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Emouree Johnson pouring lemonade in a cup | Source: YouTube/@CBSEveningNews
Emouree Johnson pouring lemonade in a cup | Source: YouTube/@CBSEveningNews

7-Year-Old Girl Opens Lemonade Stand to Pay for Her Mother's Headstone — She Is Overwhelmed by the Community's Response

Ayesha Muhammad
May 29, 2024
08:55 A.M.

Tiny tears welled in seven-year-old Emouree's eyes as she stood beside the small, flat marker on her mother's grave. Unlike the others with grand stones and vibrant flowers, it whispered loneliness. But Emouree, with a heart full of love, wouldn't let it stay that way. Her quiet determination sparked a heartwarming journey of community support and unexpected twists, forever changing the cemetery and perhaps even her own world.

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A photo of seven-year-old Emouree Johnson, as seen in a video dated April 24, 2024 | Source: TikTok/@unxnown.news

A photo of seven-year-old Emouree Johnson, as seen in a video dated April 24, 2024 | Source: TikTok/@unxnown.news

Emouree's mother, Karli Bordner, passed away unexpectedly on March 13, 2024, just a few days before her 30th birthday. "I woke up with the worst news of my life," said Emouree of the heartbreaking tragedy.

Karli, a single mother, was Emouree's entire world. When Emouree first visited her mom's resting place at the Rehobeth Missionary Baptist Church Cemetery in Guntersville, Alabama, she was devastated to see the modest plaque compared to the grand granite headstones surrounding it.

A modest-looking plaque placed at Karli Bordner's grave, as seen in a video dated April 24, 2024 | Source: TikTok/@unxnown.news

A modest-looking plaque placed at Karli Bordner's grave, as seen in a video dated April 24, 2024 | Source: TikTok/@unxnown.news

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"It felt like [my mom] was being left out," Emouree expressed, describing her distress at the sight of her mother's grave. Her grandmother, Jennifer Bordner, explained to her that the family couldn't afford a proper headstone.

Still reeling from the loss of Karli, another heartbreaking blow struck the grandma-granddaughter duo just weeks later.

But seeing her granddaughter's tears and determination to help, Jennifer knew she had to support Emouree's fundraising effort.

Emouree Johnson with her mom, Karli Bordner, as seen in a post dated May 11, 2024 | Source: Facebook/jennifer.bordner

Emouree Johnson with her mom, Karli Bordner, as seen in a post dated May 11, 2024 | Source: Facebook/jennifer.bordner

It was then that Emouree decided to start a lemonade stand, hoping to collect enough money to buy a headstone for her beloved mother. The stand began with just four lemons, but as word spread, donations quickly poured in.

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Initially, Emouree didn't mention her cause, but soon the community learned about her mission. People from all over Scottsboro flocked to her stand to buy lemonade, with some contributing far more than the asking price of $1 per cup.

Emouree Johnson standing at the lemonade stand, as seen in a video dated April 24, 2024 | Source: TikTok/@unxnown.news

Emouree Johnson standing at the lemonade stand, as seen in a video dated April 24, 2024 | Source: TikTok/@unxnown.news

"The most that we got from one cup of lemonade was $300," Emouree said. And just like that, her simple lemonade stand, combined with the generosity of her neighbors, raised over $15,000.

A monument company, moved by the little girl's story, offered to donate the headstone, allowing the family to save the money for other needs. Emouree's lemonade stand quickly became a symbol of hope and community spirit.

Emouree Johnson with her grandmother, Jennifer Bordner, as seen in a photo dated July 24, 2023 | Source: Facebook/jennifer.bordner

Emouree Johnson with her grandmother, Jennifer Bordner, as seen in a photo dated July 24, 2023 | Source: Facebook/jennifer.bordner

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Not long after, Emouree and her grandma began seeing the ripple effect of their seemingly small but significant effort. Jennifer shared that Emouree was amazed by the outpouring of support.

"[Emouree's] comment was, when all these people came, she couldn't believe so many people cared for her and loved her mommy," Jennifer recounted. The outpouring of love and support from the community became a lifeline for the grieving family.

Emouree Johnson with her grandmother, Jennifer Bordner, as seen in a photo dated July 24, 2023 | Source: Facebook/jennifer.bordner

Emouree Johnson with her grandmother, Jennifer Bordner, as seen in a photo dated July 24, 2023 | Source: Facebook/jennifer.bordner

Still reeling from the loss of Karli, another heartbreaking blow struck the grandma-granddaughter duo just weeks later: Emouree's uncle, Steve, passed away from a sudden heart attack.

The Scottsboro community rallied around Emouree, showing that it truly takes a village to support and mourn together. Local firefighters, police officers, and nurses were among those who visited her stand, buying lemonade and offering their condolences.

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Little Emouree Johnson is pictured holding flowers while sitting beside her mother's grave, as seen in a post dated May 13, 2024 | Source: Facebook/jennifer.bordner

Little Emouree Johnson is pictured holding flowers while sitting beside her mother's grave, as seen in a post dated May 13, 2024 | Source: Facebook/jennifer.bordner

In April 2024, Emouree's story also went viral on social media, with videos of her lemonade stand and touching gesture spreading widely on platforms like YouTube and TikTok. Netizens worldwide were moved to tears by her strength and determination.

"It's the fact that the firefighters, police, and nurses came to buy lemonade😭😭❤️why does this app always have me crying [sic]," wrote one user on TikTok.

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Another commented, "I lost my mom when I was 25 and this broke me. I'm so happy she got the headstone and can visit her momma and see the headstone she worked so hard for to show her love [sic]."

Emouree's story inspired countless messages of support and love from people touched by her actions. "HOW IS SHE SO STRONG OMGGG BABY GURL U ARE A SUPERHERO [sic]," wrote a third commenter.

Many others expressed their desire to hug Emouree and commend her bravery. "Oh how I wish I could give her a big hug. She is so strong," expressed another user.

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"sobbbbbiiiingggg😭😭🥰god bless her and her family and also the sweetest angels that helped her 😭[sic]," noted another user.

"I just wanna give this sweet angel a hug 😭😭," quipped a sixth commenter.

"she must feel so whole seeing that her mommy is not forgotten and her mom must be relieved that her angel is not alone [sic]," divulged a seventh user.

"[I] just know she is loved by her mom and never make her feel left out," said a final user.

Emouree Johnson with her mom, Karli Bordner, as seen in a post dated March 14, 2024 | Source: Facebook/jennifer.bordner

Emouree Johnson with her mom, Karli Bordner, as seen in a post dated March 14, 2024 | Source: Facebook/jennifer.bordner

Despite the tragic loss, Emouree's actions brought her family closer together and garnered the support of their community. Jennifer expressed her gratitude, saying:

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"I hope my daughter can see how amazing this is and how especially wonderful her daughter is. Thank you to everyone and thank God because this was one of the most painful things I ever experienced, and this community has helped me."

The money raised from Emouree's lemonade stand will go a long way in supporting the family, especially since Karli did not have insurance at the time of her death.

Emouree remains in awe of the support she has received. "I didn't know just making a little lemonade would bring this many people to my house. It's fun, but it's unbelievable at the same time," she said.

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A photo of Emouree Johnson, as seen in a post dated April 25, 2024 | Source: Facebook/jennifer.bordner

A photo of Emouree Johnson, as seen in a post dated April 25, 2024 | Source: Facebook/jennifer.bordner

Moreover, the new headstone will be a lasting tribute to Emouree's mom, showing that she is remembered and cherished. Emouree's lemonade stand has raised money and brought people together.

Her simple act highlighted the kindness and generosity of the Scottsboro community. It showed how a young girl's determination to honor her mother can inspire and move people worldwide.

Emouree Johnson is pictured smiling, as seen in a video dated April 24, 2024 | Source: TikTok/@unxnown.news

Emouree Johnson is pictured smiling, as seen in a video dated April 24, 2024 | Source: TikTok/@unxnown.news

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If this story touched your heart, please say a prayer for Emouree's late mom and keep this sweet angel in your thoughts and wishes. In the meantime, check out another poignant story below:

14-Month-Old Toddler Tragically Drowns in Pool – One Year Later, His Parents Hear His Heartbeat Anew

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In a heart-wrenching turn of events in June 2022, Jenny Burns experienced every parent's worst nightmare when she realized her 14-month-old son, Beau, was missing. The tragic incident unfolded at their Dallas, Texas home, leaving the Burns family grappling with the devastating reality.

Jenny, 37, recounted the harrowing moments of that fateful day, stating that when she couldn't find her son and searched for a good three minutes, she knew he was in the pool. She described how, during such situations, one starts hoping and praying.

Beau with his older sister, Emma, as seen in a post dated June 24, 2022 | Source: Instagram/jujubdaily

Beau with his older sister, Emma, as seen in a post dated June 24, 2022 | Source: Instagram/jujubdaily

Jenny's worst fears were realized as she discovered Beau in the backyard pool. With a frantic scream for her husband, Rob Burns, 39, the couple sprang into action, pulling their unconscious son from the water. In those critical moments, Rob initiated CPR, desperately clinging to the hope of a miracle.

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In the midst of their unimaginable loss, Beau's parents found themselves connected to another family's battle for survival.

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"I was praying a miracle would happen. God was there with me," reflected Jenny, vividly recalling the intense and emotionally charged experience. "Rob was able to get [Beau's] heartbeat back by the time the ambulance came and they airlifted him to Children’s Medical Center Dallas."

The subsequent seven days proved to be an agonizing ordeal for the Burns family, with their 10-year-old daughter Emma also caught in the emotional whirlwind. "I thought for a good four days that there was hope that he would survive," revealed Jenny. "But on the fourth day, the doctor told us he was not coming back, and we had to decide what we would like to do."

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Faced with the most harrowing decision, Jenny and Rob were introduced to the possibility of organ donation, a choice that promised a semblance of purpose amidst their profound sorrow. Reflecting on the difficult choice, Rob expressed, "My mom and my grandmother were both nurse practitioners, so I grew up in a household that was very focused on medical education and understanding the importance of decisions you make."

In an Instagram post from June 25, 2022, the Burns family disclosed their decision to donate their beloved son's organs. "We are so proud of our son! Beau would be providing the gift of life to 2 children and an adult! Our baby is a hero. We love you, bubba," read the post.

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Despite the profound grief, Rob saw an opportunity for Beau's legacy to be one of hope and renewal. He conveyed that the day was exceptionally challenging for them, emphasizing his awareness that someone would receive that miraculous phone call, making it an obvious decision for him.

Jenny supplemented her account by explaining that it required a leap of faith. She emphasized the necessity to trust that the decision they were making was for the best and highlighted how challenging it was at that moment. She expressed uncertainty about knowing what it would be like considering they were saving lives.

In an emotional Instagram post, the Burns family was seen saying goodbye, with the Child Life staff at Children’s Dallas assisting them in taking Beau's hand and foot imprints, a memory they would cherish forever.

You can read the rest of the story by clicking here.

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