We recently started giving our girls a small allowance each week. They are young, but we wanted to start at an early age to teach them healthy habits with money. Basic things like:
"Money doesn't grow on trees!"
You work hard, you get money.
Money really isn't that exciting when it's just a piece of paper, but you can save it up and trade it for something of value.
Along with all of that, we've talked about how not everyone has the same amount of money, and it's good to help others when you can. And that there are good people out there with good organizations who need help with money to keep doing the good in the world. (Running my own non profit has really shown me how much those money donations mean!)
So I thought it would be fun to have them run a lemonade stand, a childhood rite, and then pick where that money should be donated to.
(And now, you guys. I know, that is a epic lemonade stand. And if you wanted to do this with your kids, it certainly doesn't have to be so grand! I had asked my husband to throw some old wood pallets together or something and next thing I knew I found him building an actual, legitimate stand. And then we had too much fun making up different lemonade flavors, but some simple lemonade would also be perfect! AND ALSO, I just happened to have matching lemon dresses for them that my sister made the other month. We didn't sew these for this.... Okay. Okay. I'm done with my disclaimers.)
I feel like the little touches in life go a long way so we garnished the tops of each drink and served them each with ice and in a clear cup as well, you know, to keep things fancy.
We did it on a day when our street was very busy with an antique car show at the park! We also told our family and friends to come by if they had a chance. We had a busy day and lots of people came!
And the grand total? $140.56! We were shocked! People were generous in their donations.
The next week the girls and I went to the shelter to deliver the money. We chose a shelter that was a family only one so the girls could help other children like themselves.
They made sure to decorate the envelope.
And the donation was kindly accepted and the girls were beaming.
Buying all the stuff for the lemonade stand wasn't super cheap. (Who knew fruit and sugar could add up so much?!) I'll admit, there was a moment where I thought, "I should just donate this money I'm spending instead." But as we sold the drinks and interacted with others I was reminded how beautiful it is to not just serve by myself. Through this activity my children were able to work hard (it was a hot day!) and their reward was not for themselves, but for others. And others in the community got to feel involved as well and good about where their money was going. And the end result was a small but helpful chunk of change to help make a change in other people's lives. A sweet and citrus-y win all around.
And we had lemonade left over for daaaaayss.