SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Canceled events around the Sacramento region led to a big boom in business for local fireworks stands as more people try to make their own Fourth of July fun. But this year, this sales explosion means more to organizations behind the booth.

In Natomas, Jonathan Koskovich is running his first fireworks stand in years for Victory Outreach South Sacramento, a church organization trying to make up for the loss of funding due to the pandemic this year.

“What we make here is going to carry us,” Koskovich said. The church hopes this fundraiser helps them recover from the pandemic as they raise money to keep their men’s recovery program intact.

“We haven’t been able to take men into our home because of what’s going on,” Koskovich continued.

These fireworks stands are a light during the dark days for several local groups.

“Totally caught me by surprise,” Jim Scherschlet said. “Fundraising activities – a lot of things really went out the window for a lot of people and organizations.”

Scherschlet is working a booth for the American Legion in Citrus Heights, and donating a portion of their profits to a local Boy Scout Troop.

Around the corner, Chris Horner said his Citrus Heights stand is seeing a massive boom in sales, too. They’re up three times more than from last year and going into Friday already at $29,000 in sales.

That money will be used to help the Sunrise Little League, whose season was cut short.

“You would think all the expenses we had weren’t having to be paid, but that’s not the case,” Horner said. “We have all sorts of people coming out of the woodwork to support us.”

More people are spending their cash on fireworks as canceled events spark more interest in at-home fireworks than usual. For customers like Daniel Hilt, Fourth of July looks and feels different this year.

“Not being able to really be able to be close with my family is different,” Hilt said. “But it’s going to be okay.”

For Hilt, being able to support local charities and have some safe, homemade 4th fun makes a major difference.

“It makes me feel a bit more normal,” Hilt said. “Getting away from all the thoughts of what’s going on.”

Even with at-home fireworks – county health officials still stress keeping Independence Day celebrations limited to immediate household members only, with no gatherings of any kind.

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