When five-year-old Cooper Wallweber saw a news story about a volunteer firefighter who was injured in a shooting at an Applebee's in Missouri, he immediately wanted to help. With the help of his adult sister Olivia, Cooper set up a lemonade stand to raise money for Kinloch volunteer firefighter Arlydia Bufford, who was one of three people shot at the restaurant last week.
Bufford was eating with her friend, Kimberly Ratliffe-Penton, when a gunman walked inside and started shooting. Ratliffe-Penton was killed, while Bufford and another woman, Lakisha French, were injured.
Bufford has undergone two surgeries since the shooting and is in critical but stable condition. French's injuries were not considered life-threatening.
Cooper and Olivia planned to sell lemonade for two hours, but after word of their fundraiser spread, they were slammed with customers and ended up serving customers for six hours.
"It was like we were a drive-thru service," Olivia said. "It was non-stop."
They ended up raising $1,132 and then received more than $2,000 in donations from people online.
"I don't even know where to begin to thank you all for the support and love we have received today. I am not only speaking to the people who drove their car to the stand and handed Cooper some money. I am speaking to ALL OF YOU!!," Olivia wrote on Facebook.
Cooper and Olivia hope to meet with Bufford's mother in the coming days to deliver the money they raised. The Kinloch Fire Department praised Cooper for his charitable spirit and made him an honorary firefighter.