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The Nonprofit Blog

Alex's Lemonade Stand

This morning I was out for a morning walk on my last weekend at the beach for the season.  Hoping to get some inspiration in the salty air of Long Beach Island, I pondered our organization's Annual Appeal campaign for this year.  At 25th Street and The Boulevard in Barnegat Light, I came upon a bright-eyed and enthusiatic brother and his sister, around 10 years-old-ish, selling lemonade to benefit Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation - an extraordinary organization fighting childhood cancer one cup at a time.

Rather than spend the morning riding the waves on the beach, these kids chose to set up a stand and raise money to fight childhood cancer...because it is fun to help others.  I slowed down my fast-walk-not-quite-a-jog pace and stopped for a look.  They had lemonade, popcorn and homemade brownies for a buck each -- none of which was permissable on the third day of my September diet.  I reached into my backpack and was pleased to find a ten dollar bill.  I dropped it into the cash box, declining the goodies and wishing I had a fifty.  There's always the website  -- I'll go there when I finish this blog.

There, on 25th and The Boulevard, I found my inspiration for our Annual Appeal.  Despite the glossy brochures and flashing E-peals, the best way to raise money for a cause one cares about is to get out there and publically say:  This is important to me.  I am proud to represent and work for this cause.  Join me and let's build a better world for all.

Thanks kids - for the inspiration and for the opportunity to help a kid with cancer.

As I walked away, I heard the young man, in that whisper voice that only a boy can make, say:   Hey mom .... look at what she gave us!   I smiled, remembering how when I was a college student, I made a cold call to an alumna at a phone-a-thon and got a first time gift of $1,000.  The feeling was great and put me on track for a lifetime career in fundraising.  

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