4-year-old’s lemonade stand raises thousands of dollars for Beirut blast victims

Has there ever been a cooler 4-year-old?

Fatima, better known to some as Fufu, Badaoui, who is 4 years old. (Photo provided by Mustapha Badaoui)

A father and his 4-year-old daughter had talked about a plan to one day organize a little lemonade stand.

They chatted about the concept, but never really got around to bringing the idea to life.

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That is, until this past weekend.

The Badaoui family, who lives in Dearborn, Michigan, ended up hosting that lemonade stand -- but it wasn’t so little. In fact, the weekend-long event raised about $7,500 as of Monday night.

Saturday and Sunday earned around $6,600. But then the donations just keep on coming. People were sending money online, like through Venmo, hence why the total kept rising well into the following day.

Here’s how it unfolded: After last week’s explosion in Beirut that killed more than 200 people, the Badaoui family was talking about what happened in Lebanon. Mustapha Badaoui was putting it into terms his 4-year-old daughter Fatima, who goes by the nickname Fufu, could understand.

“We were saying people were hurt, they lost their stuff, and (Fatima) says, ‘Why don’t we help the people in Lebanon?’” Mustapha Badaoui recalled.

He said his brain just kind of exploded, figuratively speaking, of course, and his next reaction was, “Yeah, let’s do it!”

Badaoui told his friends, and asked them to help spread the word on social media.

People came in droves. Some brought cash, but others wanted to donate through apps, including Venmo or Apple Pay.

Badaoui said he’s working with an organization called the Amity Foundation to personally deliver and directly distribute the funds. The group even has a donor who’s committed to matching the money raised.

The family was blown away by the lemonade stand’s popularity. Just judging by the photos, it was a sight to behold. Politicians -- including Rep. Abdullah Hammoud, who helped connect us with the Badaouis for this article -- even stopped by, along with the Dearborn chief of police and a local councilwoman.

Flip through this gallery to view more photos:

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Fufu and her mother, Sabrina

Mustapha Badaoui and his wife Sabrina were born in the United States, but he said both his parents and Sabrina’s parents were born in Lebanon. The family still has some relatives overseas -- who weren’t affected by the blast, fortunately, but still, this hit close to home for many in the community.

In addition to Fufu, the Badaoui family has two other children, ages 2 and 1.

So, will Fufu be expecting a similar turnout next time the family thinks to host a lemonade stand?

“I haven’t told her that she won’t make this much in the future just yet,” Mustapha Badaoui responded with a laugh. “I’m going to let her enjoy this feeling for a while.”

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