A local fifth-grader known for her lemonade stand, Lexi’s Lemonade, is collecting food, toys and gifts to help local families in need this Christmas.

Alexa “Lexi” Budner has spent six winters giving gifts to children at area hospitals. This year, she is planning to support local families to spread holiday cheer.

“It makes me feel great,” she said. “I love helping out other people. It makes me feel warm inside,” she said.

Over the summer, she used her lemonade stand to give back to local fire departments who were struggling with lack of fundraising during the coronavirus pandemic. She was manning her trailer selling homemade lemonade and snacks about twice per week, and donated about $2,500 to the volunteer fire departments.

The 10-year-old attends St. John the Evangelist Regional Catholic School. She started Lexi’s Lemonade to help earn money for college, and her entrepreneurial venture blossomed into a way to give back to the community. She hopes to attend Penn State University for engineering.

“When I was going around seeing people less fortunate than me, I wanted to help out the community,” she said.

She previously donated toys to Shriner’s Hospitals and WVU Medicine Children’s Hospital. This year, she will give back to people in her own community and help entire families in need of food, clothing and gifts. She plans to help as many families as she can with the donations.

“If we could have 50 or 60 families we could adopt, we’d do that too,” said her dad, Eric Budner. “She likes to give back. She sees the less fortunate people and she likes to help out any way she can.”

Budner said Lexi and her lemonade have become famous. People often recognize her and her stand, and want to stop to take their picture with her. She makes the lemonade herself after perfecting the “old-fashioned fair lemonade” style – a secret recipe.

“She’s a smart kid, and like she said, it warms her heart to help others,” he said. “She makes all the decisions. She’s the boss.”

They plan to reach out to local churches to identify families in need.

Donations can be made by Dec. 11 on Facebook at Lexi’s Lemonade, through Venmo to ebudner1234@yahoo.com, through PayPal at paypal.me/lexislemonade, through email at lexis.lemonade.llc@gmail.com or by contacting Eric Budner at 724-970-0562.

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