When siblings AnneDee, Jett and Hiro had a lemonade stand this summer in Oregon, they decided to use their earnings to give a bike as a Gift of Hope to a child in need. But they never knew just how successful they’d be!
This past summer, 4-year-old Jett rode a bike for the first time. She pushed off with her feet on the street outside of her house in Oregon, balanced on the seat and began pedaling. And that was it! She could ride a bike!
Her older sister, AnneDee, was so happy and proud that she cried.
Riding a bike is a big deal — a childhood milestone. But it’s an opportunity that so many children around the world don’t have. And in many places, riding a bike is more than just a fun way to play and get exercise — it’s a safety issue.
Especially in rural areas, and especially for girls, getting to and from school can be dangerous. Many girls walk miles and miles to get to school. It takes a long time, and can leave them vulnerable to predators.
“If they don’t have a car, and they have to walk to school, they can use a bike,” says 7-year-old AnneDee. “So it’s safer and faster.” AnneDee understands why bikes are so important. And she and her siblings wanted to do something to help.
“If they don’t have a car, and they have to walk to school, they can use a bike. So it’s safer and faster.”AnneDee, age 7
So AnneDee, Jett and their 2-year-old brother Hiro began planning for a lemonade stand to raise money to purchase a bike as a Gift of Hope for a child in need.
The children mixed lemonade, stirred brownie mix and sticky rice crispy treats and left sun tea out to brew on their porch.
Because of the pandemic, they were extra careful to make sure everything was sanitary.
“We individually wrapped everything and washed our hands about 30 times when we were making these!” says their mom, Jennifer.
Next, they made a sign explaining what they were doing.
“I colored in the letters and the strawberries and the lemons!” Jett says about her part in making the sign. They made a second sign explaining their mission — their lemonade stand was by donation only, and all proceeds would go to Holt International.
“We as a family have always sponsored children through Holt,” says Jennifer. “Gratitude and social awareness is huge part of our parenting, and how I was raised as well. I was adopted from Korea, so Holt has always been a big part of my being.”
When the weekend finally came, AnneDee, Jett and Hiro set everything up and began serving their customers. Neighbors, friends and even their mom’s yoga teacher stopped by to purchase treats!
People gave generously. So much so that after Friday afternoon, the children decided to open their stand for several more hours on Saturday as well.
By the end of the weekend, it was time to count up the money.
“That was my favorite part,” AnneDee says.
Their original goal was to raise $82 to buy one bike for a child who needed one. But when they counted up the money, they had nearly $300! Enough to purchase not just one, but three bikes for children across the world!
Right away, they contacted Holt to share about the money they had raised, and asked to purchase three bikes to give to kids who needed them.
“That’s something we talked about,” says Jennifer, “the concept of helping somebody all the way across the world. Somebody we don’t know and we probably will never get to meet. To contribute to the greater good.”
So now, because of AnneDee, Jett and Hiro, three girls will each receive their very own bike. They don’t know yet if the bikes will go to a child in India or Cambodia or Ethiopia or somewhere else. But they do know that because of their hard work and generosity, three more girls will arrive safely to school.
Not only was this a meaningful project and a great learning opportunity, but holding the lemonade stand was fun! They liked it so much that they plan to do another stand this winter. But instead of lemonade, they’ll have hot cocoa and candy canes and maybe even chai tea and coffee for the adults.
There are so many amazing, creative ways to fundraise for Gifts of Hope, and it’s the perfect opportunity to get the whole family involved! Thank you to AnneDee, Jett and Hiro for helping kids around the world!
Give a Gift of Hope
Give a lifesaving or life-changing tangible gift to a child or family in need. And this holiday season, give in honor of a loved one and they’ll receive a free card!