Kyleigh Brunette may only be eight years old, but she has a big heart, and she wants to make sure other kids don’t experience the heartbreak she’s been dealing with the past two years.
After her mother explained her father died by suicide, the 8-year-old from Wisconsin set up a lemonade stand as a way to honor her dad and raise awareness.
“We wanted to raise the money in honor of my dad so that no other kid would have to go through losing a parent,” she told TMJ4.
In November 2019, Jordon Wakefield, 32, died by suicide. At the time Kyleigh’s mother, Brittany Brunette-Thimmesch, thought she was too young to know the truth.
“We didn’t want her to start having those feelings of guilt,” she said. “So we waited, but we didn’t want to wait too long because we didn’t want her to hear it from someone else.”
Recently, Kyleigh’s therapist suggested Brittany break the news to her daughter.
‘Kids are going to start talking’
It wasn’t until a few months ago when Brittany shared the devastating news with Kyleigh.
“She needed that closure,” Brittany told People.
Despite the difficult news, Kyleigh was inspired and wanted to help others who found themselves in similar situations.
“After everything she’s been through, to come out on top and to use it to push her and drive her further. That’s just, it’s amazing,” her mom said.
So, the week of her dad’s birthday she set up a lemonade stand and asked only for donations with all the money going towards suicide prevention in honor of her dad.
After two days of fundraising, she closed her stand and was left with $800 in donations. She donated the money to Mental Health America in Sheboygan.
“She wanted to help people that can’t afford services to get the services so that it doesn’t happen to another person, or another kid doesn’t have to go without a parent,” Brittany said.
“I miss my dad a lot and I can’t wait to see him again soon,” Kyleigh said.
Way to go, Kyleigh. Your dad would be so proud!