Howard Ave. east of Lexington Dr. is not a high-traffic location. No sane commercial site planner would expect to plunk down a retail outlet and clear several hundred or a thousand bucks in a few hours of selling drinks and nibbles.
But Jaelyn, all of seven years old the summer of 2011, chose the driveway of her own home to raise money to help homeless people.
“She was sad when she found out that there were people with no homes,” explains her mom, Janelle.
When her daughter asked to set up a lemonade stand out front in order to raise money to buy homes for people without homes, Janelle was all set to gently discourage the effort.
How much could one little girl do?
But before the words of let-down could escape, Janelle changed course and said that she would help Jaelyn with her project.
Before the E-Z Up canopy bloomed on the driveway, Janelle oversaw a social marketing campaign among all the family’s friends, relatives, co-workers and fellow youth sport activitists.
The result: last summer, Jaelyn raised $350. The money was donated to We Care Family Support Services in Los Alamitos.
“We used Jaelyn’s money last year to pay utility bills for people who may have had enough to cover rent, but not enough to also pay for electricity,” explains Rob Lowenberg, director of We Care.
This year, Jaelyn is more ambitious.
A student at Hopkinson Elementary School (favorite subject: math) and a soccer player, Jaelyn set her fundraising goal this year at a cool thousand bucks.
That’s $333 an hour for the three hours that her lemonade stand is open.
After only an hour, she had already beaten last year’s amount — and a bunch of fellow soccer players and their families had promised to come by once their games were finished.
When Rob asked her how she wanted her money put to use this year, she wasn’t sure — but after talking it over with Rob and her mom, she decided that half could be spent on canned meat for We Care’s food bank, and the other half could be spent buying personal care products like shampoo and hand soap.
Congratulations to Jaelyn for her outstanding efforts!
We Care Family Support Center is located at 3788 Cerritos Ave. in Los Alamitos. For more information, visit www.wecarelosalamitos.org online, or call 562-598-9790.
Rob Lowenberg, director of We Care Family Support Center, gives Jaelyn a well-earned hug for her fundraising efforts on behalf of homeless people.