Well Done – A Happy Surprise
Yesterday was Memorial Day. All over the country people celebrated all weekend long what most recognize as the weekend that marks “the beginning of summer.” There were barbecues and trips to the beach or the lake. For some there was a camping trip, or a hike, or some water skiing. Everyone has his or her holiday weekend traditions. Some make it a point to acknowledge the real purpose of the weekend, to recognize and honor those who have given their all for our freedoms. But unless they are taught what this holiday is really all about, children would naturally think it is only for camp outs and cook outs. Three of my grandchildren, came to me on Saturday and wanted to know if they could have a lemonade stand in front of our house “for celebrating Memorial Day”. I am always happy for them to make their favorite cherry lemonade and set up a stand but I was a little curious why they thought this had any connection to Memorial Day. So as I questioned them to see if they knew what we were celebrating this weekend and why they specifically wanted to have a Memorial Day lemonade stand. Their response surprised me…A Happy Surprise 🙂
“We are honoring the soldiers who died fighting for freedom for us”, was the response. “How does that relate to your lemonade stand?”, I asked. “Well, we can’t help the soldiers who died, but we can help the soldiers who got hurt fighting for us. You know….the wounded soldiers… we can earn some money for the fund to help them.” “Do you mean, the Wounded Warriors Project ?”was my question. “YES! That’s the name of it…that is who we are going to raise money to help.”
So we made some homemade cherry lemonade, and for two days this weekend, they sat on the curb at their table in our residential neighborhood which isn’t exactly a thoroughfare of traffic, waved their small American flags, and called to every car or passerby “Lemonade for the Wounded Warriors! You can get it here!” I stayed at a distance, close enough if they needed me for something, but far enough away that this was their endeavor.
They didn’t put a price on the cups of sweet homemade lemonade they were offering, but instead asked those who stopped for whatever donation they could make. There weren’t a lot of people who came by, yet still I was pleasantly surprised at the number of those who were passing by who actually took the time to stop. The girls explained their purpose to each person and then asked that they make whatever donation they could. They even had the chance to speak with a lady walking her dog, (actually she was their first customer), who explained that she had lost her brother in the Vietnam War. They told her how sorry they were that her brother died and she told them how much she appreciated what they were doing for the soldiers who were wounded. It was a very sweet and meaningful exchange for all of them.
I felt a special sense of pride and gratitude in seeing these little girls look for ways to give back. All children naturally like to help. Some just need to be directed as to how it is that they can. My parents gave me the opportunity early on and I have always been grateful for that chance, and for the gift they gave me in showing me how enriching it is to be able to give and help others.
All in all, with their 3 pitchers of homemade cherry lemonade, over the two days, the girls collected $89.75. A fine effort I think. It is my delight to make the donation to the Wounded Warrior Project in their names. I am a very proud Lolli and to Sadie, Savannah and Evangeline I say “Well Done” girls….well done!