NEWTON, Iowa -- It may be the official food of summer but in Newton hot dogs are being served by an unusual vendor. "It is fun to get outside during the day because most other kids would be playing video games or watching TV," said 10-year-old River Miller. Miller has set up his Heavenly Hot Dogs stand in the parking lot of his father`s Integrity Cleaning and Restoration business. River said, "Usually I start around 10 or 11 am and then I go until two or three."
Like a true entrepreneur River`s menu is adventurous and features anything from a normal hot dog to Chicago dogs with jalapenos and celery salt but feeding someone's hunger in Newton is secondary. The real mission, to help people in Zambia, Africa. "I'm going to raise it for a preschool and corn for a whole village," said River.
His mother Janelle Miller is a pastor at Christian Life Church and will take money raised to Zambia on a mission trip. She said, "The biggest option is $4,000 to dig a well in a small village that won`t have any water otherwise. If we don't quite make that $500 will feed an entire village."
A percentage of the proceeds and 100% of the tips will go towards helping people in Zambia. "It is very exciting when you see a young boy that age stepping out to touch other lives," said Jonah Kaware who is a missionary from Uganda. He says he sees how important each hot dog can be for Zambia. "If a well is being constructed in Zambia it will be a great opportunity for that society and be very encouraging, yes."
Encouragement that has made for a proud moment for River`s parents. "We try to just take their natural gifts and give them space to do what they are passionate about," said Janelle. A passion with purpose.
Last year, River's lemonade stand provided 100 chickens for an orphanage and two acres of corn in Uganda. You can check out his face book page at Heavenly Hot Dogs.