Kids’ business profits go to help others

The Homer Sour Girls is comprised of five sweet and business-minded girls — 8-year-olds Jocelyn Stillwell, Evelyn Sherwood, Jasmine Kupetz and Katie Miller, and10-year-old Natalia Sherwood — who are raising money for Homer’s community organizations one refreshment stand at time.

It started with lemonade. The lip-puckering drink was perfect to sell in the summer to locals and tourists alike as relief from the unrelenting Alaska sun. The girls’ group name also came about as a result.

“It started out as fun, and it’s still fun,” Jocelyn said. “When we ran out of materials, the money we made, we bought some more stuff and some of it we gave to charity.”

When the girls counted up their money, Jocelyn’s parents Stephanie and Aaron Stillwell suggested that they put their earnings back into the business.

“I think that in the first few days they raised $75, which was awesome,” Aaron said. “We said if you were smart, you’d turn back around and invest that money into your stand and then you can turn around and do it again and make more money. They did and I helped them figure out how much they would spend on merchandise and they did the math on it. They have done so much on their own.”

The girls also decided to donate their profits to charity, as they had so much money they didn’t know what to do with it.

All the decisions in the group are made unanimously. They first chose KPBSD Students in Transition, Kachemak Bay Conservation Society and Homer Community Food Pantry, donating $50 to each organization. For the past couple of months, the Sour Girls have been raising money to support SPARC, the South Peninsula Athletic and Recreation Center now going up on the Sterling Highway.

“They’re really motivated to earn money for SPARC because they want a place to play when the weather’s bad,” Stephanie said.

As they added to their tills, the girls also occasionally made baked goods such as cookies at their stand as well. Once the temperatures turned colder, the girls decided to switch over to hot chocolate.

“We’re just going to keep the Sour Girls name when we start selling hot chocolate in case people get confused,” Evelyn said.

Most recently, the girls showed up at the Procrastinators Fair in the Homer High School Commons on Dec. 17.

In addition to the five girls, Jocelyn’s 5-year-old brother Nolan has been involved every step of the way, Aaron said. The girls call him their security guard. “He watches all the merchandise when they’re out and about and makes sure no one messes with it. He helps carry everything around and even sells, so he’s involved,” Aaron said.

Outside of the core group of five girls and their security guard, other friends have started to come along with the Sour Girls as well. The Sour Girls were even recognized by the Kachemak Bay Conservation Society, who used the money donated by the girls to sponsor an art contest.

“It’s fun to watch them start a little nonprofit organization,” Aaron said.

The girls enjoy being able to help the community while hanging out with their friends.

“It’s very fun because you get to work with friends, you also get to sell stuff, make money,” Evelyn said.