A few weeks ago, during a heat wave, my son told me he wanted to have a lemonade stand to raise money for a new LEGO set. Easy, right, just a simple activity that most of us participated in as children. Yet, times are not normal, and we needed to think creatively. Instead of telling him “no,” I thought maybe we could have a curbside pickup or delivery service, and I looked online for inspiration.
Sure enough, I found some great ideas, most notably the following article in Forbes. We decided to give the “virtual lemonade stand” and “lemonade-to-go” ideas a whirl with our own twist.
What we did:
- I helped draft a simple flyer, with information about who he was, what he was doing (taking orders for curbside delivery and lemonade-to-go because we couldn’t have a traditional lemonade stand), when we would make deliveries, why, and how to get in touch.
- On bicycle and foot, we delivered the flyers to select neighbors, as well as sharing with friends on Facebook.
- I went to the store (following mask and hygiene protocols), and picked up the supplies we needed. I helped him create little packages with chilled bottled water, a lemonade packet (choice of regular or raspberry), and a biodegradable straw.
- We had a chat about the economics of a lemonade stand, where I explained that he would not receive 100% of the profits, because he would need to reimburse me for startup costs. (I am not sure this sunk in, but it made me realize I am way behind the curve on teaching my kids about financial literacy…more on that “supermom-ish” fail later.)
- Then, we waited for the orders to come in, which they did! At least half a dozen neighbors and a few friends placed orders, and all tipped generously. He was able to take home $20.
A little boy learned a few important life lessons, we connected with many of our neighbors, and the experience led to another job: walking the neighbors’ dog. Coronavirus is hard on us all, but we must continue to think creatively and optimistically about keeping positive experiences going.
Camille is a Pacific Northwest native who was born in Seattle and moved to Oregon to raise her family after nine years in California and New York. She is a graduate of both the University of Washington (BA) and University of Oregon (MPA), and has worked professionally for local and national nonprofits. Travel, health and wellness, and family and friends are among her greatest priorities, and she loves exploring the Northwest and beyond with her family. You may find her hiking in the old growth or trying a new eatery, and either way she is home.