For a 7-year-old, Izzy Ruiz already has given back quite a bit to her community.
Last year, the Elk Grove Village girl's lemonade stand raised more than $600 for Chicago Shriners Hospital. This year, with a second lemonade stand to be held July 29 at First Presbyterian Church in Elk Grove, she'll raise funds for Seeds to Succeed: Growing Literacy, an organization that provides books, backpacks and school supplies for Elk Grove Township District 59 students in need.
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Izzy's efforts recently earned her the Youth Service Award from the Community Character Coalition of Elk Grove.
"She's so young; she's just a little bitty of a thing," Coalition member Betsy Boswell said. "To be able to accomplish what she accomplished last year was amazing to us."
Izzy felt good about receiving the award and her mother, Donna Ruiz, was impressed.
"In this world, everyone just focuses on the negative, so it's a breath of fresh air to recognize the good," Donna Ruiz said.
Izzy wanted to have a lemonade stand after seeing one a couple of years earlier, so she and her mother sat down and planned the event. Izzy decided to donate its proceeds to Chicago Shriners Hospital, where her mother worked while a nursing student at Harper College nursing program.
Just like last year, Izzy and her mom are collecting donations for the supplies and fliers promoting the upcoming lemonade stand.
"It was her idea from day one to give (the proceeds) away," Ruiz said. "She does have this heart where she helps kids."