A 9-year-old North Texas girl's lemonade and baked goods sale raised $11,000 for families of fallen officers.
Payton Alexander of Glen Rose originally hoped to raise around $200. Her mother, Margaret, said they raised $200 within the first 30 minutes of the sale's opening. By the end of the day, she had $11,000 in sales and private donations.
"We were blown away with the generosity of everybody that came together," Margaret Alexander said. "It was cool to see our little community reaching out."
After the July 7 sniper ambush in downtown Dallas that killed five police officers, Margaret explained to Payton that "everyone is not nice" in the world. Payton immediately wanted to do something to help.
"I wanted to help all the police officers that died and wanted to show that there's not just hatred in the world, but love and compassion in the world," Payton said.
Glen Rose is 75 miles southwest of Dallas in Somervell County, off of Highway 67. It has about 2,500 residents. In the week leading up to the sale, Payton hung signs around the town square and went to local businesses to tell them about her plan. She went to the Somervell County Sheriff's Office. Her family created a Facebook page. The community newspaper, The Glen Rose Reporter, published a story in advance.
On Saturday, Payton and her family held the event, called Back the Blue lemonade stand and bake sale, in the town square. Margaret said community members donated all the lemonade and baked goods sold at the stand. Many locals heard about the stand on Facebook and wanted to personally meet Payton.
"When we would start to run out of baked goods, more baked goods would come," Margaret said.
Payton said a police officer came up to her and told her she has a "very strong and loyal heart."
The family presented the check to the Assist the Officer Foundation on Tuesday at a ceremony in Glen Rose. Community members also signed Peyton's hand-made card that says, "We back the blue" that will be placed at the downtown memorial. Payton said she wants the foundation to give the money to the families so they could remember that people care.
"She has a gift of compassion," said Margaret. "She wants to give. She wants to make a difference. She helps anybody and everybody."