“Rather than spend his money on himself, he wanted to keep a K-9 safe”
When Luca started his lemonade stand business, his mom assumed he’d use the money to buy something for himself. Little did she know that Luca had plans to buy bulletproof vests for police dogs.
Luca Marchelletta was 10 years old when he started his summertime business, Luca’s Lemonade, in 2022. His stand was off to a great start. He made $60 on his first day in business, but much more was in store.
His mother expected him to buy some toys with his money, so she was very surprised when he told her what he planned to do with his earrings. At the end of his first day in business, she asked him what he wanted to buy, and his response was a total surprise to her:
“Thinking he would be done with his mission I asked him what he wanted to go buy but his response was a complete shock,” Brianne explained. “he said that he had seen a news story recently about a police dog that had been shot and killed while on duty and that some police dogs don’t have bulletproof vests. So, he said that he wanted to buy and donate a bulletproof vest for a police K9 so they would be protected.”
When his mom learned about his goal, she set out to help him raise funds for a worthy cause.
“We did the research and learned that it would be about $800-$1000,” Luca’s mother stated. “I was worried that raising that amount would take a long time and he would become discouraged. However, he quickly proved me wrong.”
So, they began to advertise his mission on their community Facebook page:
“Within minutes of posting people began praising his cause and showed up to lend their support,” his mother explained. “He even had a state trooper show up with his K9 partner to thank him for his efforts. After four hours that day, he earned about $500!”
After much success, Luca was more determined than ever to reach his goal. So, he moved his lemonade stand to the entrance of his neighborhood so more people could see it. His plan turned out to be great because within three hours, with the help of his friends Drew and Ryan, and his younger brother, Zachary, the boys raised $800, enough for a bulletproof vest!
After that, Luca coordinated with the Hanover County Sheriff’s Office to order the vest for K-9 Yoshi. After months of delays, the vest finally arrived in early January so Yoshi is now safer on the job, thanks to Luca, his friends and family, and the community’s support.
But Luca’s plans don’t end there. According to his mother, Luca plans to continue raising money for more police dogs and items for children with special needs. Luca wants to be an engineer when he grows up so he can design better ways to help the military and police.
“He never misses an opportunity to thank anyone for wearing a badge or uniform for their service,” his mother said. “I couldn’t be prouder of the kindness that he shares so easily.”
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