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When life hands you lemons... raise some funds!
Lemonade stand lends a hand for AIDS orphans
The world is constantly changing, but one thing remains the same: People get thirsty, especially during the hot summer months.
To help quench people's thirst and also to raise money for themselves and others, lemonade stands are still popular among kids today, even in the 21st century.
For Katy Watowich, 8, despite facing typical warm Yuma temperatures, she wanted to spend time this school year manning a lemonade stand with her friends as a way to help raise funds for AIDS orphans.
Katy, who attends Southwest Christian School (SWCS), heard about the work of Tumaini International Ministries because the school actively sponsors two children from Africa: Daniel and Mutie. The nonprofit organization is funded by individuals, churches, businesses and community groups in hopes to reduce the suffering caused by the AIDS pandemic in Kenya.
“SWCS has sponsored them for years,” said Katy's mother, Chardee Watowich. “... It's almost like having two additional students at our school — the kids feel like they know them, have seen pictures of them, pray for them and support them financially, but have never met them in person. In situations where the school has exceeded its sponsorship in the past, it has used the additional funds to purchase livestock for the boys' families.”
When asked why she chose a lemonade stand to raise the funds, Katy said the answer was easy: because it's hot outside and lemonade is refreshing. She added that she thought a lemonade stand sounded like fun, and her friends were operating their own, too.
After asking her parents a number of times, she said, they finally agreed.
“Katy has a loving and generous heart — always has. When she first asked to do a lemonade stand, I was hopeful that she'd wait until fall,” said Chardee. “The summers here are just too hot to be sitting outside all day.
“However, when she persisted and explained that she wanted to raise money for the kids at Tumaini, I just couldn't refuse. I'm proud of her for seeing the needs of others and not only seeing those needs but taking the steps to made a difference... even in the heat of a Yuma summer.”
Thanks to a mention about the location of the lemonade stand as well as the day and time on a local TV station, Chardee said that on a single Saturday in August, Katy raised more than $300 from sales and donations and about 75 people stopped by, some multiple times. She noted that they went through about least six dozen brownies and four dozen chocolate chip cookies and a substantial amount of both regular and pink lemonade.
Chardee also put out invites via text and Facebook to friends and family, offering for them to stop by Katy's stand in front of their home if they were available and wanted to support the cause.
In addition to a table to hold the drinks and goodies, Katy said, they also had a shade structure to block out the sun. She added that they made all of the baked goods themselves and made signs to let people know what she was raising money for that were placed at their table and also at the end of their street.
“I just wanted to earn a lot of money ... It made me really happy because I'm helping other people,” Katy said.
After school is out this year, she said she's hoping to raise at least $400 for another nonprofit organization, Arizona Reservation Ministries, by putting together a snow cone stand.