Maggie and Clara McKeown and Layli and Shaddik Carpenter grinned from ear to ear as they talked about their summer lemonade stand. It wasn’t just any lemonade stand. It was a stand with a purpose – to help make sure their TK friends all had money in their lunch accounts.
“All profit goes to TK students with negative lunch money” was colorfully printed in a child’s handwriting on a cardboard sign. In the corner there was a smiley face for students who had money and could buy pizza and a sad face for those who had nothing.
“We did it just for one day,” said Maggie – a third grader at Lee. “We sold almost everything in one day.”
Layli is also a third grader. “We wanted to do it because some kids feel bad if they don’t have money for lunch,” she said.
In just a few hours the budding entrepreneurs made $228, but didn’t keep a dime of the hard-earned profits. Instead, they did just as the sign said they would do. They split the profits giving half to each McFall and Lee schools for lunch accounts.
Shaddik said doing something to help others made him feel happy and proud. “It was a lot of fun.”
Layli and Maggie said they started talking about having the lemonade stand earlier in the summer. The week before school started, they were able to put up the stand and make it happen. The group picked an ideal location for their stand - right beside the wagon filled with McKeown sweet corn on M-37. It was hard for anyone stopping to get corn to pass by the lemonade stand without buying something or making a donation.
“There were a lot of generous donations,” said Kathy McKeown, mother of Maggie and Clara. “Seeing the generosity of the community was very nice. That’s what makes this community so great.”
Shaddik chimed in quickly. “Yea – one lady gave us a lot more money for her candles.”
The young philanthropists offered lemonade, homemade brownies and handmade candles for sale. Maggie said her mom helped her make the candles, explaining how she melted the wax, poured it into the containers and trimmed the wick.
Kathy said the kids worked together and really made good sales pitches to their customers. “They really worked hard to do all this,” she said."We're very proud of them."
Lyndsey Carpenter said her kids loved having the lemonade stand and that she was very proud of what they did to help others. “We had a planning session and they pretty much did everything,” said Lyndsey. “They wanted to help their friends.”
As a mom, Lyndsey said it made her feel like her children were listening and learning. “As a parent, you are constantly talking to your children about giving to others and helping others. To see our kids do this, it just makes me feel good.”
The kids felt good about it too. “It just made me smile,” said Maggie. “I liked it.”
Clara – a first grader at McFall – smiled too. She let the older kids do most of the talking, but said it made her feel really good when she gave the money to McFall.
The four young entrepreneurs said they hope to make the late summer lemonade stand an annual event and each year pick a different organization to receive the donations.