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After a 7-year-old Alabama girl lost her mother, she started a lemonade stand to raise money for her headstone

Girl runs lemonade stand to pay for mom's headstone
Girl opens lemonade stand to pay for mom's headstone 02:40

Scottsboro, Alabama — A lot of children in the U.S. want to run a lemonade stand, but not many feel like they have to. That was not the case for 7-year-old Emouree Johnson of Scottsboro, Alabama, who started her business a few weeks ago after a nightmarish tragedy.

"I woke up with the worst news of my life," Emouree said.

Emouree's mother, Karli, died unexpectedly at the age of 29. She was a single mom and Emouree's everything.

The first time Emouree went to the cemetery with her grandmother, Jennifer Bordner, she couldn't understand why everyone else got a giant granite headstone, but her mother just received a tiny metal one.

"It felt like she was being left out," Emouree said. 

Jennifer tried to explain that the family couldn't afford a headstone.

"She had tears in her eyes and wanted to help," Jennifer said of her granddaughter. 

So Emouree did the only thing she could think of to raise money.

"I made a lemonade stand," Emouree said.

At first, she didn't make any mention of her cause. But soon word got out, and before long, Emouree says it seemed like just about everyone in Scottsboro was thirsty for lemonade. 

The price was $1. But she says people liked it so much, they often paid more.

"The most that we got from one cup of lemonade was $300," Emouree said.

So far, Emouree's lemonade stand has raised more than $15,000, which will all go into savings because a monument company is now donating the headstone. But more importantly, Emouree has taken that lemon life handed her, and squeezed out hope.

"Her comment was, when all these people came, she couldn't believe so many people cared for her and loved her mommy," Jennifer said.

A few weeks after she started her lemonade stand, Emouree also lost her uncle, Steve, to a heart attack. They say it takes a village to raise a child. But sometimes it also takes a village to mourn. Folks in Scottsboro take that role seriously, offering Emouree comfort by the cupful, and all the love she can drink.

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