Addison Patane 6, is not your average barista. After seeing a commercial urging help for California’s wildfire victims, she was inspired to serve others. Addison had prior success with a neighborhood lemonade stand. Like any savvy business entrepreneur, she changed her menu for the season. With just an art table, a few supplies, and a little help, this young miss set up a hot chocolate stand in her front yard. But, the profits made in the fall of 2018 didn’t go towards buying a new pair of dance shoes. She donated all of the proceeds to the American Red Cross.
Addison’s story began to percolate after a trip to a craft store. There, her mother purchased materials to make blankets for CHP employees that lost their homes in the Camp Fire. Addison wanted a project of her own but didn’t know how someone her age could make a difference.
The following day, Addison saw a commercial about a little girl who collected turkeys for fire victims. The story turned on a light bulb. Addison could launch a hot chocolate stand.
Kayla Patane, 26, was thrilled to learn that her daughter wanted to serve up cups of kindness for a cause. Right away, the two purchased all of the necessary supplies.
Classmate Charlotte Reineck, 7, of Cali Calmecac Language Academy joined in the fundraising efforts. Addison and Charlotte crafted a sign that read, “Hot Cocoa 50 Cents for Fire Victims.” In two hours, the first-graders made a total of $42.
There were “a lot of customers,” recounts Addison. “One person even paid five dollars for a single cup!” Customers had the option of whipped cream and marshmallows at no additional cost.
So, why does Addison help strangers? In her own words, “I think it’s nice doing nice things because it’s good to share and to be nice to other people.”
Addison’s connection to fire victims is also personal. Her maternal grandparents, Gina and Casey Meints, lost their home in the Tubbs Fire. Kayla explains that her parents lived in her family’s home after the fire. That’s how Addison first learned of the Red Cross. “They went to the Red Cross right after the fires where they were treated with so much empathy and given help,” Kayla reflects. “The resources available for whom to call for different things and their overall support were extremely helpful. We were very appreciative of everything they did.”
“GiGi and Papa had a hard time, but things are getting better,” Addison pledges. Their new house should be rebuilt this month.
When Addison is not a local beverage artisan or spending time with family, she enjoys reading, math, and dance. After school, she takes ballet lessons. When she grows up, she would like to pursue dance professionally or become a veterinarian. A career in nursing or teaching are also top contenders.
Kayla adds, “Addison has had a nurturing and empathetic nature since she was little. It will be amazing seeing all she does as she grows up.”
Addison hopes students at her school, as well as adults, read about her day managing a hot chocolate stand. She hopes her story will create more pop-up kindness projects that benefit people in need.