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Taking A (Lemonade) Stand

No one should be homeless. No one should be hopeless.

I want to stand up for those who are homeless. Every person needs to know that there are people who want to help and that no one should give up on themselves. Everyone in life deserves a chance to experience hope and happiness and sometimes needs a second chance or a helping hand. Everyone needs to feel like someone has their back.

To those who are fortunate enough to have a home, I want them to think more carefully about others, be more considerate, and do something to help. Not just handing someone a dollar as you rush to work, avoiding eye contact. But seeing them as a person and offering them a smile, and a sense of hope. Showing them that someone cares.

My goal is to offer support to those who are homeless, at the same time, bringing this issue to the attention of those who can help. That is why I started Hope2Believe, making “Believer Kits”, or care packages for our homeless population. These kits have more than just essentials, they have useful items like a word book or a plastic bottle that may bring a smile to someone’s face, offering them hope.

During the current situation, I found myself feeling more lonely than I anticipated, missing friends and teachers. I wanted to do something that brought people together while also practicing social distancing. So my dad and I came up with the idea of putting together a lemonade stand. This could give me a chance to earn money to make believer kits for the homeless, while seeing neighbors and friends. I also wanted to do something that made people feel happy and connected.

I am kind of sensitive emotionally and I also knew that anything could happen. Perhaps no one would come, we wouldn’t earn any money, or people wouldn’t want any treats. I invited some of my friends and teachers, including my Human Geography teacher since she lives nearby, and I was really hoping she would come. Every car that passed by I would look to see if it was her.

I wanted to raise at least $100, which would be enough for five or six Believer Kits. I made a goal for myself, I wanted to see at least twenty people, because I miss connecting with others. I also wanted to share with others how to make their own Believer Kits, because while the items within the kit are important, the care and thought put into it is far more valuable. The first person came before the stand even opened, I was still making the sign! She just moved into our neighborhood and saw one of our flyers so she stopped by and handed me twenty dollars. She told me that she appreciated what I was doing and seemed interested as I told her about what I was doing. There was a small point in time where no one came and I found myself becoming a little sad, even though it was a small break for us and we could enjoy being outside as the weather was nice. I went inside to see if anyone had emailed me back about attending and when I came back outside, Mrs. Downing was at our stand! Seeing her made me excited, it made me realize how much I miss my teachers and school, and it gave me a renewed sense of hope.

In the end, I raised over two hundred dollars, enough for at least ten to twelve Believer Kits. I connected neighbors, friends, and teachers. I felt like I raised awareness and hope. Not just for the homeless and for those who visited, but for myself

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