Zack Francom isn’t your ordinary 11-year-old. With wisdom beyond his years, he’s turned a tiny lemonade stand into a philanthropy that provides wheelchairs for people in developing countries.
“When life gives you lemons, you can do much more than make lemonade,” Zack told People magazine.
“I decided that I wanted to raise enough to buy one all by myself. I thought, ‘What if I couldn’t walk or run or ride my bike? What would that be like?’ I wanted to help make life easier for somebody who couldn’t walk or run and didn’t have money for a wheelchair to help them get around,” Zack said.
Zack sells lemonade at just 50 cents a cup and two cookies for $1 during his annual event, and hundreds of people come to his house in support.
This past April, Zack raised enough funds to purchase 37 wheelchairs.
The chairs were shipped to Guatemala, Guam and several other countries.
Zack’s mom Nancy Bird told People, “There was one lady in Guatemala who crawled for 10 miles with her baby on her back to pick up her wheelchair. What a dramatic change it has made in her life. Stories like this are what keep Zack going.”
But Zack already has plans to expand — he wants to inspire other children to start similar initiatives.
“Imagine if there were hundreds of Zack’s Shacks. Nobody who needs a wheelchair should have to go without one just because they can’t afford it,” Zack said.
Eventually he hopes to fly around the world and deliver the wheelchairs himself.