HOWLAND, Ohio (WYTV) – This week’s Hometown Hero is an 11-year-old boy from Boardman who is giving back to first responders.
William Thomas has always had a passion for police officers, firefighters and other first responders.
Back in May, his mom posted on Facebook asking for patches for his personal collection.
He got so many, he wanted to do something for them in return as a thank you, and from that, First Aid Lemonade was born.
“It’s important for me to give back to the first responders because they help the community and keep us safe,” said William.
The lemonade stand was only the first part of his mission. With the money he raises, he wants to feed the first responders in the area, whether it be family-style meals to fire departments or individual meals or gift cards to police officers and EMTs.
After just five lemonade stands, he has raised more than $1,200 and was able to bring food to over 20 first responders.
“Every day he says, ‘Mom, can we go pass out gift cards?’ So he’s just everyday that’s what he wakes up — it’s the first thing he thinks about. All day, watching and learning about first responders, and he loves it,” said Colleen Thomas, William’s mom.
He says it means a lot to him when first responders come and check out his lemonade stand. He chats with them and shows them his patch collection.
“I have over 200 patches, and they really mean a lot to me because they inspire me more,” William said.
This lemonade stand means so much to William and his family. His mom says he makes their family proud every day with his giving nature and compassion for others.
“He sees what police officers are going through and that they don’t get enough local support, and he sees that they are here to protect us and that they are kind, and he just wants to be kind back to them,” Colleen said.
The lemonade stand travels all over the Valley.
He’s been in Boardman and Howland already with plans to be at local businesses as well.
To see where he’s going to be next or if you would like to donate to First Aid Lemonade, check out William’s patch collection or schedule a meal delivery, you can call 330-501-0905 and check out his Facebook page.