Business is booming for a group of neighborhood kids who launched their own lemonade stand, thanks to help from a pair of officers initially called to give their operation the boot.
Elajah Sgorbissa, 6, of Newburgh, New York, had gathered a group of friends to get their beverage business rolling on an afternoon when their community pool was closed, her mother, Shanice Sgorbissa explained.
“I brought out a table that I had been planning to throw away and bought some (drink) mixes from Dollar Tree,” Ms. Sgorbissa told Yahoo Lifestyle of the children’s business, adding that each of them had a specific job. “Two of the boys stood holding a sign, two girls were assigned to pouring lemonade and another girl went up to the cars.”
“It turned out way better than we thought,” she said
All was well with the roadside business — that is until a Newburgh Police SUV pulled alongside the lemonade stand. It turned out that an unknown neighbor, upset by the traffic the beverage stand was causing, had dialed police and asked officers to shut it down.
Sgorbissa said her heart sank.
“When they first got there, I was nervous,” she told the outlet. “I didn’t want them to shut the kids’ lemonade stand.”
Whitney Glover, a fellow parent whose daughter was helping sell lemonade, was equally worried when she saw police arrive. However, what local officers Thomas O’Connell Jr. and Clayton Dubois did next left both moms totally speechless.
Rather than shut the business down, the cops chose to support it instead.
“The officer comes out and says, ‘Would you believe 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, recalled. “They were interacting with the kids and making them feel happy.”
Glover later took to Facebook to thank the officers for their kindness, and blasted the “bitter person” who called police in the first place.
“So the kids where I live decided to have a Lemonade stand during rush hour. Smart idea,” she wrote. “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.”
It was only a matter of time before Glover’s post went viral, racking up more than 1,500 likes and nearly 800 shares. Many online users chimed in on the heartwarming moment and piled on the praise for officers O’Connell and Dubois.
“This is so great!!” one woman wrote. “The Police Officers did such an amazing thing for the kids. They must have been so excited!”
Another user agreed, adding: “THIS is the kind of interaction we need between the police and the communities they serve to heal all the divides…kudos to the children, the policemen, and, most of all, to the parents of these children, who instilled good values on them!!!👍👍👍”
“Very sweet story,” someone else wrote. “Continued success to these young entrepreneurs. Thank you to the police for being supportive of our people.”
The Newburgh Police Department also commended its officers, saying how “proud” it was to have officers who have a “positive impact on the community, especially the children.”