When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Lemonade, During COVID-19

A few weeks ago, during a heat wave, my son told me he wanted to have a lemonade stand to raise money for a new LEGO set. Easy, right, just a simple activity that most of us participated in as children. Yet, times are not normal, and we needed to think creatively. Instead of telling him “no,” I thought maybe we could have a curbside pickup or delivery service, and I looked online for inspiration.

Sure enough, I found some great ideas, most notably the following article in Forbes. We decided to give the “virtual lemonade stand” and “lemonade-to-go” ideas a whirl with our own twist.

What we did:

  • I helped draft a simple flyer, with information about who he was, what he was doing (taking orders for curbside delivery and lemonade-to-go because we couldn’t have a traditional lemonade stand), when we would make deliveries, why, and how to get in touch.
  • On bicycle and foot, we delivered the flyers to select neighbors, as well as sharing with friends on Facebook.
  • I went to the store (following mask and hygiene protocols), and picked up the supplies we needed. I helped him create little packages with chilled bottled water, a lemonade packet (choice of regular or raspberry), and a biodegradable straw.
  • We had a chat about the economics of a lemonade stand, where I explained that he would not receive 100% of the profits, because he would need to reimburse me for startup costs. (I am not sure this sunk in, but it made me realize I am way behind the curve on teaching my kids about financial literacy…more on that “supermom-ish” fail later.)
  • Then, we waited for the orders to come in, which they did! At least half a dozen neighbors and a few friends placed orders, and all tipped generously. He was able to take home $20.

A little boy learned a few important life lessons, we connected with many of our neighbors, and the experience led to another job: walking the neighbors’ dog. Coronavirus is hard on us all, but we must continue to think creatively and optimistically about keeping positive experiences going.

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