Sweet gesture: Strongsville siblings give lemonade stand money to animal rescue

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COLUMBIA STATION, Ohio (WJW) – It was a special delivery for Sophia Garritano, 7, and 5-year old brother Sam.

“My grandma thought of giving all the money to a animal shelter,” Sophia says.

Inside the box; blankets, toys and more than $300 cash, all donated to Animal Rescue Friends formerly in Berea, now in Columbia Station.

Several dogs and cats are currently waiting for their forever homes.

“We know that it’s nice to take care of them and sometimes they get lost or their owners can no longer keep them and it’s important to help them find new homes,” mom Jessica Garritano says.

On three separate occasions, the Garritano’s set up a lemonade stand in a relative’s Berea neighborhood, with a goal of raising money for the rescue, once located in their neighborhood.

The facility relocated to this brand new location in June.

In operation since the 1980s, it is a no time-limit animal shelter, that rescues stray and homeless companion cats and dogs, preparing them for adoption.

It is also funded exclusive through donations from the community says shelter operations manager Amy Fischer.

“It’s great to have the young kids that are so interested in the animals that they really want to help out and it’s fun to watch their little faces when they come in and see the animals,” Fischer says. “We’ve had probably, I’d have to say 70 to 80 animals at any given time.”

Jessica adds, “They were walking by, they were riding their bikes and a lot of them just gave her $20 bills, $10 bills, and didn’t even want lemonade, just handed money.”

Thoughtfulness and generosity; all stemming from a little neighborhood lemonade stand; with a simple, sweet message to all.

“Little kids can make a difference all on their own, it was all her idea and she put it in motion,” Jessica says.

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