Our home backs up to a golf course. My husbands company has their annual golf outing at that course. One of his coworkers mentioned that it would be cute to have our girls set up a lemonade stand at the fence line, and sell to the golfers as they go by our property. We all thought that was a cool idea too and had been planning on it for months.
Then, that same employee mentioned our plan to the golf course manager. That one tiny conversation changed everything, and this little lemonade stand idea got bigger and bigger.
The manager insisted that we take our business right onto the golf course, not at our fence line. He promised us our own golf cart so we would have a place to sell our stuff. He referred to us in an email as "the Cookie Girls". Um, that means we better be selling cookies too, right?
During a subsequent conversation with my sister, she said "Why don't you get the kids to donate the proceeds to a charity. It'll teach them a great lesson". Well, hot dog! That's the best idea yet.
While we were at church I checked out the bulletin board, scoping out the various organizations and events looking for funds. I brought the kids over and let them choose. It made them feel empowered, and part of the process.
They chose the Lakota Sioux tribe in South Dakota. Tia was especially struck by the fact that many of the homes on the reservation don't have heat or running water, and that the kids don't always have proper winter clothing. Her exact response was "Mom, we have to help these people!". O.K., then. We're on it.
The day before the golf outing I stayed home and baked and baked and baked. It was an all day project even though I chose 2 very simple recipes. I had gotten an email earlier in the day stating that there were about 100 golfers in our group, as well as another group of 15 who would be going by, and who would most likely buy from our cart. That meant LOTS of cookies.
Here are some of the goodies...
|basic sugar cookies|
|The chocolate chips ready to go|
|The Cookie Girls!|
|Get Your Lemonade!|
The very next day we went to church to make the donation. I introduced the girls to the woman who is leading the project. I had Tia give the woman the envelope of cash, and explain to her what we did to earn it. They were so proud, it just melted my heart!
At NO point did either of my kids suggest that we should keep the money. They never asked if they could have some, or buy something for themselves with it.
So my sister was right. The kids learned a valuable lesson. More than one, really. They learned that it can be easy and fun to help those in need. They learned that there are folks who are less fortunate and that we do have the ability to help them. They learned about advertising, marketing and sales. They learned the importance of making connections in the community (I bet we'll be asked back next year!). They learned about making change (in more ways than one).
They learned that a kind word and a smile sells a lot of lemonade!
I'm glad we did this project. I bet our family will be doing more things like this in the future.
Charity and Compassion are taught at home.
Teach your children well.