“Lemon Aid" for Mercy Corps

United States, August 5, 2010

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  <span class="field-credit">
    Lila Wade/Mercy Corps  </span>
    The three young philanthropic entrepreneurs who are raising "Lemon Aid" to help Mercy Corps efforts around the world. Photo: Lila Wade/Mercy Corps

The sound of young voices calling “lemonade for sale,” is frequent on my summertime bike rides home from work. Yesterday, I was surprised to hear “lemonade for sale, benefit for Mercy Corps.”

I stopped, less thirsty than curious to find out how these kids from my neighborhood knew about Mercy Corps. Well, they explained — after pouring me a brimming paper cupful — they’re raising $150 for Mercy Corps, and the money will be due in August. So far, they’ve earned $100 from their stand, as well as a circus they put on for their neighbors.

These philanthropic self-starters — Ella, Connor, and Vincent — went into business this summer after one of their mothers received an email invitation to participate in Mercy Corps' MPower program. She told me, “I was going to send requests to family members and friends, but then I got to thinking, why not get our neighbors involved as well?”

Also, by reaching out locally, she could lean on her team of willing helpers, giving them a great opportunity to be community activists. On their poster —written in marker — Ella, Connor, and Vincent, inscribed, “Be the Change,” a slogan they already understand better than most.

After chatting for a while, I left feeling incredibly refreshed, not just from the beverage, but also about Mercy Corps’ prospects for the future.