Leaders in the community at 8 years old

Published 5:29 pm Thursday, July 8, 2021

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When most of us hear of a tragedy, we stop, we say a prayer and we keep whoever is impacted in our thoughts. But how often do we actually take the time to make a difference?

Two 8 year olds from Calera didn’t give it a second thought after hearing of the deadly car accident in Butler County that killed eight girls from the Tallapoosa County Girls Ranch on their way back from a beach trip.

Maggie Marling came up with the idea of creating a lemonade stand to help raise money for “charudie” as outlined in a 20-page business plan drawn out through crayons and colored pencils.

She asked her friend Jamison Garzarek to join her, and the two went to work.

While other friends were swimming feet away from them at the pool or playing during their summer break, the two girls worked three consecutive days to make the lemonade stand come to life.

Then, between Friday, June 25 and Saturday, June 26, the girls set up their stand at the Timberline neighborhood pool.

Not once did they complain about the heat, ask to go swim with their friends or ask to leave.

Instead, they squeezed lemons and made fresh, homemade lemonade for at least 70 people each day.

Between selling the lemonade and other donations, the girls raised $2,800 for the Ranch.

From start to finish, the idea was all theirs.

They knew the cause they were working for and poured everything they had into making a difference in the lives of a group who had suffered an unspeakable tragedy—all at the age of 8.

Maggie and Jamison should serve as an example for all of us as to what being a leader looks like.

There isn’t one of us who can’t look up to them and learn how to be better in life after seeing what they accomplished in just a few days.

Thank you, girls, for being a shining example and for taking action to help a community heal.