• "/>" />
  • "/>"/>" />
  • " />
  • "/>"/>" />
  • "/>"/>" />

Lemonade * A summary

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

I usually do a summary post when I have finished writing about a specific topic or a special trip. But we have had a family emergency that will be front and center for an indefinite amount of time. I decided to quickly wrap things up and tell the unfinished "kindof warm, kindof cold" New Zealand Fresh Lemonade story.

Back in June, I had the great fortune of traveling solo for seventeen days. My husband is a "kindof" awesome. I surprised my parents and got to have some wonderful quality time with family back in the States. I also got to see my college roommate Sarah who would soon be traveling to to Guatemala with an organization called Living Water International.

Fast forward a few weeks and I am back at home. The seasons are flipped, it's cold in July and our kids are home from their year round elementary school. July 17th was day number 13 of a 16 day winter holiday. Naturally, I was zoned out in front of the computer, clicking through newly posted pictures on facebook. And there is Sarah, pumping water for kids in Guatemala. The photos sparked a bit of lunchtime conversation. We watched a video of a girl named Lucy that lives in Kenya. It had an impact on Max and he was able to make a bit of a personal connection because of the short time we spent in Kijabe when he was younger. He also grew up around some pretty cool and generous kids who led the charge and set a great example with their own charitable lemonade endeavours (donating thousands to end modern day slavery through International Justice Mission).

I was inspired by Living Water International's website... but then I took a nap. Max got to work. When the little boys and I woke an hour later Max had stripped our lemon tree clean and was at the kitchen counter cutting and squeezing. I did my best to thwart his efforts by suggesting other things he could do with his afternoon, reminding him that lemonade is more of a summer drink, and pointing out the fact that our street doesn't get much traffic. He was unfazed by my discouragement and decided on a "kindof warm, kindof cold" marketing strategy to combat the cold weather.

The lemonade stand had humble beginnings but lots of kids from our neighborhood pitched in to make improvements that bolstered revenue. We started meeting neighbors and making friends and found out that lemonade is an innovative product in New Zealand. Friends, neighbors, and co-workers donated lots and lots of lemons and over a couple of weekends the kids raised $172 in front of our house (in winter on a not-so-busy street).

I set up a Give Well page through Living Water International and started writing about the lemonade stand. To date we have raised $1,858 towards an audacious goal of $15,000. We are incredibly grateful for all the support.  Last Friday we had a party to write thank you cards to all of our generous benefactors and we have a big weekend of sales planned (with beefed up marketing in the neighborhood).

"Coincidentally" last night right before bed time (in the midst of receiving some very hard news) a guy named Ben (who happened to be from New Jersey) came to our door. He was with the aid organization UNICEF. I have very clear memories of walking door to door with my parents and an orange UNICEF box. Ben gave us a weigh measurement tape, a package of plumpy nut, and told us about how oral dehydration salts can  be used to help kids who have been drinking dirty water. He also told us about how $1 a day can provide temporary relief for children in crisis. Ben reinforced the importance of establishing sustainable solutions (like a water wells) in developing countries and the kids got to share about their project. It was a divine appointment and brought some joy to an otherwise hard day.

This weekend we will be having a blowout lemonade sale/party to wrap things up. If you are a local, please stop by. If you live on the other side of the world you can donate to the cause and get a "virtual cup" of lemonade HERE. In return, our "stewardship team" will handcraft a beautiful thank you card and send it across the ocean with a lovely New Zealand stamp.

Everything is a bit up in the air right now, but I wanted to thank all of the people who have supported, encouraged and given money. Your efforts are two-fold... not only have you given to provide sustainable infrastructure for people living in poverty, you have also made this a valuable and fruitful learning experience for my kids and lots of our neighbours here in New Zealand. Thank you!

Get your virtual cup of lemonade HERE!

No comments :

Post a Comment