For many people, Christmas is a time to be charitable. But for two of our youngest long-time donors, Christmas was the inspiration for a new summer tradition.
“When we were little we would drive by and pay the angels,” says 10-year-old Julia,
“but our lemonade stand helps us to give more.”
Julia and younger sister Stephanie, 7, run a lemonade stand every Mother’s Day and save a third of their profits to give to the Angel Squad Angels next holiday season.
While pink and yellow lemonade and cookies are only sold one day of the year, the pint-sized philanthropists have many preparations to make beforehand. They paint signs with dad, bake chocolate chip and lemon cookies with mom, (grandma sends shortbread) and the week before, the sisters hit the sidewalks on their bikes, visiting their neighbours to hand out flyers, putting up signs and getting their message out. They also invite friends and spread the word at school to ensure the event is a success. This summer marks the fourth year of their stand and the success continues to grow.
Julia offers some advice to other would-be lemonade philanthropists, “You can offer a drive-thru service,” she suggests, “and you must have taste tests.”
Just like the MHC Angel Squad they raise money for, the girls will even bring lemonade and cookies to drivers who stop on the residential street. A credit service is arranged for change-less and thirsty joggers.
When asked who was her favourite customer, seven-year-old Stephanie recalls, “The police because he didn’t arrest us!”
Mom Jenny-Lou says the annual event becomes a much-anticipated time of community, with neighbors coming together, and many merry meetings, including a surprise bus-full of boarding students from Japan trying out their first ever lemonade stand experience.
The girls plan on continuing the stand for years to come, and are already making plans for this year’s event, which will be held for about two hours on Mother’s Day afternoon.