2017-09-07 / Living

Lemon aid

Kids sell lemonade to help victims of Hurricane Harvey
BY LANIA ROCHA
810-452-2652 • lrocha@mihomepaper.com


When Cameron and Olivia Mattson saw what was happening to people in Texas, they invoked a time-honored summer tradition – the lemonade stand – to do their part to help. 
Photo by Lania Rocha When Cameron and Olivia Mattson saw what was happening to people in Texas, they invoked a time-honored summer tradition – the lemonade stand – to do their part to help. Photo by Lania Rocha SWARTZ CREEK – It’s often said that when life gives out lemons, make lemonade.

In this case, brother and sister Cameron and Olivia Mattson made “lemon aid.”

The youngsters, from Livonia, were visiting their grandparents, Richard and Peggy Mattson of Swartz Creek, last week when they saw the news about the devastation left in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.

“It was just so sad,” said 9-year-old Olivia.

Moved to do what they could to ease the burden of strangers thousands of miles away, Olivia and Cameron decided to raise money as quickly as possible.

“A lot of people lost their homes,” said Cameron, 10. “They lost their money. They lost a lot of pets. They have nowhere to live now. We had to do something quick.”

“People are sleeping on cots in churches,” said Olivia. “Some might have to sleep outside. That makes me sad. I want them to live longer.”

Richard Mattson said he was surprised when his grandchildren posed the idea of the fundraiser.

“Generally, people have a tendency to say it’s someone else’s problem and they’ll figure it out,” he said. “But when your own blood says we should do something, that’s very exciting. They’ve got good hearts.”

“We’re proud of them,” Peggy Mattson added. “They’re little heroes.”

In two days, Cameron and Olivia raised about $200. They also plan to donate their allowance and write letters to the people of Texas, to let them know people in Michigan care about them. Peggy Mattson will see that the funds are delivered to a relief agency.

“A lot of people who stopped have asked if we know someone in Texas,” she said. “We don’t, but we know they need help. They may be far away, but they’re our neighbors.”

“This is a reflection of our community,” Richard Mattson said. “We help people. I think people in Texas would do the same for us.”

Cameron said he hopes the money will buy food, clean water, clothes, toothpaste and tooth brushes.

“A lot of people are saying this is a nice thing to do to help,” said Olivia. “I think it’s a good idea. I’m a Girl Scout, so I like helping people.”

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