Local kids learn business skills raising money for the less fortunate
The Salvation Army will run its sixth annual LemonAiD Days campaign throughout Lexington this July. This campaign enables local kids to raise money to help homeless kids in the area by running lemonade stands. Over 1,600 kids registered to participate last year, raising nearly $46,000 for homeless children in Lexington.
An integral partner to the LemonAiD Days Campaign, the LFUCG Parks and Rec Extended School Program (ESP) Summer Fun Camp at Maxwell Elementary dedicates an entire week of camp (called “Community Week”) to running the lemonade stands and raising money for the program. This year’s Community Week will run July 2 through July 6, with LemonAiD stands set up at the corner of corner of Woodland and Maxwell from 10 a.m. – Noon and 1 – 3 p.m. each day (NOTE: stands will be closed on July 4).
“A great thing about this camp is that we have kids from all socioeconomic backgrounds,” ESP Summer Fun Camp counselor Harold Kouns said. “They get to see each side of the tracks. Kids who have a lot of stuff are working side by side with kids who don’t have much, and it motivates them to help each other out. There is a lot of community and togetherness that happens during this week.”
Children at the ESP Summer Fun Camp stretch their marketing muscles by hand-making signs for their lemonade stands and learning chants to help draw crowds. In addition to the desire to raise money for the less fortunate, there’s another incentive for campers to sell as much lemonade as possible – the age group that raises the most money for the Salvation Army wins a prize. Kindergartners can usually rely on their cuteness to attract customers, while older kids learn marketing tricks to build business, according Kouns.
“Each age group gets two shifts during the week to work at the lemonade stand and raise as much money as they can,” Kouns said. “It can get pretty competitive.”
One child for each age group is chosen as the team leader for the group, based on who has represented their respective age group best during previous weeks of camp. The team leaders spend time training their fellow campers on how to run their lemonade stands, covering everything from making change to filling orders. Kouns said that the kids typically go through about three gallons of lemonade per hour, but will sell even more than that when it gets really hot.
In addition to real-life math and business lessons, campers are also educated on why they are raising money and learn about the ways the funds they earn will impact other kids’ lives. A representative from the Salvation Army visits the group to explain where the money they raise will go.