Although he's only eight years old, Johnny Karlinchak knows what it means to give back to his community.
In late June, a deadly storm hit his hometown, Springfield, Va. It killed two people, caused massive damage and toppled trees onto houses "like a hurricane," as WUSA9 described it.
One of those trees -- a 60-foot oak -- landed on the house of Elissa Myers, Johnny's neighbor. When he saw the damage, reports The Washington Post, Johnny ran to his piggy bank, emptied $1.25 (his life savings, all in quarters), and handed it to Mrs. Myers.
When he learned her deductible was $500 -- considerably more than $1.25 -- the undeterred Johnny set up a lemonade stand.
On his first day, reports the NY Daily News, Johnny earned $21 for the fund. Several days later, that grew to $108. And when he finally met his goal, he kept fundraising. At press time, he'd earned $700.
Interviewed by local radio station WTOP, Johnny explained that when his sister died in a car accident four and a half years ago, "all of our neighbors came and helped," so his decision to help a fellow neighbor just made sense.
And the beauty of this strong, tight-knit community is not lost on Mrs. Myers. “I lost many, many things that day. But things did not make me cry,” Myers said to the Washington Post. “The overwhelming kindness of Johnny did.”
PHOTOS of Johnny Karlinchak, Mrs. Myers, and the lemonade stand:
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