Posts filed under ‘Social venture’

The Making of a Lemon-aid Stand

lemonade stadeIn last Thursday’s “Real-World Super Heroes” class, we reinforced the idea that kids absolutely have the power to make a big difference. We shared some amazing real-life examples. Such as: Ryan Hreljac was in the first grade when he learned in class that people were dying because they didn’t have clean water to drink. He decided to do chores to raise $70 and build a well for a Ugandan village. Today, 10 years later, Ryan’s Well Foundation has contributed more than 480 wells in 16 countries serving more than 600,000 people.  Similarly, Janine Licare was 9 when she and her friend starting selling art to raise money for the rain forest, eventually creating Kids Saving the Rainforest. 

The key message: you don’t have to think big from the start, you just have to get started. This week our young Heroes got started on part 1 of a 2-part session on running a Lemonade Stand. Our group decided our Stand will sell lemonade and cookies, as well as tattoos. We discussed how to advertise our event – signs!  And how to help customers pass on the word – stickers! We also talked about prices, which we are 90% agreed on, but left ourselves a little wiggle room. Our heroes then got to work making cookies, signs and stickers.

The Real-World Super Heroes Lemonade Stand will be raising money for another group of neighborhood heroes: our firefighters. Our young Heroes will have the opportunity to present the money they raise to the brave members of the Firehouse at 145 W. 100th Street. The firefighters will provide the money to the Burn Center, which helps injured firefighters and civilians, and will thank us with a firehouse tour.

On May 28, with the weather suitably warm, we will take the cookies out of the freezer, mix up our lemonade and open for business. One day only. $1 for a drink and a cookie.  One more way to be a Super Hero.

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May 11, 2009 at 4:47 pm Leave a comment

All Hallow’s Eve Epilogue

It seems like Halloween was ages ago, but I want to recount a little episode that has stuck in my mind. On October 30, the kids in our “Real-World Super Heroes” class (see About for more info) hosted a party for some tots at the West End Intergenerational temporary residence.  The residence is a housing facility used mainly by moms and their kids getting out of abusive situations; the kids attend on-site daycare while their moms go to school or job training so they can land a job that pays for their own housing, usually a 6-12 month process. Our young heroes, including my son Jeff, had spent the previous week’s class getting ready for the party, which included discussion about what a shelter is and why people may need to use it.  On the night of the party, after Jeff was in bed, he called me into his room and reported, “You know the reason I didn’t get any candy at party was there was none left because the grown-ups who live there were taking a lot.”  He seemed confused or upset that adults would take Halloween candy, so I led him through a conversation that went something like this:

Me: Well, where do these women live?

Jeff: In the shelter.

Me: Why do they live there? 

Jeff: Because they don’t have enough money to live in their own houses. They are living there until they can.

Me: What might it be like for them?

Jeff: Maybe they don’t a lot of stuff.

Me: So why do you think they took all the candy we offered?

Jeff: Because they probably don’t have any.

Me: Yes probably. And maybe they will save it up so they can give it to their kids long after Halloween is over.  They might not be able to go out and get more whenever they want.

This small conversation reinforced for me that “Real-World Super Heroes” is on the right track: not every moment of our classes is a grand “aha” one and not every day will the kids be acting as ideal altruistic ambassadors.  The hope is simply that by providing regular opportunities for our kids to see the world through someone else’s eyes and to have a positive impact on those people — be they family and friends, or community members (or animals or the world around us) — they will develop a richer annd more compassionate view of our world.  It is fascinating to see which experiences are starting to help my son broaden his perspective. And, if I’m really lucky, he’ll suggest donating all our surplus trick-or-treat supplies to West End very, very soon!

November 10, 2008 at 11:39 am Leave a comment

My blog – and my mission – goes public

bouquet1.jpg

My friend Mindy and I started the “Real-World Super Heroes” after-school program a couple of months ago. We provide gradeschool kids with fun hands-on community service projects every week. You can read more about its mission and inception on the About page. To hear about how this real-world experiment is going, you can check back here. 

As we’ve gotten into working in the socially-responsible space, I’ve come across some really interesting non-profits, social venture concepts and super practical online resources that can help anyone who is interesting in acting on their values. (Check out the Links section for a few favorites.) I realized a blog could help me record and share these ideas on an ongoing basis , so here I am.  Welcome!

November 4, 2008 at 5:51 pm Leave a comment


Welcome to Aimee’s Real-World Super Heroes blog

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