8-year-old sets up Central Park lemonade stand to help friend who lost everything in devastating Maui wildfires

An eight-year-old hopes his lemonade stand in New York’s Central Park will generate enough money to help his friend Ryan, who he met while on vacation earlier this year.

Ryan lives on Maui and lost his home during the wildfires that quickly took over the island and as of Sunday night, claimed the lives of 96 people.

After learning about the devastating fires, Julian Lin, also known as Julian Business Man, and his mom, Julie Meerschwan, got to work on collecting donations.

“It’s shocking and it’s devastating, and I am bleeding for the people there and we want to make any small contribution that we can,” Meerschwan told WABC.

Upon learning about the destruction left behind by the devastating wildfires, the young entrepreneur wanted to do his best to help the people of Maui, especially his friend Ryan.

Ryan was a boat guide for Julian and his mother when they visited the island in February, and the two formed a friendship.

Not only did Ryan lose his home, but so did his family. And according to a GoFundMe, Ryan’s uncle went missing after he went back to the family house to try and save it from the blaze.

GoFundMe / Help my friend Ryan and others in Maui

Between Julian’s lemonade stand and his GoFundMe, Meerschwan said her son was able to raise $2,408.50 as of Sunday. The money was split three ways.

One third went to Ryan, while another third went to Maui United Way, and the final portion went to the Maui Humane Society.

“It will go to my family paying mortgage I’m crying right now because of how you guys thought of me,” Ryan said in a statement shared on the GoFundMe.


Julian, you are such a generous little boy! Thank you for thinking of those who are suffering in the aftermath of the horrific devastation on Maui.

Even in times of need many adults aren’t as thoughtful and giving as you.