July 14, 2024
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When Life Gives You Lemons… Yavneh Students Create ‘The Lemonade Project’

On the week leading up to a new school year, a couple of entrepreneurial fifth graders at Yavneh Academy made an old-fashioned lemonade stand. Each boy went home with a few dollars profit. But when a few days later the boys mixed this concept with a desire to help Hurricane Harvey victims, they gathered a few more friends and helpers and took their lemonade stand to another level. When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. These Yavneh Academy fifth graders chose to make a pop-up lemonade stand to benefit Hurricane Harvey victims.

They gathered to make signs, fliers and a hurricane meter shaped like a glass of lemonade. On the meter they set a goal to make $100 toward the cause. They also discussed and planned logistics: what the price of each item would be, where to place the lemonade stand, and what goods to have at the stand. “How could we gather people?” they asked. “We could ride on our bikes and ask people to join!” “We should give out free pretzels so that people are thirsty for lemonade!” Ideas were flowing over a shared pizza pie.

They decided that there would be no “price” and no “customers.” At a charity pop-up lemonade stand, a person could technically show up and donate as much as they wish. A sign was made that said: Lemonade stand. $1 per item. All donations go to Hurricane Harvey victims. Door to door, boys distributed fliers in their Tenafly neighborhood. Parents helped inform friends on Facebook; Kehilat Kesher sent out a community-wide email listing this lemonade stand as one of many ways the synagogue community could help.

The following day, Labor Day, the day before school started, when most students have the pre-school start jitters, these boys gathered together at a park in Tenafly with their lemonade, signs and cookies. They waited and hoped for a few customers. Slowly but surely, local Tenafly neighbors, members of the Yavneh community and members of the Kesher community converged at the stand. Neighbors volunteered their lawns to advertise and place balloons in order to gather more donations. Neighbors walked over, stopped by, chatted and donated. The money jar started filling up and the hurricane meter poured over the top after about an hour.

This lemonade stand truly showed children that they could make a difference and it showed them that a charity lemonade stand can bring many different communities together. At the end of the day, a donation of $2,400 was sent to American Red Cross for Hurricane Harvey. Perhaps this lemonade stand will help inspire your community and many others to come together in an effort to help out Hurricane Irma victims or to support a charity of your choice. Please post pictures of your pop-up lemonade stand with #lemonadeproject #popuplemonade.

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