On Monday morning, severe storms packing winds of up to 85 miles per hour struck Michiana. Some may have been caught off guard, but not Ethan Strite. He loves weather and has 4 weather radios in his house to warn of impending storms. He wants to make sure others are safe, too.
He decided to run a lemonade stand to help raise money to buy weather radios, and give them to those who can't afford them. He originally wanted to donate the radios to Joplin, MO, but his dad convinced him they are needed locally as well.
He has done the lemonade stand a few times already, and will continue through the summer. He also plans to do some extra chores around the house. He’s hoping to be able to buy a lot of radios, 20 to 30, in fact.
At 30 bucks a piece, that’s a lot of lemonade, but he’s up for the challenge. His efforts come at a time when there is a big need.
Michael Pennington, Deputy Director of the Elkhart County Emergency Management Agency, says there is a definite need for more weather radios. They only got a few from the State this year, and those have already been distributed to underprivileged families. With Ethan’s efforts, they will be able to help out more families this year.
Mike had high praises for Ethan: “It’s just a great thing to look at your friends and say, “you know what, there’s a difference we can make in our community.” And even at 8 and 9 years old he’s making a difference in somebody’s life that may not be able to have this. He’s just giving up his time and his efforts and his talents to be able to do that, and what a great way to be able to give back to your community.”
For Ethan, it’s not about the recognition; he sees the bigger picture: helping to keep people safe.
Both WNDU and Midland Radio have donated weather radios to get Ethan started.
Ethan plans to do more lemonade sales through the summer when he can. He will set up shop at the Elkhart Township Fire Dept. at the corner of Greene and Lincoln in Goshen.
If you would like to donate directly, here's the address:
Elkhart County Emergency Management Office
26861 County Road 26
Elkhart, IN 46617