The air was chilly as my friends and I walked around the playground. We stopped at the red swing set. Usually, I loved to swing high and feel the wind blow through my hair. But when I sat down this time, I didn’t move. Ruth and Amruta sat in the swings next to me and didn’t swing either.
“I’m scared,” Amruta said. “Are you?”
I kicked the sand under my feet. “Yeah. Especially when I watch the news.”
“Me too,” Ruth said. “I’ve slept in my mom’s bed all week.”
Last week there had been a terrorist attack. Everyone was talking about it. Mom told me a terrorist attack was when bad people hurt other people who haven’t done anything wrong. I didn’t understand everything that had happened, but it made me want to cry.
After Mom tucked me into bed that night, I couldn’t fall asleep. I kept thinking about the people who had died or been hurt. How did their families feel? I wanted to help them, but I didn’t know how.
When I got home from school the next day, Mom looked a little more cheerful. “Our neighborhood is going to have a lemonade stand. We’ll raise money for the firefighters who helped during the attack. Do you want to help?”
“Yes! How will the money help the firefighters?” I asked.
“Well, it could help them pay for doctor visits. Or it could help their families,” Mom said.
“Let’s do it,” I said. Finally, something I could do!
On Saturday, Mom, my brother, and I spent all morning baking Mom’s special triple-chocolate-chip cookies to sell at the lemonade stand.
That afternoon we carried trays of cookies to the street corner. Our neighbors were waiting for us with pitchers of lemonade and plastic cups. A boy from school waved at me.
“Hey, Aaron!” I said. “Are you helping sell stuff too?”
“Yeah! This lemonade stand was my mom’s idea.”
“Cool! Want to try a cookie?” I asked.
After eating chocolatey cookies and sipping sweet lemonade, Aaron and I hung up signs that said, “Lemonade Stand” and “Help the Firefighters!” All afternoon Aaron and I waved at cars, poured lemonade, and traded delicious cookies for crisp dollar bills.
Even when people didn’t stop, they honked their car horns and waved as they drove by. Mom said it meant they thought we were doing a good thing.
Then Aaron’s mom passed around a card to send to the firefighters. It had pink and red hearts on it. I signed my name and wrote, “Thank you for saving lives!” I drew a heart and a smiley face too.
By the end of the day, I was tired, but I couldn’t stop smiling.
“I feel better now,” I told Mom as we walked home.
“I’m so glad. When you help others, you are being like Jesus. And the Holy Ghost can help you feel safe and happy.”
When I went to bed that night, I thought about how happy the firefighters would be when they got the money and card. And I thought about how happy Heavenly Father is when we serve others. I snuggled up in my blankets and smiled. I wasn’t scared anymore.
When Hurricane Harvey hit Houston, Texas, USA, Hailey and London wanted to help. They saw news stories about libraries whose books had been ruined in the flood. Hailey and London love reading, so they decided to raise money for new books. They made more than 165 “Texas Strong” stickers. People from all over bought the stickers. Hailey and London donated all the money to their favorite library in Houston.