People Taking Action:
The Power of
a Lemonade Stand
July 09, 2012
Brackish Bow Ties
|“We exist temporarily through what we take, but we live forever through what we give.” Barbara Bush
My Apricot Hill believes that the moral fiber engrained in our children is among our greatest personal achievements. Teaching our children to appreciate their good fortune with the understanding that from good fortune comes good deeds is critical to good parenting. Understanding, “doing the right thing because we can, every day” is essential to set them on life’s path. Imprinting the bond of stewardship manifests by example. Demonstrating to your children how, when and why it’s paramount to give back and engage in your community builds the foundation for stewardship.
Summer can linger on without activities and purpose. Long summer days don’t need to linger; they need to come alive. My Apricot Hill can’t think of a better activity to teach values and community while having fun than the classic summertime enterprise, a lemonade stand. We love everything about lemonade stands, they impart life lessons learned helping children to see the fruits of their labors delivering pennies for the piggy bank, as well as lessons in elementary sales, marketing and community relations. Converting the pennies for piggy banks to a charitable cause they believe in is the end game here.
While traditional lemonade stands plant the entrepreneurial seeds the assigned cause imprints philanthropy at an early age. Simple and inexpensive execution; water, lemons and sugar needed! Encourage your children to take ownership by creating signs, decorating the stand, making the goods.
Let your children visit or research charities of interest prior to hanging the “open for business” sign. Not only does this let them buy-in and take ownership for their actions, it builds enthusiasm and sets goals.
While selling plastic cups of lemonade for cents may seem like a simple activity, it’s a big one too. Think back to the centennial anniversary of the Statue of Liberty National Monument in 1986. The Statue of Liberty Foundation, led by former Chrysler CEO Lee Iacocca, gained the buy-in from children across the country to help restore the Statue by collecting pennies resulting in a $100,000 donation to the restoration effort. The true power of a lemonade stand comes from people taking action as evidenced through an impressive organization called Alex’s Lemonade Stand.
Founded in 2000 by a very brave four year old girl battling cancer, Alex’s Lemonade Stand is “fighting childhood cancer one cup at a time.” After undergoing a stem cell transplant shortly before her fourth birthday Alex told her mom, "When I get out of the hospital I want to have a lemonade stand." Her goal was to "help other kids, like they helped me." Alex and her family began hosting lemonade stands in their front yard, raising more than $2,000 the first year.
Inspiring people all over the world to donate and host lemonade stands of their own, Alex’s Lemonade Stand was the spark that lit a fire. Unfortunately, Alex passed away at the age of eight. Alex’s legacy and the imprint of stewardship she passed along to families, friends and communities raised more than $1 million for childhood cancer research.
Today, Alex’s Lemonade Stand continues to fight against childhood cancer by granting funds for innovative research and providing support to, resources and travel programs for families affected by childhood cancer. The sweet little girl’s generous spirit and belief that doing the right thing because she could, every day made a big difference in the lives of many. That’s the power of the lemonade stand.
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