“Mom, can we PLEASE do a lemonade stand today?” begged the kids. They had been wanting to do one for a long time. So I reluctantly agreed to do a stand that hot day in May, 2015. We got a poster board, some lemonade, a table, and headed down to a park in our neighborhood. Although we profited about $20 that day, the Lord birthed an incredible idea in the hearts of our children.
While we were sitting there doing our lemonade stand, ideas began to pop up, one by one. One child commented that they wanted to give the money we raised that day to Lifeline Children’s Services, the domestic and international ministry that reaches out to vulnerable children through adoption, orphan care, foster care, and the gospel. It’s also where my husband, Herbie, serves as president and executive director. Wheels started turning, and ideas were being blurted out fast and furiously.
“Let’s not only give this money to Lifeline but let’s encourage other kids to host their own stands and give the money to help kids around the world.”
“What if we asked a donor to match all the money raised this summer up to a certain dollar amount?”
Later that day when Herbie got home, we bombarded him with all our ideas and then asked if we could call Rick Morton, Lifeline’s vice president of Engagement, to share our ideas with him as well. That night we bought the domain names standfororphans.com and standfororphans.org, and Stand for Orphans was made official.
Engaging our children in orphan care
As a family, we have spent many hours in orphanages around the world in places like China and Colombia. The sights and smells are like nothing I’ve ever experienced. Seeing the orphan with my own eyes most definitely spurs me to do something for them. It took the simple idea of selling lemonade to bring to fruition what had been stirring in my heart for years—a means of engaging children here at home to do something tangibly to help children around the world.
From a young age, we have tried to teach our children that life is not about them. “Stand” is a great way to demonstrate this. They use hard work and determination, not for their own benefit, but for the benefit of others. Nothing makes me more excited than to see my kids’ passion for helping children around the world who are just like them.
There are 153 million orphans worldwide that need our help.
Many times as the church, I think we have the mindset that serving is reserved for adults. However, I strongly believe that the more we involve children in thinking about and serving others, the more likely it will become a natural part of their lives. Thus, serving others will be carried into adulthood and throughout their lives. The values of generosity, serving others, hard work, determination, ingenuity, and entrepreneurship are taught through Stand. Aren’t these values that we all want for our children? Stand is a perfect way to engage your kids at an early age in caring for others—even those that they may not see with their own eyes. Stand was created by kids for kids.
There are 153 million orphans worldwide that need our help. God commands us in James 1:27 to care for the orphan and the widow. While adoption is certainly one way to care for the orphan, the reality is that less than half of 1% of all orphans will actually be adopted. Consequently, that leaves millions of precious image-bearers languishing in orphanages around the world. While you may not have room at the table in your home to make another orphan a son or a daughter, we can all do something to care for the fatherless.
You can stand for orphans in simple ways
Even though this moment in 2020 may look totally different than any other year, there are still millions of vulnerable children that need our help. If it works in your community, now could be a great time to have a lemonade (or cookie, bracelet, slime, hand-made craft, etc.) stand. You can download a free kit at Standfororphans.org.
Or you could gather up the kids, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents to take a socially distant Stand for Orphans® by heading to social media. Grab a lemon, and take on The Lemon Challenge — take a video eating a lemon and post it to social media with #standfororphans. Then, challenge three friends to also eat a lemon and give a donation to Stand for Orphans.
Or you may want to take to the stage and showcase your talent (serious, silly, or hidden). Post a video of your talent to social media with #standfororphans and challenge three friends to donate.
This is the perfect time to let your kids be creative with how to raise money for Stand for orphans. Just last week, my daughter posted on social media that she is selling cookies and muffins for Stand this year. She raised over $350 in just two weeks by baking goodies. Another friend is selling leather earrings that she makes. And yet another friend is making stationary to sell. My son has a pressure washing/pet-sitting business, and he has decided to donate a portion of his profit to Stand. The options are truly endless.
Talk to your kids about the global orphan crisis and how they can be a part of the solution. I guarantee you they will surprise you with their innovative ideas. Find out how the Lord has gifted you and your family, and use those gifts to glorify him this summer.
Having a lemonade stand as a kid seems like a right of passage. Why not make it count for something other than ourselves?