Middletown brother and sister’s lemonade stand raising money for Hurricane Harvey relief

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MIDDLETOWN -- Relief efforts for Hurricane Harvey victims continued in Connecticut over the Labor Day holiday with one Middletown family who are doing their part to prove no helping hand is too small to make a difference.

“Well we looked on Facebook and we saw this big flood on Texas,” Ella Tessman said. The 6-year-old said she and her older brother Connor were saddened by what they saw the people of Texas going through and decided to brainstorm ways to try and help.

“Well, we’re doing a lemonade stand to help Texas,” Ella said, describing the idea the brother and sister duo settled on.

Over the Labor Day weekend, the two held a two-day lemonade and iced tea stand, complete with baked goods and free candy, in the Third Congregational Church parking lot, on Miner Street, in Middletown. In their first day they attracted people from as far as Bristol and raised over $300.

“It’s not about what we have, it’s what we can give,” Johanna Tessman, Ella and Connor’s mom said, describing the lesson she believes her children are gaining from the experience.

“Beyond proud, I really am! They’re amazing, they have really big hearts and I love when they’re not afraid to do something nice for other people,” Johanna said.

The lemonade stand gained a lot of attention from neighbors and the church community Sunday and Monday. Ella and Connor also got a helping hand of their own from their closest friend, who was there throughout the day to serve the lemonade and cookies.

The Tessman’s plan to split up the money raised into three separate donations. One will go to the American Red Cross, another will go to a Lutheran disaster relief fund, and the third will go to animal rescue efforts in Texas. The third donation location was specifically requested by Ella herself.