It only took six months, but our schedules finally lined up with the NW weather and we could fulfill Sean’s wishes–to “do” a lemonade stand for Africa… with cookies.
We called Sean’s lemonade venture Quarters for Africa where everything on the table sold for… you guessed it… a quarter! All proceeds went to International Disaster Response Network Africa Response. Of course as his mom I wanted this to be a huge success for Sean, but I also wanted him to take ownership of his project and run his stand as any classic six year old would. And he did!
He helped with ALL the prep work including shopping for all the supplies, making the cookies, and stirring the lemonade. Sean had a blast making the signs:
On the day of his event, he was SO excited and he was READY! From the very first cup of lemonade, we were overwhelmed by the generosity of friends, family, neighbors, and strangers.
Even before we were done setting up, my dad came by with unexpected blessings. One of the ladies at his shop made several batches of amazing cupcakes for Sean to sell at his table and let me just say, they were a hit! Gina made a wonderful variety: S’mores, Oreo, Peanut Butter, Carrot, and Root Beer! Not only did dad deliver the cupcakes for Sean’s table, but he also made a very generous donation to get us going.
This set the tone for the next three hours. We had customers come through who paid handfuls of quarters for one cup of lemonade and a treat; we had people drive by and hand rolls of quarters out of their windows; we even had one gentleman who drove by and shouted “Keep up the good work!” and flung a handful of loose quarters out his window!
IDRN and its parent organization Humanitarian International Services Group (HISG) followed Sean’s story on their Facebook pages, posting our pictures and updates from our afternoon. The groups were so grateful for Sean’s heart for their organization and the families living in East Africa. Sean was thrilled when he saw all his lemonade stand pictures on the internet!
The best part of the afternoon, though, was listening to Sean explain to people the purpose behind his endeavor. They would ask:
“Why are you doing this lemonade stand?”
Sean would reply, “So the people in Africa can have more food and more drinks.”
This opened up the conversation as to who the IDRN is and what they do. It was a great opportunity to spread the word about a fantastic organization, their efforts in the Horn of Africa, and the work the do around the world. Sean raised $115.78 for IDRN Africa Response. Truly amazing.
At the end of the night, Sean and I sat on his bedroom floor and had an intimate conversation about what we had experienced.
“Mom! Remember the guy who threw coins out his window? That was so cool!”
I responded with, “Yes I do. Do you remember all the people who gave us a lot of quarters but didn’t want any lemonade or cookies or cupcakes? They gave simply because they wanted to help and did not want anything in return.” My response launched us into discussion about what cheerful giving means, the different kinds of giving, and what it means to give sacrificially. We also talked about the people we were helping–the families in Africa who are struggling with famine and what that might look like and mean for their lives.
I am a proud mama, friends. Sean did a fantastic job from start to finish all for a group of brothers and sisters on the other side of the world. We decided during that little talk that we would go to Africa together someday–hopefully as a family.
At the end of it all, he had one serious question:
“How are we going to get all those quarters to Africa?” Hahaha!
If you want to know more about IDRN and my support of this organization, check out some of the articles I’ve written.