The kids at Barclay Manor in Newburgh, N.Y., usually spend their summer breaks swimming at the neighborhood pool — except for Mondays and Tuesdays when its gates are closed. Looking for something to occupy their time, six-year-old Elajah asked her mom if she could start a lemonade stand with her friends.
“Elajah got together a group of friends while I brought out a table that I had been planning to throw away and bought some mixes from Dollar Tree. It turned out way better than we thought,” Elajah’s mom Shanice Sgorbissa, who was helping watch over the other local kids, tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “They each had jobs. Two boys stood holding up a sign, two girls were assigned to pouring lemonade, and another girl went up to the cars.”
While the local kids were enjoying running their roadside business, one unknown resident was less than pleased with the lemonade stand, especially during rush hour. They reported it to the Newburgh Police Department for causing some traffic, asking law enforcement to shut it down.
Sgorbissa and Whitney Glover, another local mom whose daughter Charley was helping sell lemonade, were standing outside with the children when a Newburgh Police Ford Explorer pulled over by their stand.
“When they first got there I was nervous. I didn’t want them to shut the kids lemonade stand,” says Sgorbissa, 25.
However, what officers Thomas O'Connell Jr. and Clayton Dubois did next left both Glover and Sgorbissa pleasantly surprised.
“The officer comes out and says, ‘Would you believe that someone called me about kids in the middle of the street selling lemonade? I’m not going to shut you down, I’m actually going to buy a cup,” Glover, 29, tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “They were interacting with the kids and making them feel happy. They told them they were doing a good job and to keep it up.”
Sgorbissa and Glover say they were extremely appreciative of the officers for being so “sweet” with the kids instead of ruining the fun. Glover took to Facebook to express her gratitude for the local police officers.
“So the kids where I live decided to have a Lemonade stand during rush hour. Smart idea,” Glover wrote in a Facebook post. “However some bitter person decided to call the cops on them. Instead of the officers shutting it down they decided to have a cup themselves. Thanks Town of Newburgh Police Department.”
Glover’s post quickly went viral online with more than 1,000 likes and comments from users as far as Texas and even Canada.
One Facebook user said it must have been a “miserable” person who called the police on kids selling lemonade and wrote that the police “did a great job shedding light on the goodness that still [exists] in our country.”
Other users online praised officers O’Connell and Dubois for supporting the young entrepreneurs instead of shutting them down.
“Police Dept was supportive,” one Facebook user wrote. “These kids did good with their time and embraced their neighborhood.”
The Newburgh Police Department responded on Facebook that they were “proud” their officers had a “positive impact on the community, especially the children.”
Since then, the kids’ beverage business has been booming, earning about $520 since opening on Monday. Sgorbissa says she’ll probably allow the kids to continue setting up shop until school starts since it’s a great way to teach them about teamwork and the value of money.
Glover says she’s just glad that seeing their story brought a smile to people’s faces.
“I only put the story up just to put recognition for the police officers for making their day and buying from their lemonade stand,” Glover says. “I didn’t imagine this positivity to go global.”
The Newburgh Police Department did not immediately respond to Yahoo Lifestyle’s request for comment.