Imagine being only three years old and wanting to give back to the community? Allow me to introduce to you Ryker Anselmo, a Dartmouth boy whose main focus at the moment is helping and putting others first.

Ryker not only wants to have his own lemonade stand, but also wants to donate a majority of his proceeds and profits to adults with disabilities over at Community Connections, Inc. as well as the daycare he attends, Coastal Kids Inc. in Dartmouth. The Employment Services Department over at CCI could always use the help and that's exactly what Ryker plans on doing.

On Saturday, August 7, Ryker will be down in Fall River, set up outside of Fall River Tattoo Company, owned by his Uncle Bruce Deslauriers. Ryker will be selling lemonade around noon until he runs out of lemonade and snacks.

Jewels Dupras
Jewels Dupras

When asked for permission, Deslauriers told Ryker "Lets git 'er done."

"He originally saw a YouTube video with a lemonade stand and wanted to have one of his own," Ryker's mother, Jewels Dupras said. "We have a little side business that involves wood and home décor, so it made sense to just build him one."

Ryker's parents Barrett and Jewels, alongside his godfather Danny, used pallets from a neighbor who had leftovers hanging around. Together they loaded the pallets up in the truck and hammered and nailed away.

"He has a big heart," Dupras said. "I've worked in this field (helping adults with disabilities and job placement) for most of my life and I’m just trying to install in our kiddo that just because they’re different or need help with certain things doesn’t mean they’re any less."

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A majority of the profits will go to CCI and his day care, but Ryker plans on keeping a few dollars for himself after working his very first lemonade stand.

"We went to Legoland and he was obsessed, so if there's any left over from donations, we will use that to take him back to New York towards the end of the summer," Dupras said.

Donations that are made to CCI, like those Ryker plans on collecting, help keep the employment services program going, allowing the staff to continue to help their clients look for and be successful in a career.

"Being a non-profit, the employment part of the company gets talked about the least and we’re so essential," Dupras said. "Helping individuals with disabilities look for employment and also helping them through their employment, making sure they’re accepted and treated equal, is super hard work, but super rewarding."

If you're out and about on Saturday in the Fall River area, be sure to stop by 1412 South Main Street and say hello to Ryker. He'll be glad you stopped by.

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