why are you crying? Is everything alright? Where is your mother?"
Sophia was constantly upset about something. | Source: Pixabay
Avery had no friends because most of them moved to other states with their parents. She was on an extended holiday wandering around, chasing butterflies, and collecting feathers during her free time.
Meeting a new girl in the neighborhood sparked a different feeling for Avery. She struck a friendship with the girl and spent more time with her. But Sophia never smiled and was always in deep thought about something.
"Hey, so I haven't met your mother. You said she came with you. But I haven't seen her yet," Avery curiously asked Sophia one day.
Sophia remained silent. Then she looked Avery in the eye and revealed why she was sad.
"Mama...she is inside on the bed...sick and unable to move."
"Sick? Unable to move? Why? What happened to your mom?"
It turned out that Olga had been sick and unable to walk due to the tension and injury she suffered in Ukraine.
"My mom was a figure skater, but now, she cannot even stand on her feet," Sophia cried.
Avery was disturbed by what she heard. She decided to help her friend. But since her parents were on a trip abroad, Avery did not want to bother her aunt, with whom she was entrusted, for money. Soon, an idea struck her. She took her piggy bank and smashed it. Her eyes beamed at the glistening pennies rattling on the floor.
Sophia's mother was sick & bedridden following the trauma they endured in Ukraine. | Source: Unsplash
"But honey—you said you were saving this money for a vacation," Avery's aunt Matilda said. "It's your hard-earned pocket money."
"Yes, but I don't think my vacation is as important as Sophia's mother. They already went through so much, and I want to help them."
Matilda was pleased by her niece's efforts to help their poor neighbors, so she helped the girl make homemade lemonade and sell it in the stand she'd put up in a local park near their home.
A few days later, Avery was busy selling lemonade to the people in the park when an officer approached her.
"Hey, there...what is your name? And are you permitted to sell lemonade here?" officer Dan Ivan asked.
"Hi, officer. I'm Avery...Permit? I did not...."
"Look, Avery. You need a proper license to put up a stall in a public place. Do you have one?"
The girl was frightened. She had invested all her pocket money in putting up the stall. She was scared that her hard work would be wasted.
"Do you have a license, Avery? Please show it to me. Let me check it."
Avery sold lemonade to raise money to help her struggling neighbors. | Source: Pixabay
A look of despair shrouded the girl's eyes. Then she told the officer she did not have a license and why she was selling lemonade.
"They came here to live with us...in our country...and I think every citizen must help someone who trusts us."
Officer Dan was quite stunned by the girl's determination to help her neighbor. He bought a glass of lemonade and paid Avery $2 for the drink.
He smiled at her and sped past the beverage stand on his patrol bike. Avery sighed in relief and continued to sell lemonade to her customers.
But an hour later, she heard a group of bikes approaching her. She was frightened seeing officer Dan coming toward her again. But this time, he had brought a gang of 11 other officers on bikes. They surrounded Avery's lemonade stand, making it impossible for her to move or escape the spot.
The officer arrived again with a gang of 11 cops. | Source: Pixabay
"What's going on? I want to go home...I'm scared!" Avery shouted.
The onlookers and those who had just bought a fresh drink from Avery were puzzled. They stopped drinking, assuming something was wrong with the drink or the girl.
"I want to go home...Please."
Officer Dan got off his bike and approached Avery quickly.
"Oh, no, you don't...you're not going anywhere. Wait there, don't move."
Avery's eyes gushed with tears. But before she could speak, the other cops queued up in front of her lemonade stand and asked her to serve them the drink.
"Good gracious! You scared me!" Avery exclaimed as she served each cop a refreshing homemade lemonade.
She ran the math and was excited to earn $22 in a single shot. But she didn't expect what came next that brought her to tears.
Avery exclaimed in relief when the officers drank her lemonade. | Source: Unsplash
An officer put a big glass jar with the words "Charity to Save a Life" on the counter. Then the officers put $200 each in the jar.
"$2,200?!" Avery shouted in joy. "I don't believe this...Thanks!...Thank you so much!" she cried, jumping up and down.
"You deserve it...Go on. I will arrange for a permit so that you sell lemonade and raise more money to help your neighbors," Officer Dan said.
The passers-by who witnessed everything buzzed among themselves. They realized that the girl was raising money to save someone's life, so they contributed some money towards her charity after buying a drink from her.
Soon, the news of Avery's efforts amassed widespread attention in the locality. People flooded to offer their unwavering support to help her raise enough money for Olga's treatment.
The officers helped Avery raise money to help her neighbors. | Source: Unsplash
In no time, Avery raised around $20,000. She gave the money to Olga's guardian and asked her to get the poor woman treated immediately.
Several days later, the doctors had a piece of good news regarding Olga's overall health. "She's fine now and should be able to walk in two weeks. But she shouldn't strain so much until complete recovery."
Sophia was overwhelmed. She hugged Avery and burst into tears.
"I will never forget your help...Only Almighty knows if we will return to our country. But even if that happens, I'll never forget you and your help."
From that day, Avery and Sophia became thick friends. Olga completely recovered, and although she could not continue her figure skating, she did enjoy skating with the two girls.
Avery's favor and selfless heart made Olga and Sophia believe in miracles and compassion!
Avery's kind deed made Sophia & Olga believe in compassion & miracles. | Source: Unsplash
What can we learn from this story?
Click here to read about how a carousel ride operator who bought tickets for a poor girl daily was stunned by the surprise she had planned for him 16 years later.
This piece is inspired by stories from the everyday lives of our readers and written by a professional writer. Any resemblance to actual names or locations is purely coincidental. All images are for illustration purposes only. Share your story with us; maybe it will change someone's life. If you would like to share your story, please send it to email@example.com.
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