Recently, 7-year-old Benton Stevens’ story went viral. After setting up a hot chocolate stand in Austin, Texas to raise money for the border wall, his parents told media outlets that some called him “little Hitler,” which helped spread his story as well as the hateful message attached to his actions. This, in turn, got the young boy a flurry of donation. When 10-year-old Lily Ellis learned about this, she wanted to do something to raise money for the children and parents who continue to be separated because of our immigration policies.
So this weekend, Lily, along with best friend Lauren, 10, will take a page out of Benton’s book and start their own hot chocolate stand, but instead of trying to fund a symbol of hate, they’ll raise money for the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES), a Texas-based nonprofit that provides free and low-cost legal services to undocumented families. “I appreciate what he did and liked his idea, so I’m gonna do it, too, and try to raise even more money to push back on that wall,” Lily said, according to a press release.
Lauren elaborated on why it’s so important for them to raise money for RAICES. “This is important to me because no child should be separated from their parents or loved ones especially when they come to our country for a better life,” she added. “This is not what we stand for and everyone should be given a chance to live peacefully.”
Lily and Lauren will sell Mexican hot chocolate as well as churros (Lauren’s family runs Jenny’s Churros). The girls will be joined by Alphabet Rockers, a Grammy-nominated kids hip hop group to which Lily belongs.
The kids will be posted up at Freight & Salvage, 2020 Addison Street, Berkeley, California, on Sunday, February 24, from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Update, February 26, 2019 at 2:30 p.m. ET: Lily and Lauren have raised more than $5,000 for RAICES, but they hope to raise more and have started a GoFundMe page.