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DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — A 3-year-old North Carolina girl and her mother have come up with a sweet way to help struggling mothers provide for their children.

Ava Lewis opened a lemonade stand in front of her mother's hair salon, with the proceeds going toward helping women facing challenges that include raising children.

"I wanted her to do bracelets, but she said she would rather do lemonade," said Maggie Lewis, Ava's mother.

WTVD reports that on Monday, the mother and daughter dropped off several boxes of baby wipes and a box of diapers to the local Good Samaritan Inn, operated by the Durham Rescue Mission. Lewis said her daughter's actions mirror her own charity, noting that she likes to lend a helping hand to people, either by handing out book bags to students, or passing out the necessities at Thanksgiving and Christmas.

"It's like me being created all over again," she said.

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Lewis also said Tuesday that she and her daughter have gone from selling cups to offering bottles and gallons. While mom makes the lemonade on her days off from the salon, she also says she has to make sure Ava doesn't take too many samples of the inventory. However, Lewis said, Ava has the last word.

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"She gives me the thumbs up," she said.

Lewis said she's received an order from as far away as Atlanta, and that Ava — now nicknamed "the Lemonade baby" — has been requested to speak to a group of children. She also has been asked to serve a church group.

"She may be 3 years old," Lewis said, "but she's a genius."

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