September is childhood cancer awareness month. I wrote about the Go Gold for Kids campaign that I was invited to participate in here, where I talked about CURE Childhood Cancer Association’s Golden Rule challenge going on this month.
“We can do no great things, only small things with great love.”
Golden Rule Challenge
The challenge is to record yourself or your family and friends doing an act of kindness to raise awareness and money, and then challenge three more family or friends to do the same and/or donate to CURE within 24 hours.
I often wonder what I can do to make a difference. I’m not rich unless you count an overabundance of Matchbook cars. My platform is not huge. I’m a busy, work-at-home mom with a lot going on. But then it clicked. What I can do IS at home.
It starts right here in our house, teaching our kids about having a heart for others. I can show them what it means to care about something bigger than ourselves. I can lead my kids in simple acts of kindness that pave the road for them to have civic-minded hearts with a desire to help as they grow up and learn about our world.
When we made our summer bucket list at the beginning of the summer, one of the ideas the kids had was to make a lemonade stand and sell lemonade to our neighbors and family. I think they had a vague idea to take that money and buy more cars or Pokemon cards, but really just the idea of doing something so grown up (Real money! Real jobs!) had them beyond excited.
When Tom and I started to brainstorm ideas on how we could get our family involved with CURE’s Golden Rule challenge, we thought about combining the kids’ bucket list lemonade stand with a fundraiser and we got busy making plans.
What better way to work with our kids on something that has a direct impact on our community and teaches a valuable lesson about caring? Tom got to work looking through the wood we had on hand, and I drew up one of my chicken scratch designs.
We used a combination of pallet wood, pine, and hardboard to make the stand. It needed to be simple enough that it could be made in a couple of hours, yet sturdy enough for the kids to play with it for many summers of fun.
I think this fit the bill! It ended up taking a little over an hour to assemble and then some painting and dry time the next day. This is what we used:
- Pallet – the front slats only
- 2 pieces of hardboard for the sides
- 1 piece of hardboard for the chalkboard sign
- Pine wood – various sizes of scrap wood for the frame
- Old table top – you could use another piece of pine
- Chalkboard paint
Tom started by building a frame for the stand out of the pine. Once the frame was in place, it was quick work to nail on the hardboard sides and tabletop. We happened to have an old kids’ desk on hand that we Frankensteined, but you could just as easily pick up extra pine to make one.
The next step was to nail on the 1x2s for the posts and then the last piece of hardboard for the sign.
A quick coat of Rust-Oleum’s Chalkboard paint, and we were in business!
Lemonade and Bake Sale Day
On a sunny, warm Saturday, we headed outside with our cookies and lemonade. We live in a pretty quiet, mostly older neighborhood, so I wasn’t sure how many people would be around, but it turns out that everyone within shouting distance (because that’s how the boys drummed up business) was a fan of chocolate chip cookies and pink lemonade.
The boys hollered and waved at each passing car and dog walker. This turned into a pretty stellar sales tactic. I mean, it did get a little loud, but all for a good cause.
Our family members stopped by throughout the morning for a visit and to donate, too. We all just hung out and chatted while we watched the boys work their magic selling skills. All of our customers we so generous and happy to pitch in a little extra when they found out that all of our proceeds were being donated to CURE. All in all, we made a whopping $51.45, which we then matched.
Once we packed up and had some quiet time, we counted the money together. This gave us a chance to talk again about why we were spending our time and energy on such a worthy cause, and why it was important to “fill up each other’s buckets” with kindness and good deeds. I loved having this conversation with the boys because I could see their little minds working with the ideas of service to others and listening to our hearts when they speak to us.
This little lemonade stand is sturdy enough to store and use for many summers to come. Someone on my Instagram even suggested using it for dramatic play, which is such a good idea! I can picture some puppet shows and farm stands happening all winter, too!
Happy Labor Day, friends! Be sure to sign up for my newsletter to see new posts and what’s new on Willowcrest Lane first!
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