Children join in relief efforts for tsunami victims

Published: Sunday, January 23, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 22, 2005 at 11:48 p.m.
The week ended with a sweet surprise at the Gainesville Red Cross office when a 9-year-old girl and her little brother made a delivery Friday.
Austin Landis and her 3-year-old brother, Jesse, set up a lemonade stand in front of their house Thursday afternoon to raise money for tsunami relief efforts.
Their mother, Jackie Landis-Ferber, drove them to the Red Cross office Friday to drop off the $33.20 donation.
"It was $17.20 from the lemonade stand, and they added some Christmas money," said Jackie Lavender, director of health and safety for the Red Cross office.
"It really gave me a warm fuzzy feeling. The girl thought of it on her own, not only to collect the money, but also to donate the Christmas money," Lavender said. "That's more than any donation could ever be."
Austin, who has done lemonade stands in the past, said she came up with the idea after some of her friends mentioned they were going to do yard work to raise money for tsunami victims.
A cup of lemonade sold for 25 cents at the stand, but most customers gave a little extra, Austin said.
"It makes me feel good that I helped," she said. "We usually split (the money) up. I feel like I used it for a better reason."
Austin, who said she has helped her mother donate toys and clothes for other charities in the past, had an idea of what it means to give to others.
Landis-Ferber said she encourages that, and Austin has accompanied her mother before to drop off donations to Pleasant Place, a home for pregnant and parenting teens.
"I was touched that she thought of it herself, that she came up with the whole idea," Landis-Ferber said. "I didn't really have anything to do with it."
Lavender said she has seen a big response from children toward raising money for relief efforts. Many students have set up donation buckets in their schools.
"The children are really getting involved in trying to help, which is exciting."

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