Spencer Bergman really wanted a dog, and his mom said if he could save up $500, he could get one. His pal Spencer Tarbet needed to save money for Scout camp. So the two boys, ages 13 and 12, set up a lemonade stand over the summer in their Round Hill, Va., neighborhood and started hawking the tart treat to reach their goals, the Washington Post reports. They were closing up shop one day when a cigarette-puffing, shirtless man who looked to be about 20 asked them for change—and stole the $35 they had made that day, cursing at them and threatening to beat them if they told anyone what happened (the suspect was never caught). The boys were distraught, but their community rallied around them.
The manager of the music store where Spencer T. takes viola lessons gave him a signed copy of one of Jeff Kinney's Diary of a Wimpy Kid books, as well as $15 and a note that said "please don't lose faith in people." The boys didn't have to, because money and words of encouragement started pouring in from all over town; they were heartened enough to set up the stand and start selling again. The biggest surprise of all: a video call from Kinney himself (his brother owns the music store that helped Spencer T. out). Kinney gave each boy $75 and talked about his own struggles and how he overcame them, the Post notes. The happy ending: Spencer T. paid his parents what he owed them for Scout camp, and Spencer B. now has Coconut, his new Westie. (This boy raised almost $3,500 with his lemonade stand for the city of Detroit.)