Setting up a “Lemonade for Peace” stand in front of the rainbow-colored Equality House, across the street from anti-LGBT Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas, five year old Jayden Sink has raised (as of earlier this afternoon) over $18,000 for a anti-bullying program of Planting Peace. That amount comes from the suggested $1 donation (and people donating above the “suggestion”) for a glass of pink lemonade, and also from online donations. Details on the fundraising and Planting Peace a bit later. First, the story of a five year old’s pink lemonade stand.
As The Huffington Post previously reported, Jayden is the daughter of Jon Sink, founder of the philanthropic arts group FRESHCASSETTE – Creative Compassion. The two decided to sell lemonade outside the Equality House …. to raise money for peace and love Saturday.
And from KCTV,
Jayden told her father that she wanted to set up a lemonade stand to help a charity. After doing research, they settled on Equality House, a project of Planting Peace, because of its mission and efforts, not its location across from the Westboro compound, her father said.
‘She saw pictures of it and thought it was the most beautiful house in the world,’ Jon Sink said.
See the KCTV report below, via YouTube.
Not surprisingly, the Phelps family Westboro Church was not pleased with a five year old and a lemonade stand. The group routinely takes in-your-face actions, claiming God laughs at deaths because it’s all punishment for the nation’s acceptance of LGBTs, routinely referred to as “f*gs.” They show up in front of the Holocaust Memorial Museum, for example. And whether arriving at funerals with their signs of hate, putting them up at their church or virtually shout, they regularly celebrate deaths by way of war, 9-11, Sandy Hook Elementary or whatever else.
Apparently for them, however, seeing a five year old with a lemonade stand is far too threatening, even though, unlike them, her signs are about peace.
From the HuffPo report:
Members from the (Westboro) group apparently attempted to call the local police and later stooped to yelling profanities at lemonade drinkers.
On Monday, Westboro members took things to a new low when they posted an anti-gay message on their marquee, reading: ‘FAGS & ENABLERS ALL BURN IN HELL LEMONADE WON’T COOL ANY TONGUES.’
Davis Hammet, Director of Operations at Planting Peace, is not surprised Westboro rejected Jayden’s message. The group’s messages of hate have been directed at many more people than just Jayden. Just a few days ago, that same marquee had a message thanking God for killing the children in the Oklahoma tornado.
‘We don’t hate the Westboro Baptist members, we pity them,’ he told The Huffington Post in an email correspondence Monday. ‘We see their hateful signs every day and they remind us how important it is to take a stand for equality and justice.
Here’s a video of a HuffPo Live segment on the story, with a response to why HuffPo, and other media and news organizations, give any coverage to Westboro.
From the YouTube post of the story, more about the reactions from Westboro.
During the day, Westboro sent representatives outside to try and find a way to stop the event. They apparently attempted to call the local police and stooped to yelling profanities when that didn’t work, like calling a group of soldiers who rode out on their motorcycles to support the event ‘bastards.’
And from a New York Daily story, more Westboro responses:
‘*WHO* let nasty f*** get hands on this poor child?’ the group tweeted in response to her efforts for which they crudely blamed homosexuals
‘LOL it doesn’t matter how ‘cute’ a satanic liar is! They are STILL a satanic liar’ they wrote again.
Understandably, Jayden’s father has expressed some uneasiness with the reactions from the Phelp’s church of hate and fear. But not regrets for her daughter’s “Lemonade for Peace” venture. He says, via the NY Daily story:
… that 100 percent of the money raised will go toward an anti-bullying program (of Planting Peace) in Topeka as well as toward national efforts to educate children about its devastating effects. …
(Planting Peace founder Aaron) Jackson says Jayden plans to continue her stand over the summer but in other parts of the state.
Planting Peace is an internationally recognized 501c3 non-profit with a simple message: PEACE. We have many efforts around the globe ranging from multi-national de-worming programs to orphanages for HIV+ children.
Recently, we have come into the spotlight for our Equality House painted the colors of the pride flag & located directly across from the infamous Westboro Baptist Church hate group. Our goal is to conquer hatred & bigotry with love & compassion. The funds we raise will be used for anti-bullying programs in K-12 schools throughout America.
To check out the current total of Jayden’s Pink Lemonade Stand for Peace, and maybe add a bit to it, go here.
(Lemonade for Peace via Planting Peace)