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TOPEKA, Kansas (KCTV) — A little girl selling lemonade, a dollar at a time, raised a lot of money for the Rainbow House in Topeka and even more attention than anyone could have ever guessed.
“Everyone loves lemonade stands anyways and in front of the house, everyone understands we’re an organization, a non-profit, that’s kind of trying to promote peace around the world,” said Jon Hemmet, PlantingPeace.org.
The Equality House got it’s share of attention when Hemmet and his organization painted the home in rainbow colors, right across from the Westboro Baptist Church earlier this year.
It also caught the attention of a 5-year-old Kansas City area girl, Jayden Sink.
“She saw pictures of it and thought it was the most beautiful house in the world,” said Jon Sink, Jayden’s dad.
That’s when Jayden came up with the idea of setting up a lemonade stand at the Equality House, to raise money for peace. It was a simple idea that got much more complicated in the days after her sale which raised $13,000 and counting.
“With Jayden’s face out there online, gone viral it really puts me in an uneasy position, knowing she’s out there for everybody to see,” said her dad.
With that attention, Westboro Baptist Church is lashing back with its usual gay-hating message. It’s posted a sign that reads, “Lemonade won’t cool any tongues.”
Jon Sink wants to make it clear, he would have helped Jayden with her fundraiser no matter where the Equality House stood.
“Jayden and I went out there to raise money for Planting Peace, to spread love, to spread compassion,” he said. “Our mission was not to stand up to the Westboro Baptist Church.”
The money Jayden raised with her lemonade stand and online donations will go to an anti-bullying program in Topeka.
It will also go to a software tool Planting Peace hopes to use nationwide to educate children about the devastating impact of bullying.