Teaching Our Children to Be Generous

The Fitzgerald kids with their donation to Holt International.

The Fitzgerald kids held four lemonade stands this summer, and donated over $700 to Holt’s special needs adoption grant fund.

You were born with the ability to change someone’s life. Don’t ever waste it.

Oftentimes, we make a difference in others’ lives without even trying all that hard. It may be a smile to a stranger who had a bad morning. Or letting a car go in front of you on a traffic-filled Monday afternoon. It might be offering kind words that a person doesn’t hear often enough.

These types of actions are what our family believes can make a difference in someone’s life. And we work hard to teach our children the magic of kindness and giving back to others.

We are a family of six. Our four kiddos range from age 2 to age 14. Don’t be mistaken and think our family is always cheerful and always kind. Oh… don’t be fooled, friends! We have very bad days and we make mistakes galore.

But we rise up from those moments and remind ourselves the importance and the payoff of kindness. Kindness makes others feel good. Kindness makes us feel good!

For many years now, we have held annual lemonade stands in our neighborhood where our children would excitedly make and sell cups of ice-cold lemonade. At the end of the day, they would count all of their money and donate the money to a local charity.

The Fitzgerald kids and their lemonade stand.

The lemonade stands made giving back fun for the kids. They are proud of the accomplishment and give the donation with delight.

This past summer we decided to make a change to our lemonade stand. This year, our proceeds would support adoption!

Adoption has touched our family enormously. Our youngest is our son because of adoption, and adoption will forever be a part of his story. But he isn’t the only one impacted by adoption — we are moved when we see how much adoption is in our oldest two daughters’ hearts and love listening to their passion surrounding this magnificent and complex notion.

Even our 5-year-old is inquisitive about the concept of adoption.

Our family adopted our youngest from China in 2017 with the outstanding support of Holt International. So we easily made the decision to donate 2018’s lemonade stand proceeds back to Holt!

The Fitzgerald family.

In June 2018, we held our first Hope Always Lemonade Stand in our neighborhood in Western Massachusetts. Our mission is to bring “hope always” to adoptive families and to children who, for reasons known or unknown, are not yet blessed with a family. We have hope. We have passion and love. And we strive to change someone’s life, even if in the most simple or slight way.

Throughout the summer we held four stands. Most were right in our front yard and were filled with local friends, family, neighbors and members of our community. We answered questions about adoption, told our story and learned how adoption blessed others’ lives — all over delicious, ice-cold lemonade! The generosity of others blew us away. Our local media station came and interviewed us and shared our story online and on television.

We were humbled.

We even held a lemonade stand at a local campground on Labor Day weekend and once again, connected with members of our community about giving back, adoption and kindness.

We were so amazed and proud and immensely grateful at the end of the summer.  We sat down as a family in awe as we made the decision about which program through Holt the money should go.

On October 2, we donated $701.95 to Holt International’s special needs grant program. And we continue to have Hope Always that this will help make a difference of some kind to a waiting family or child.

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.

Lisa Fitzgerald | Chicopee, MA

Do you want to find a cause for your children to get involved with? Check out Holt’s online Gifts of Hope catalog, and pick an item that means the most to you and your family!

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