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5-year-old's lemonade stand raises $17,000 for Lahaina after wildfire

A young boy from Seattle was sad to hear the news of Lahaina's devastating wildfire while visiting Hawaii — so he sought out a way to help.

5-year-old boy poses with sign from his lemonade stand
Ami Juel via CNN Newsource

As the saying goes, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

That's exactly what a 5-year-old boy from Seattle is doing, in a big way. 

Edison Juel, aka "Eddie," is using proceeds from his lemonade stand to support the Maui community of Lahaina after a wildfire destroyed the area and left at least 115 people dead.

To date, he's raised a whopping $17,000.

Eddie was on a family trip on Hawaii's Big Island last week, and in Lahaina back in January, so when his family watched news of the devastation from Hawaii, he had many questions, his mother Ami Juel said.

"He kept asking questions this last week, clearly trying to reconcile his belief in the world being fully good with something that is so awful. He'd ask if kids had really lost all their toys, or their bed, and then drop it, the issue clearly on his mind, but hard to process," Ami wrote in a post on Instagram.

"On our walk Thursday night, he suggested a lemonade stand so that he could make money to give to the kids in Lahaina," she continued.

Ami couldn't have imagined the outcome. She was hoping her son could sell a few pitchers, maybe make $100, she said.

But donations came pouring in on Venmo before the stand was even set up — a sign of the success to come.

"Throughout the day people just kept sending money. People kept stopping by. We ran out of cups multiple times, and lemonade, and ice. At one point there were five people waiting. A random biker bought a cup of lemonade for $100," Ami said.

The total money made is a combination of online donations, purchases at the stand and corporate matching programs at Ami and her husband's jobs.

Ami is happy the experience has taught Eddie valuable lessons and thanked everyone for their support.

"He now believes that he can make a difference and that he has good ideas and that it is important to care about our neighbors near and far," Ami said. "Thanks for blowing our minds today with generous donations from friends and family near and far, old and new."

Money raised will be donated to the Maui Community Fund.

What is the plan to rebuild Lahaina?
What is the plan to rebuild Lahaina?

What is the plan to rebuild Lahaina?

It's estimated the fire displaced 4,500 people.

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