TULSA, Okla. — At just six years old, Yolani Moncada has a passion for helping others.
"I do it because it just feels good," Yolani said. "It feels good to be there for someone when they need it."
Currently, the second-grader is planning a surprise birthday party for her friend Addison in an attempt to lift her spirits after going through a hard few weeks.
Five days before Addison's seventh birthday, her 34-year-old mother, Amanda Porter, suffered a stroke.
“My speech started slurring really bad, my face was drooping down, everything on the right side completely collapsed," Mrs. Porter said. "I thank God that my husband was there, he took me to the hospital."
A few days after, implemented COVID-19 safety restrictions meant Addison didn't get to see her mother.
“I was in the ICU for about 5 days then transferred to the rehab facility in St. Francis and was there for another week and a half,” Mrs. Porter said. "At that point with COVID they were kicking out all visitors, my husband had to fight to stay with me."
When Yolani found out, she knew she wanted to help her friend.
"It made me sad that her mom was sick and that she didn't even get to have a birthday party," Yolani said. "So that's why I wanted to give her a party but needed money so that's why I wanted to sell lemonade."
For the last three weeks Yolani, with help from her mom and grandmother, sold lemonade in Jenks, Tulsa, and Sapulpa. Her family helped her pick corners to sell lemonade where there is a garage sale nearby.
"It's brought communities together and its brought joy," Tami Esau, Yolani's grandmother said. "So many people have been willing to help."
Members of the Jenks and Tulsa community, Sapulpa police and Animal Control, and others from out of state donated gifts or money to birthday fundraiser.
To date, Yolani has raised a bit over $200. Now she is planning to host the surprise birthday party for Addison on Friday. Yolani is inviting her whole second-grade class to celebrate.
"I'm happy to see all of my friends," Yolani said. "I'm excited to celebrate my friend."
Addison still has no idea about the surprise on Friday but everyone involved is excited.
"It will be such a nice break from everything that's been going on," Mrs. Porter. "They have such a unique bond and it is so good and encouraging to see service and loving unconditionally, and from the perspective of a six-year-old."
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