The Lemonade Code

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Community rallies to help boy after his bike is stolen, and he pays it forward

River Peacock (11) of Payson was devastated when his bike was stolen, and after his mother suggested opening a lemonade stand to earn money for a new bike, the community responded so overwhelmingly that he was able to help others as well. Photo by Pete Hansen

Eleven year old River Peacock of Payson woke on April 29 to find that his brand new bike had been stolen. 

His mother, Carrie Peacock had recently taken pictures of her son’s bike, so she posted those pictures on the “Payson News and Goings On” Facebook page.

What came next was something Carrie didn’t expect.

“As soon as I posted about River’s bike, I had comments and messages from strangers asking if they could donate to help buy him a new bike,” Carrie said. 

“The support was wonderful and humbling. We have been in the position of wanting to offer help to others, so we didn’t want to deny these individuals the chance to help. I told River about all of the people who wanted to buy him a new bike, and he said that he didn’t just want to take their money, but he wanted to do something to earn the money. 

Courtesy photo River Peacock (left) and his brother and sister and his new bike used money they earned from a lemonade stand to purchase him a new bike to buy one for another boy who had his stolen.
With all of the public support for his lemonade stand, River Peacock was able to buy a bike for another boy who had his stolen as well. Photo by Pete Hansen

“He also expressed his concern that if his bike was returned, that he would feel bad taking people’s money. We decided to hold a lemonade stand so people could come buy lemonade and cookies.”

So, they did just that, and according to Carrie, there was a steady stream of cars for hours.

“We were there for several hours, and so many people came,” Carrie said. “There were people who would buy a cup of lemonade for $20! When it was all counted up, we ended up with over $600.”

But it wasn’t just money that was donated. When they were just about to close up the stand, a large pickup truck pulled up. It was one of River’s dad’s cousins, who said he wanted to buy some lemonade for his kids. 

However, rather than paying in dollars or cents, he brought out a brand new bike.

“My husband’s cousin had seen the Facebook post about River’s bike being stolen and decided that he was going to go buy him a new bike!” Carrie recalled. “This was a wonderful surprise, and River was just so excited!”

With a new bike and $600, the Peacocks knew that they needed to pay it forward somehow. 

Carrie said that she reached out to her son’s elementary school to see if there was anyone in need of the money. 

Just a few days later, however, news of another stolen bike in the area surfaced.

“Just a few days later, an 8-year-old boy down the street from us had his bike stolen,” Carrie said. “I reached out to his mom, and this was the second time that he had his bike stolen this year, and he was really sad. 

“We decided that this would be the perfect opportunity to pay it forward, so we went and bought him a new bike and a few accessories to go with it to help keep it locked up and safe.”

The same day the 8-year-old boy’s bike was stolen, River’s stolen bike was found dumped in the parking lot of the Polar Queen with only a few scratches and picked up by an officer and returned to River. Carrie said that she was so overwhelmed by the outpouring of generosity by the community, and she and River will continue to pay it forward.

“There is still money left over from the lemonade stand, and we have been looking for opportunities to use the money to continue to pay it forward,” Carrie said. 

“This story may have started out sad, but because of the goddess of so many people, it has turned out to be a very happy story.” (Brown is a Serve Daily contributor.)

Arianne Brown
Arianne Brown
Arianne Brown is a mom of nine who writes columns for many local and national publications. She currently resides in Payson, and enjoys looking for good happenings in her area and sharing them for others to read about. For more of her stories, search "A Mother's Write" on Facebook.

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