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6-year-old in Lower Mainland raises hundreds for Ukraine orphans

Elizabeth Denes Luque’s goal was only $10 for a school project
Elizabeth Denes Luque, 6, makes her lemonade from scratch. (Special to The News)

Elizabeth Denes Luque was only expected to raise $10 to help orphaned children in Ukraine as part of a school project.

However, the enthusiastic six-year-old – turning seven in July – raised hundreds more after setting up a lemonade stand in front of her Maple Ridge home.

Elizabeth raised $682.15, to be exact, for her Grade 1 service project that will benefit Father’s House, an orphanage based out of Kyiv.

The goal of the project was to teach the students at Pacific Academy in Surrey how to come up with a plan to achieve their goal of raising $10 each and to develop compassion towards the plight of orphaned children in Ukraine.

Elizabeth knew right away she wanted to sell lemonade. When she told her mother, Jackeline Luque suggested they distribute cards, letting their neighbours know ahead of time about the sale.

They went around the block putting cards at the doors of their neighbours. Elizabeth was so excited, said her mom, that she even got out her doll stroller and wore a fancy dress.

Jackeline also handed out cards to members of a support group she attends.

While handing out the cards, one of their neighbours told Elizabeth that they happened to have a stand and they offered it to her for the sale.

Elizabeth decorated the stand. She also made about five gallons of lemonade from scratch, washing each lemon before squeezing.

On Sunday, June 12, she set everything up, and in two hours, from 2-4 p.m., she sold out selling about 50 cups of lemonade in addition to cookies and collecting $365.07 in sales.

READ MORE: Ridge Meadows committee supporting refugees from Ukraine

ALSO: Ukraine refugees get donations and warm welcome from Maple Ridge

Then her family in the Lower Mainland and in Honduras and friends of Jackeline’s from the support group pitched in the rest.

Father’s House is a faith-based orphanage founded in the 1990’s. After Russia invaded Ukraine, the orphanage was evacuated and the children were bussed to Freiberg, Germany where they are currently being housed in four different refugee camps.

Elizabeth was very proud of her accomplishment, said her mother, adding that she even counted the money.

Jackeline described her daughter as caring and very sympathetic to the needs of other children.

“Her personality is very compassionate, by nature, since very young,” she said, adding that if she saw a child crying she would want to stop and help.

Elizabeth is next planning to cut her long hair and donate it to make wigs for children dealing with hair loss because of cancer treatments or other serious illnesses.

Donations to Father’s House are being accepted through Harvest City Church in Vancouver.

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Elizabeth Denes Luque, 6, sets up her lemonade stand in support of orphaned Ukrainians on June 12. (Special to The News)
Elizabeth Denes Luque, 6, puts cards on neighbours’ doors notifying them about the lemonade stand. (Special to The News)

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Colleen Flanagan

About the Author: Colleen Flanagan

Colleen Flanagan is an award-winning multimedia journalist with more than 15 years experience in the industry.
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