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Little girl supports the homeless with lemonade stand

Posted at 6:25 PM, Jan 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-23 21:31:17-05

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — 10-year-old Bella Ludwick, first learned about a man named Richard who was homeless and died on the streets of Bakersfield last week.

His cause of death is still unknown, however, Bella said she still felt a calling to help spread awareness surrounding the homeless issue so she decided to use her lemonade stand to help those in need.

It was a story Bella said she couldn't ignore.

"I felt sad because well he died and it's really sad," Bella Ludwick said.

Bella said she first learned about a homeless man named Richard from her mother, Christie Ludwick, who works at the Bakersfield Homeless Center.

"Our jobs development crew at Bakersfield Homeless Center had found a homeless man dead on the sidewalk," Bella's Mother and The Fund Development Director of The Bakersfield Homeless Center, Christie Ludwick said.

That night Christie returned home and shared Richard's story with Bella and her other kids, but Richard's story hit Bella differently.

"She cried and we cried together," Christie said.

The emotion stirred inside of Bella but she said it was the perfect ingredient for change.

"I decided to do my lemonade stand to raise enough money for the Bakersfield Homeless Center," Bella said.

Bella used her Christmas gift of a lemonade stand to sell something sweet and give back.

"I was scared that no one would want to donate or even help out," Bella said.

According to Bella, she has raised only 50 dollars so far, but she hopes her lemonade stand is creating more than just a buzz for taste buds in the community.

"I think a lot of other people will make a difference in this world to help them out," Bella said.

Homeless shelters in the community told 23ABC News they see a larger influx of homeless people during the winter months.

Local leaders at Flood Ministries in Bakersfield, who conduct outreach to the homeless, are now calling on the Kern County Coroner's Office and others across the state to make sure stories like Richard's are documented.

"We don't know the cause of his death, but it sure looked like the elements might have played a role. We do know that people do pass away each year on the streets in Kern County because of the weather," Flood Ministries Official, Jim Wheeler said.

Officials said you can donate a coat or anything that helps during the cold winter months to The Bakersfield Homeless Center and The Mission at Kern County.

You can also find where Bella is setting up shop with her lemonade stand by following her journey on instagram @bhccrews or @christiee_diane