Most nine-year-olds host lemonade stands to stash some cash in their piggy banks, but Layla Wallace from Acushnet had bigger plans for her lemonade funds that would hopefully make a difference for animals in her hometown. With the help of her mother, Andrea Mello, this young philanthropist was able to collect almost $500 for the Acushnet Pet Food Pantry.

“I love animals, and I never want to see them hurt,” Layla said. On Saturday, she decided to set up a lemonade stand in hopes of raising some money for animals in need.

Even at such a young age, Layla’s passion for animals was clear. She met a bear in New Hampshire one time, and while bears are her favorite animal, all animals have a special place in her heart. Especially her two cats, dog, and bunny.

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“I threw the idea out there to donate half of the proceeds from the lemonade stand, but she wanted to do the whole thing, so that made me really proud,” Mello said. After a few hours slinging lemonade on the corner of Reservoir and Middle Road, this determined entrepreneur raised $470. Every penny was spent at the Walmart in Wareham where Mello and Wallace filled their cart with anything pet-related they could find.

“We pretty much cleaned them out,” Mello joked.

Courtesy of Andrea Mello

Animals bring out the best in people, and one resident’s kindness blew Layla and her mother away.

“One person donated $100 alone and didn’t even get any lemonade!” Layla exclaimed.

“We didn’t get their name, but it was just so awesome,” said Mello.

When this mom-and-daughter duo dropped off their goodies to the pantry, the owners were shocked and so grateful to have a new friend like Layla.

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Leave it up to animals and children to bring out the good in all of us. Layla Wallace can’t wait to raise more money for her beloved animals, and seeing a nine-year-old determined to make a difference in the world was the exact motivation I needed to get through this week.

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