This Sunday my son Parker is hosting his annual lemonade stand. A project that started as a simple idea to teach him that there are ways to earn “his own money.” Parker like many young children wanted “some more toys.” My wife told him that he would need to get rid of some toys before that happened. He was aghast at the idea of getting rid of yours (4 at the time).
We told him he could have a yard sale and lemonade stand, selling some of his toys and lemonade to raise money for his own toys. We did the front yard, right on Humboldt Blvd. Some neighbors were nice and stopped by for lemonade. Parker raised a few dollars and was able to buy a small toy. He was pretty impressed with himself. After some conversations, we thought it would be a good idea for Parker to try a lemonade stand at a Fire tailgate. Casey Faure was running the marathon for the Chicago Fire Foundation and we told Parker he would be donating 1/2 his money to charity. Well, the lemonade stand went much better than we anticipated, he raised $275. We gave Casey $175 that year. Parker was pretty happy. (Parker keeping $100 for his toys.)
The next year we asked Parker if he would like to do his lemonade stand again. He said he would like to very much. We gave Parker an option of who he would like to donate his money to and he said homeless kids. Parker had just realized that there were homeless children and it broke his heart. His mother Amber, researched many local homeless shelters settling on Cornerstone Community Outreach, a family shelter. In year two Parker was able to raise $250 for charity. We took Parker down to Cornerstone and he was able to see people eating lunch and realized exactly what his money was doing. (You can donate to Parker’s efforts to raise money for Cornerstone here.)
Last year we had a very busy summer and Parker wasn’t able to run his stand in the dog days of summer. So he had to make a shift and run a hot chocolate stand. As a family, we were blown away by the support of the Section 8 Chicago and Chicago Fire Community. Parker raised $2000 for Cornerstone!
Each year we have been blown away by your support. Parker no longer keeps any of the money donated, Amber and I buy him a predetermined prize (this year it’s a new home Fire Jersey he will pick out at the game, and the new KIrby game for his DS).
Again we cannot thank you enough for your support it means so very much.