Youngsters’ campaign to help hospital ‘rocks’

Youngsters’ campaign to help hospital ‘rocks’

Young entrepreneurs Adrian and Julian Lepore, with Jack McDonald and his brother Tyler, who took this photo, are selling rocks to raise money for Rhode Island Hospital.

CUMBERLAND – Some local children are proving you’re never too young to make a difference.

Twin 8-year-olds Adrian and Julian Lepore have teamed up with their friends Jack and Tyler McDonald to raise money for Rhode Island Hospital amid the coronavirus outbreak.

With much of the state shut down to prevent the spread of the virus, the young entrepreneurs launched a creative campaign to help one of the hospitals working to save lives. The low-overhead idea? selling rocks.

While their parents questioned the idea (who, they thought, would spend money on a rock?), they supported the group and praised their entrepreneurial spirit.

In one week of business, the Lepores and McDonalds have raised $33 for Rhode Island Hospital by selling rocks they collect in their neighborhood.

Adrian and Julian’s father Daniel said the boys would often hunt for and collect rocks and stones before social distancing, competing for the best finds.

“One morning in March after watching the morning news, Julian suggested out of the blue selling them and donating the money to the hospital. He said the hospital needs help,” Daniel said. “There was no prompting.”

Masked up, the boys set up a table in the yard, displaying their rocks in little buckets of water. The Ashton Elementary School students take turns serving as merchant, in between participating in distance learning school lessons.

“Julian has fired Adrian a few times,” Daniel joked. Learning important lessons in management, Julian has realized he needs the help and quickly re-hires his brother.

Two neighbors have paid more than $10 each for a rock to help the cause. Daniel said he was blown away.

He contacted Rhode Island Hospital, and a staff member said they would gladly accept the donation and a visit from the young entrepreneurs when social distancing is over.

Their said of hischildren, “This was a pure act of kindness from their hearts, and we are very proud of them for acting so unselfishly.”