The Chocolate Lady

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

making lemonade

Im a news junkie. One of those people that loves to watch the news, read the paper and find out what's going on. I love Court TV, and become emotionally vested in a lot of the crime stories I hear about. It's bad for me, Im sure of it. The Bible says to focus on what is good, but I find myself gravitating towards the bad, fascinated, disgusted, but fixated.

Lately, as I read the news each morning, I have found myself becoming sick to my stomach. The crimes seem to be more twisted, more heinous, more perverted. In my professional life, I have worked with victims of child abuse, perpetrators of crimes, and thought I had heard it all, but daily, that is challenged by the horrible acts that make headlines on the news.

Thankfully, as much as I am interested in the tragic, I also love the good. One of my favorite "goods" is Alex's Lemonade

If you arent familiar with Alex, or her amazing organization, I would encourage you to take some time to browse their website.

In a nutshell, this darling little girl, battling cancer, set out to help her doctors by raising money. She was very clear to her parents, that she wanted to help kids with cancer (of whom she knew too many!) get better. This little sweetie, bald, sickly, held a lemonade stand.....and another....and got friends to hold stands....and before venturing off to Heaven, she raised $1 million dollars!!

Really, can you imagine?

It becomes easy to see where she got her grace and strength, as her devoted parents have continued her mission, and since that first stand in 2003, they have raised over $17 million dollars.

Alex's story and inspiration are surely the spirit of the organization, but you know what else makes it so amazing?? It's success is made, one cup at a time, from regular folks, donating a dollar here and there for a glass of lemonade. It's not powered by some big's run by her parents, and a few friends, and mostly, but thousands of kids (and their parents) each year that hold lemonade stands to help kids with cancer.

As a mom of a kid with cancer, I LOVE that the money goes straight to research. They have a tiny bit of overhead (less than 10 percent) and all the rest goes to hand selected (THAT MEANS REALLY IMPORTANT AND NEEDED) research. If you go to the website, you can read about every research grant they are funding...for all kinds of pediatric cancer's amazing!!

When I get mired in the bad of this world, I truly only need to think of Alex, her family, her friends, and all the people that have made Alex's Lemonade such a shining example of what God can do, what people can do, what we all should do when we face a bad situation....and it makes me smile.

With Spring right around the corner, and the official "Lemonade Days" coming up in early June....(BTW, "Lemonade Days" is when thousands of lemonade stands are all held on the same weekend, to raise money for a cure!)....but you can hold a stand anytime.....I hope some of you will consider holding a simple stand this year. It is so easy, and it feels REALLY GOOD to be a part of something so wonderful.

If you go to their website, you can sign up, they will send you a kit with everything you need, and it will be really fun and inspiring.

Also.....if you dont hold a stand, you can always click on the "find a stand near you" button, and support someone else who is holding a stand.

Lastly...may I recommend for EVERY child's library....The book, Alex and the Amazing Lemonade Stand.

It is SO DARLING....whimsical pictures and a very upbeat story about Alex....for those wondering, yes she is in Heaven, but the story does not discuss her death, simply her life and her precious's a wonderful story for every child (and adult) to read.

Please, go visit her website, browse'll feel good just learning about Alex and the way she has turned lemons into lemonade.


M, Ms. R, Mom, Auntie M, Marey said...

Thanks for the great blog entry. After Alex's book came out, her best friend Carly- a leukemia survivor- sent me the book and a photo of her and Alex. Every year I read the book to my kindergartners before we do our Cali Ali Valentine Project. Amazing what little people can do!

The Running Girl said...

Thanks for sharing about Alex. I had followed her site before her death and have been amazed at what they have accomplished over the years. What a great cause.

Cindy said...

As yourself, I get caught up in the horrific things that our happening. Last night I listend as young teens shared about the first time their grandfather shoved his tongue down their mouth. They broke down in tears almost as if they were that young 8 year old so looking up to that grandfather. This Lemonade thing might be able to create some healing for these teen survivors of sexual abuse. Perhaps there is away to apply it to their healing process.