Published On: Mon, Apr 9th, 2018

Elementary School Girls Raise Money for Stoneman Douglas Victims Fund with Lemonade Stand

By: Bryanna Basilio

February’s massacre at Stoneman Douglas High School which took the lives of 17 students and staff members, has captivated the nation as the deadliest high school shooting in American history.

Sisters Natalia and Lidia Gomez with their lemonade stand

With the Stoneman Douglas Victims’ Fund on GoFundMe raising 6 million dollars as of today and the creation of March For Our Lives, a gun reform movement which has gathered worldwide support, the Parkland high school has seen people’s efforts of change.  

Two girls from Boca Raton decided to help the victims in any way they can.

“Our neighbors were having a garage sale and my daughters thought it was good idea to have a lemonade stand while the garage sale was going on,” said Karin Carbaugh-Gomez whose two 7 and 8-year-old daughters used their lemonade stand money to donate to the Stoneman Douglas victims fund.

Instead of using the money on what many kids would want to spend it on, like a bike or a video game console, they strictly used the money for the victim’s fund.

“They got all the supplies together,” said Carbaugh-Gomez. “At that point I sheltered my younger one a bit as far as details go and what exactly happened February 14 in Parkland.”

Explaining the tragedy to a 7-year-old and 8-year-old without scaring them was no easy task as Carbaugh-Gomez shares.

“I shared with my older one what she thought about donating all the money they got from the lemonade stand,” said Carbaugh-Gomez. “Without any hesitation my older one said absolutely.”

“How I told my older one was basically, ‘someone bad came into the school and killed innocent people.’ She was shocked and I tried to make her feel like that wouldn’t happen at her school even though the thing at the forefront of my mind is making sure her school is safe. I didn’t want to freak her out about going back to her school.”

In order to make her daughters feel comfortable Carbaugh-Gomez told them that the different layout of a high school as compared to their elementary school is different and wouldn’t happen at their school. In reality, its a uncertain assumption but one that helped her daughter’s nerves.

“She calmed down a bit. But I knew that in 3rd grade, the kids would be talking about it and I wanted her to hear it from me instead from other kids.”

Carbaugh-Gomez’s younger daughter also agreed to donating the lemonade profits to the victim’s fund although she wasn’t given the details of what exactly happened at Stoneman Douglas. 

“They were both very willing to share the money. They didn’t throw a tantrum which maybe some young kids would do when wanting the money to buy candy. They thought it was important to donate the money,” said Carbaugh-Gomez.

Selling homemade lemonade at a price of $1 a cup on the Sunday after the shooting, sisters Natalia and Lidia Gomez of Addison Mizner Elementary School, raised $120 of funds for the victims fund.

Some of these funds were raised even after the girls brought the lemonade back inside, neighbors hearing of their efforts to raise money for the victims.

“We got a knock on the door, and one of our neighbors wanted to donate, giving us $20 without nothing in return,” said Carbaugh-Gomez.

“It was really cool. He didn’t have to do that.”

The Carbaugh-Gomez’s did not have any member of their family affected by the shooting, they do however have friends whose kids attend Stoneman Douglas High School, one was even in one of the rooms where a teacher was killed.

“Whatever little you feel like you can do, works,” added Carbaugh-Gomez.

About the Author

- Bryanna Basilio is a staff writer, reporter, and social media strategist for the Boca Raton Tribune. She attends Palm Beach State College majoring in Journalism.

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