Friday, May 28, 2010


California weather is interesting. It is generally pretty mild. I remember posting photos up in February of flowers and blossoms; making my Facebook friends in other states jealous that they were still experiencing snow, while my photos obnoxiously declared sun and blue sky. They were looking at the slightest promise of spring and I was already basking in it.

Ha! This May has been one of copious amounts of rainfall. It's nearly the end of school and they had to cancel their fun warm weather activities.

It appears that this next week will bring warmer weather and for that I'm grateful. I'm also thankful for the rain; I love rain but even I am done.

Summertime is one of those words that is full of meaning and possibilities; and they vary from one person to another. Around here, summer means beach trips, a lot of outdoor play, swimming, barbeques, lazy days of spending time with friends, spontaneity, outdoor patio dining at restaurants, popsicles and ice cream, summer fruits and tomatoes, amusement parks, bike rides, creek walking.... and of course: Lemonade!

In the past my kids have set up a lemonade stand to raise money for themselves. A huge part is just the fun. For some reason, lemonade stands are the epitome of childhood summers and my kids have been clamoring for months to do one. So when I discovered Blood:Water Mission's Lemon:Aid I knew it would be a perfect fit!

Blood:Water Mission is an organization committed to bringing safe, clean drinking water to countries that are lacking. I believe all their projects to date are in Africa. It is hard to believe, but one dollar will provide a person with an entire year's worth of water! They also help in the area of HIV/AIDS.

This is from their website:

" Rather than providing a hand-out, which inevitably leads to dependency and failed projects, we seek to transform communities from the inside out, enabling them to be the agents of change within their own context. While safe water access, hygiene, and sanitation are core objectives within our water programs, the process of enabling these skills and technologies in a community ultimately leads them on a journey of self-discovery, giving communities a platform for understanding their own capabilities, assets, and most importantly self-worth. It's not until communities are able to understand and embrace their potential, that they are fully able to utilize and sustain the projects they have worked so hard to achieve. "

If you recall, I gave up diet coke and all beverages but water for 40 days during their Forty Days of Water campaign, but in fact, they have many campaigns you can get involved in. Their Ride:Well tour where cyclists are raising money by cycling 3,172 miles cross-country, Water Walks, where people raise money and walk a mile to a water source and back, carrying their water just like so many Africans must do every day to access water, 2 weeks of sacrifice, which is similar to the 40 Days of water only on a smaller scale, Active:Water, and this one I'm planning on participating in:


Of course the cause of providing clean water is a major motivation in this, but I love the fact that I can help teach my kids about people in other countries that don't have basic things we take for granted like clean water. Lemonade stands are notorious for helping kids learn about money and salesmanship but this is even more special because I can help my kids learn about compassion and sacrifice. Since they have used their lemonade stand money on themselves in the past, they are aware that they are giving something up to help others and further a greater cause, all while having fun and engaging community.

Community. This is another reason that I have fallen in love with Blood:Water Mission's campaigns. They all center around community. Community with others that are participating nationally, community with others locally. A lemonade stand really invites my neighborhood to join in. Join the cause, join in friendship and join in conversation.

It is so much more than just sending in a check; I feel like my family, friends, community is invited to be a participant.

Blood:Water Mission is providing a Lemon:Aid campaign kit for free, only asking for 2.50 shipping. The kit includes postcards, a bracelet, poster, balloons, flyers, tattoos, t-shirt iron ons, and a tip sheet. You can even download the graphics to make your own posters, etc. for free. It is easy, colorful and fun. You can upload your stand photos, share your stories on the website, or if you are reading this and simply want to donate, you can do that HERE.

Have a beautiful, meaningful summer! And I hope you take some time out to enjoy some ice cold lemonade, coming to a neighborhood near you!

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