I don’t know about your kids but my kids love hosting lemonade stands. In fact, they beg to set them up all year around since we live in warm-weathered, southern California. Sometimes we set-up hot-chocolate stands (during our “cooler” season) and sometimes we have watermelon stands, too! It might be their entrepreneurial spirit or it might just be a lot of fun but it can also be something more….
Setting up a little stand to sell something can be a positive way for children to raise money to support a cause or charity that they really care about. In a world where they feel like they can’t make a difference, this is a small act that they can do. It can start neighborhood awareness and conversations that can make a big difference. Teaching children how to be charitable at a young age can help them to develop into caring grown-ups.
This past week, I helped some neighborhood kids set up a watermelon stand to raise money to help reunite families separated at our borders. It’s been a heartbreaking story to watch on the news for all of us this summer and this made us feel like we could help in our own small way.
First we made some cardboard signs in watermelon shapes and painted them with craft paint.
We picked out three big watermelons that we knew would be sweet by the hollow sound they made when we knocked on the rind. Then we filled a big cooler with ice and cut up the watermelon in serving-size triangle portions and stored them inside to keep them fresh.
Then we set up a table with a festive table cloth (I may have gotten carried away with the red and white polka-dot theme), paper plates, paper cups and napkins and of course a cash box with twenty dollars in spare change. Then we made some pink lemonade in our favorite dispenser and hauled it all off to a nearby area that we knew got frequent foot traffic.
The kids waved their signs and talked with the neighbors who stopped by to ask about the cause for which they were raising money. It was heartwarming to see how many people really care about it and also seeing kids being active citizens.
We sold a few cups of lemonade and a few watermelon slices (and consumed a few ourselves) but more importantly we bonded over our common concern for all the children who were separated from their parents at the border, and are yet to be reunited with them. As of late last week, there are still almost 600 children that have not been reunited with their parents. It is a tragedy that has to be fixed.
If you are interested in hosting your own watermelon stand (or lemonade or baked goods stand) to support reuniting families separated at the border, here are some causes to consider supporting:
- Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights
- Border Angels
- Kids in Need of Defense
- Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project