By Charlie Warner, Special to the Independent
Representatives of the Laguna Beach Friendship Shelter recently accepted a gift from one of their youngest donors ever. Michaela Evans, a blossoming philanthropist, donated $20 to the shelter, which assists homeless people back into the mainstream.
Michaela, who is 4, saw a problem and strived to fix it, said her mother Melissa Fernandez Evans. She and her husband Neil, along with their two daughters, relocated to Laguna Beach in July.
As the family recently waited for a summer trolley, Michaela encountered another person waiting to board who looked different. She asked her parents about the homeless woman and what she could do to improve her situation, Evans said.
Inspiration struck a few weeks later as Michaela left the community pool. Elementary school girls were selling lemonade as a benefit for sickly children.
Michaela opened up her own lemonade stand up in the Top of the World community with one goal in mind, to give back to the community, her mother said. Over two hours, Michaela collected $20, which she then donated Friendship Shelter.
“The whole experience was fantastic for a kid learning the ways of the world,” said Evans, “As parents, we thought it was a great opportunity to teach her about responsibility, business, finance and humility.”
The project mirrors Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, based in Pennsylvania, started in 2000 by 4-year-old childhood cancer victim Alex Scott. When Alex died at age 8, she had already raised over $1 million. The foundation has since raised over $127 million.
Just imagine what Alex and Michaela could do together.