Ian Aide: Because Kidneys Don’t Grow On Trees
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Meet Lily. She is in 2nd grade, lives in Bloomington, IN, loves the color pink, and is big sister to 21 month old brother Ian, who was diagnosed with stage 4 kidney failure and hydrophenosis. Ian needs a kidney transplant. As any big sister would do, Lily asked, “How can I help.” They had been working with Children’s Organ Transplant Association where Lily did bake sales, yard sales and lemonade stands previously to raise money for her brother. The Boys and Girls Club of Bloomington connected her with Lemonade Day. And that’s where her story begins.
“With the cost of a transplant often exceeding $500,000, many transplant families are unable to shoulder the financial burden of such a procedure. The Children’s Organ Transplant Association (COTA) is a national charity dedicated to organizing and guiding communities in raising funds for transplant-needy patients. In Bloomington, volunteers are raising funds for transplant patients like local boy, Ian Laster.” [from COTA's site]
With the help of COTA, Lily had also held a bake sale at Walmart where she made $400 (one customer tipped her $100 when Lily told them what she was raising money for) and a few weeks ago she was at a yard sale and made $100.
As they embarked on the Lemonade Day workbooks Lily and her mom, Melissa, first spent hours on the internet searching over 50 sites for the perfect lemonade recipe before settling on a pink one. Then they learned a very important lesson – building a stand can be expensive. Some kids chose to use a bench or table but Lily went all out and built the ultimate stand. It cost her $100. It paid off. Lily won 1st place at the Bloomington Stand Contest.
Lily also secured an investor to loan her $50 [her mom's photography business] and received donations from the community for her startup. She secured a great site at a local Regions Bank. She advertised her stand by making signs and flyers to distribute to the local library and throughout the neighborhood. She made a website so her location would make the National Lemonade Day map and shared with friends. Then, Saturday, May 19th came. It was Lemonade Day in Bloomington. And Lily opened for business. Lily made $243 in 3.5 hours.
From Lily’s mom, “… I watched her carefully on Lemonade Day. I would say the biggest thing she learned was to speak for herself. Normally, Lily is very quiet and shy. The first time she did her stand it really showed and she relied on everyone else to talk to people for her. But by Saturday, when it was really time to run her business she was ready for all the questions. When customers asked her what she was raising money for or what was special about her lemonade, she was able to answer. This was a huge transformation that her father and I were very proud to see!”
In total Lily made $743. And is giving $620 to COTA in honor of her brother, Ian. But what’s special about Lemonade Day – what sets it apart is that it isn’t just philanthropic. These littlest, big entrepreneurs are taught to spend some, save some and share some of their profit. Lily had set a goal. She wanted a tree house. With her proceeds, she spent $40 on her tree house. And saved $63 to put towards a large swing set/clubhouse in the future. Lily also learned about having employees. She paid $20 to her cousin Maggie who helped out the whole day.
I think mom can close this story best, “Lemonade Day and the Boys and Girls Club are really pivotal in our COTA campaign in honor of Ian! I can not say enough good things about how they have impacted our lives. It is so great for Lily to have a way to help her brother instead of just feeling helpless! So thank you for sharing this! I hope it inspires other little kids who would like to help out a sick loved one, but don’t know how.”
Do you have a Lemonade Day story to share? Tweet @LemonadeDay, Facebook [Lemonade Day], or email (email@example.com) a pic or video of your Lemonade Day and we’ll post it on Lemonade Day’s Stories Pinterest Board. Re-post the link and send your friends to comment, like and repin. We’ll send the top contenders Lemonade Day fan packs each week!
Submit a video of you Lemonade Day story on Qukku and your child[ren] could be the next Lemonade Day spokesperson! Enter here. We’ll pin all My Story videos to our board too so you can be entered into TWO contests!