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Lemon(Aid) Revolution

When our kids live in a “gimme” world, how do we change that self-serving perspective to “give to others”? Dallas mom Melissa Plaskoff grew up in a charitable family (her mother raised thousands of dollars for multiple-sclerosis research). When Plaskoff’s son, Hudson, 4, asked to host a neighborhood lemonade stand, she took the opportunity to teach a lesson in giving back.

After an age-appropriate conversation about the massive earthquake, Plaskoff explained to Hudson that he could only start the stand if he donated the proceeds to the disaster relief in Haiti.

That only seemed to inspire the little entrepreneur. “At the stand, [Hudson] solicited neighbors, friends, postal and sanitation workers in our neighborhood,” she says.

And while Plaskoff admits that the concept might still be over young Hudson’s head, “It’s setting a good foundation and giving him hands-on experiences.”

Since their first lemonade stand, the family launched a Web site (www.lemonstoaid.com) that aims to educate other parents how to start age-appropriate fundraising activities in their own homes or neighborhoods (everything from lemonade stands to clothing drives). The group does not solicit funds, yet encourages families to raise money toward a meaningful cause.