Ronnie Rajotte - Grade 8, Miami Valley School
When Life Hands You Lemons, Have Fun and Make Lemonade!
The burning desert sun scorching my shoulders, beads of sweat trickling down my back, hours of work ahead of me. And a smile a mile wide across my nine-year-old face! I was having the time of my life at my parents’ garage sale selling lemonade for a great cause called Alex’s Lemonade Stand, an organization that raises money for childhood cancer. I was inspired by Alex’s incredible story and I thought having a lemonade stand would be a great way to both have fun and earn money for an important cause.
I spent a very enjoyable two days decorating my lemonade stand with streamers and pictures, and almost every kid at the garage sale immediately came over to my colorful stand, and then asked their parents for a cup of lemonade. Even though cancer is a sad topic, my stand looked bright and happy, and that encouraged people to stop and buy a cup and learn more about this great cause.
One of the most inspiring donations came from a man who walked up to the lemonade stand, took one look at the cause, and immediately reached into his pocket. “Here. This is everything I have,” he said, handing me over $10. I was extremely grateful and felt such joy and happiness from a stranger who, in doing something small, made a world of difference to my nine-year-old self and thousands of children with cancer.
Many people think volunteering is a good thing to do, but they mistakenly feel it requires unpleasant and boring work. When I’m having fun volunteering, I put in more effort, more focus, and more attention into a task, which means I’m doing a better job for the people I’m helping. Decorating my lemonade stand, making the lemonade, talking to new people about my cause, and raising money at the same time was very enjoyable for me, and the smile and joy on my face was contagious. It made people want to help, and in fact, I looked like I was having so much fun that my 8 year old neighbor Ava joined me. She was then inspired to have her own lemonade stand the next weekend and donate the money to Alex’s Lemonade Stand.
My garage sale lemonade stand taught me that helping others not only makes you feel good inside, but that you can have fun doing it too. This experience inspired me to volunteer at an organization that gives toys, clothes, and other supplies to kids who can''t afford them, donate $120 dollars from my birthday to a food bank, and help my friends with homework at school. I’m also looking forward to traveling to a new country and volunteering in Peru this summer handing out medical and hygiene products in rural villages. I learned many lessons from my lemonade stand, but most of all, I learned that giving to others and having fun can go hand and hand, and when they do, we’re all better off.