Greenville Boy’s Giving Going Global

IMG_0312Most eight-year-old boys are out playing with friends and enjoying their time off from school, but Sam Judah McLendon of Greenville is not like most boys his age. He and his younger sister, Ann Knox, have spent their summer break raising money.

They aren’t setting up their lemonade stands to raise money for a new bike, but to help someone else have access to clean water. It’s an issue that weighs heavy on Sam Judah’s heart.

“Some kids my age, and other ages, don’t have clean water that they can drink like we do,” he says. “It makes me feel a little… Sad that other people can’t bathe and can’t drink and can’t do anything with it. And most of the kids my age are pretty much dying because of this water.”

Sam Judah’s mother noticed her son’s prayers had been focusing on giving back and helping those who were less fortunate.

“I think he saw that, prayers could be answered through actually helping people,” says LeAnn McLendon. “That, you know, this wasn’t something that wasn’t just an abstract thing. That this was something he could put his hands on.”

So they started doing some research. They found the organization Samaritan’s Purse, a non-profit that helps people in a number of ways. Sam Judah was specifically interested in their Clean Water Program, that helps give families water filters and drills and rehabilitates drinking water wells in Third World countries.

Sam Judah and his sister set up their first fundraiser outside his church on Father’s Day with a goal of raising $1,000 by the beginning of August. He exceeded his goal amount on day one, raising more than $1,100.

“You know, you pray that your children want to help others, that they have a kind and loving heart,” says LeAnn. “That they want to serve others, and that they go out into the community and actually do that. And to see that, being fulfilled at eight years old? Makes you proud.”

IMG_0313Since that first day, Sam Judah and his sister set up a lemonade stand outside of the Camellia Bakery in downtown Greenville. Their new goal is to raise $3,000 by the beginning of August, but Sam Judah might not stop there.

“I’m gonna ask momma if we can keep on going at least through September, October, November, and December,” he says.

Sam Judah and Ann Knox’s lemonade stand will be set up in front of the bakery again on Thursday, July 21 from 11 to 2. For those who wish to donate online or follow Sam Judah’s story, click here.

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