Lemonade Stands Really Do Make a Difference

Did you know that kids all over the world start and run lemonade stands to raise money for something they believe in?

I’m sure you have read articles or have seen news stories of young entrepreneurs running lemonade stands for the recent hurricane and earthquake victims but I bet you didn’t know that kids are running lemonade stands every week to make a difference.  You are probably questioning how I can I possibly know this? Since I started E-seedling to cultivate tomorrow’s entrepreneurs in 2015 (you can learn more about the e-seedling story at www.eseedling.com), one of my daily Google Alerts is set up for lemonade stands. I created and started using a lemonade stand team competition activity in 2008 for the youth entrepreneur camp I direct and run for middle school students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  It has become the favorite activity in the camp and the learning was tremendous that I quickly realized the power a lemonade stand and become hooked (Check out my book More Than a Lemonade Stand for more information on the activity and the camp).

“Every day I see what kids are doing to help others and make a difference via lemonade stands.”

At first, I posted one a week on my More Than a Lemonade Stand Facebook page but quickly realized it was very hard to pick just one.  So it dawned on me that featuring the concept as a whole, some of the organizations that focus on utilizing lemonade stands as a model for learning and making a difference and some of the unique ways kids have used them to make a difference would be a good way to support lemonade stands and young entrepreneurs.

3 Organizations that use Lemonade Stands to Make a Difference:

  • Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer is a non-profit organization founded by Alex Scott and her family. Alex was diagnosed at age 1 with cancer and at age 4 announced she wanted to start a lemonade stand to raise funds for the doctors and the hospital that were helping her with her cancer so they could help other kids too.  By age 8 in 2004, when she passed, she had raised $2,000 for her hospital.  The foundation is her legacy and has continued with the help of her family to raise money for childhood cancer. Their website https://www.alexslemonade.org/ states that they have raised more than $150 million funding over 800 pediatric cancer research projects nationally.
  • Lemonade Day was founded in Houston, Texas in 2007 by Michael Holthouse, a successful entrepreneur. It has grown from 2,700 kids in Houston to over 1 million children in North America. Lemonade Day has a series of lessons that teach kids how to start and run a business which culminates in the running a lemonade stand in their community on lemonade day. The program promotes and inspires kids to work hard, make a profit, spend some, save some and share some by giving back to their community. You can learn more at: https://lemonadeday.org/
  • At the heart of the E-seedling youth entrepreneur experiential curriculum is the lemonade stand team competition to raise money for the program’s scholarship fund. Starting in 2015, The More Than a Lemonade Stand curriculum teaches young entrepreneurs ages 10 and up how to choose a business idea, start their own business, learn business basics and run a real business (the lemonade stand). It does this through hands-on experiential learning including games, guest entrepreneurs, field trips, presentations and the lemonade stand team competition. The curriculum is currently used by 30 schools and organizations worldwide. You can learn more at http://eseedling.com/

 

Some of the causes that kids are running lemonade stands for:

-Hurricane Victims
-Earthquake Victims
-Cancer Victims & Research
-Classmate’s School Lunch Debt
-Diabetes Research
-Nonprofit Organizations in their area
-Friends and families in their area dealing with a crisis
-Toys for kids whose families can’t afford them

I think the greatest thing about Lemonade Stands is that it is a simple way for kids to have fun, learn something and make a difference all at the same time.  Kids really want to make a difference and almost everyone has been affected to some degree by the causes above. I can’t think of a better way to spend a Saturday afternoon then to start a lemonade stand!

Julie Ann Wood has been teaching young entrepreneurs for the past 10 years by using experiential learning activities including the More Than  a Lemonade Stand curriculum to teach entrepreneurship and life skills, the Biz Ops Game to teach business operations and the Team Lemonade Stand to teach collaboration, teamwork, creativity, and business. For more information visit www.eseedling.com

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