Summer 2016 marks the second year for Lifeline’s Stand for Orphans adventure! Stand for Orphans is an incredible way to get children involved in orphan care and let them know they have a valuable contribution to God’s work around the world. One family who participated last year experienced that reality, “We thought the Stand for Orphans was a great way to raise awareness in our community for orphan care as well as help people become aware of Lifeline and the wonderful ministry opportunities that are available through them. We also thought the stand was a great way to teach children about orphans and how they can make an impact in the lives of orphans/vulnerable children firsthand.”
Your Stand can be as simple or elaborate as you want to make it! If you’d like a few hints, we asked some of our families who had a fruitful experience last year to give us some tips of what helped them. Several key factors reappeared, so we wanted to share those with you:
Kid Involvement: Of course parents or other adults will need to be involved, but let your kids do as much as they are able. Allow them to take ownership, even if it means your color scheme is off. Let them know that they actually can make a difference by letting them work. Here’s how some families did that:
- Kids can participate in preparations such as making signs, sticking the stickers on items, making the lemonade, helping bake cookies—anything they re old enough to do.
- Kids can serve the lemonade and baked goodies.
- Practically speaking, having as much lemonade (or whatever your selling item of choice) pre-made and set up allows children to be “in charge” as much as they are able.
Communicating the Why: Of course you will want to communicate the purpose of your stand to your customers, and our families found that, aside from advertising, educating their children about orphan care was one of the best ways to not only generate excitement (and less complaining) among the stand insiders but also motivated children to educate customers! Consider the following ideas as you communicate the whys of standing for orphans to your children:
- On a day when children are helping make signs, take some time to gather then together and teach them about God’s heart for the orphan and how He has commanded us to care for the vulnerable.
- Gather children together a few minutes before opening the stand to remind them of why they are standing for orphans and the huge impact they can make in the life of a child.
- Consider using one or more of the following videos to help show children the reality of their impact. (These were crafted for use with VBS partnerships but work great with independent Stand for Orphans stands; you just may need to personalize a little after watching):
Advertising: You don’t need a marketing team to get up and running. But, letting your friends and neighbors know ahead of time can help them prepare to stop by. Here’s are a few suggestions from families:
- Posted about your sale on social media a few days before, the morning of, and during the stand.
- Help your kids personally call close friends and family to invite them.
- Advertise the lemonade stand around our community by word of mouth or signs.
- Hold your stand in a busy place like a park to attract extra foot traffic or to be more centrally located.
- Invite local business to get involved: Listen to how one family used a creative way to broaden their audience: “One of the things that we did last year that obviously made a huge impact on our turnout was taking our kids to a local talk radio station and putting them on the air to tell people about our stand. I know everyone’s kids aren’t so outgoing, but our oldest daughter loves being the center of attention, so this was perfect for her! After the interview, we had businesses calling in and saying that they wanted to donate money or coupons to help us out. Our local skating rink printed out dozens of free passes so that any kids who stopped by our stand could get a free pass to go skating.”
Donations: You may choose to charge a minimum fee for your goods or to simply ask for donations. However, many families find that donations are easier and may raise more money. Here’s why some families chose donations over fees:
- Donations mean that kids don’t have to make change or add totals. They can focus on serving drinks and snacks to each person. Just provide a bucket on the table for donations.
- When minimum fees are not charged, customers are able to give as the Lord leads them. Instead of a set amount, most customers give above and beyond what would normally be charged.
- Customers who write checks will receive a tax-deductible receipt back from Lifeline.
Options: Consider offering more than a drink. Feel free to be creative! Some suggestions from families include a variety of options:
- In addition to lemonade, offer water, or other drinks.
- If it’s a hot day, popsicles may be a great option!
- Cookies or other baked goods in baggies go with lemonade well.
- Consider going a little out-of-the box with something like doggie treats or glow-in-the-dark necklaces for summer evenings.
Collaborative Effort: Involve others as much as possible, from your neighbors and friends, to your church or community. Listen to how some families involved others:
- “We gathered around 10 children of various ages from our church and community and invited them to help us put on a stand. We then planned an evening where we invited all the kids to come into our home to help decorate and prepare for the stand. During that evening we also did a little devotion and teaching on who an orphan is and how God calls His people to care for the orphan.”
- “We live in a small community so it turned into a community event. It turned into a wonderful evening of fellowship as families came to the park for the lemonade stand and hung around and chatted with each other.”
- “We picked a date with our small group that lots of the kiddos would be able to come over and decorate signs. Then we set up a pop up tent in our front yard so that the kids could have a shady spot in between dancing around with signs.”
Above all, have fun glorifying God and impacting others for His glory. And, remember that all funds raised will be matched up to $50,000! So, all of your efforts will be doubled! Whether you raise $10 or $1,000 your children are learning a valuable part of God’s Kingdom—that we are never too young to obey and never too young to make an impact!