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Sudden support of lemonade stand allows Indianapolis man with autism to give back

Bradley Paulson's love for selling sweet drinks started early when he used to do it with his grandfather.

INDIANAPOLIS — Bradley Paulson has set up a lemonade stand every summer since he was a kid.

"It tastes great. It tastes good and it's refreshing for the summer," said Bradley, now 26.

His love for selling sweet drinks started early when he used to do it with his grandfather.

"He's my best friend," said Brad.

The going price for an ice-cold cup is anywhere from 50 cents to a dollar. Just enough to give him a little spending money and independence. 

Bradley is on the autism spectrum and cannot work a regular 9-to-5 job.

"It's great to be his mom. I've been able to learn a lot from him. He's been able to achieve a lot as an adult. so far," said Brad's mother, Jenny. 

Most summers he would make $5 to $20 here and there.  

This summer, it's been a little slow, so his sister, Alexis, hoping to get him a few new customers, made a post on a local foodie Facebook page asking followers to consider stopping by Bradley's stand.

What she didn't expect was the overwhelming response.

Followers who couldn't stop by sent him more than $300 to support his efforts.

"To see the love that he got, the positivity and support, and how it made him feel so much better, he loved that. And I loved that for him," said Alexis.

This stand is about more than just lemonade. "It helps him work on his communication skills and his social skills and being a part of our community," Jenny said.

Brad plans to put the money back into the stand and expand his offerings. Just recently, he also used some of his earnings to donate food to the Southside Animal Shelter.

"As people do things for you, then we want to help our community and give back," said Jenny.

The family said this whole experience has given them hope.

"After Wednesday, it gives me a lot more relief that people are kind and people are a lot more caring," said Jenny. 

"Thank you so much for coming to support me," said Brad. 

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