On July 10, a Lowell fire took the lives of seven people and affected dozens of others. That fire dominated the attention of the Merrimack Valley as well as the attention of one family on Coldspring Road that wanted to help its victims.
Christine Berthold and her two children Nick and Sabrina had a lemonade stand in front of their house near the corner of Coldspring and Graniteville roads on July 19, raising $525.27 for donation to the Wish Project, a Lowell group helping families impacted by the fire.
Along with help from over a dozen children and parents from Westford and Littleton, the Bertholds sold their lemonade at 50 cents each, frequently getting people giving $5 or $10 without even taking the lemonade.
At one point their efforts inspired an anonymous child to donate $80.43 inside a box with a handwritten note, offered by that child’s parent.
The lemonade stand was the second the Berthold child have held, following an effort last year that helped provide aid to local homeless families.
“It’s pretty amazing how people were interested in helping,” said Christine. “(Nick and Sabrina) routinely look at things like this to do. I would like to think they’re developing charitable hearts, but this is just part of what they do.”
The family’s donation was part of approximately $3,000 the Wish Project has raised to aid the fire victims.
“When children get involved, it’s an amazing thing because they don’t completely understand what’s happened or why the need was there,” said Jill Maker, assistant director of the Wish Project. “All they knew is that from this particular fire there were other kids injured and they wanted to help.”
According to Maker, donations came in from all over the country, helping the group provide victims with phone cards, gas cards, grocery store gift cards and rice cookers.
More information on The Wish Project is available at thewishproject.org