Making lemonade from lemons
Sometimes the biggest ideas come from the smallest people.
When Mahopac, NY, residents Sophia and Sara Bottema heard about the Minot flood from their parents, they knew they wanted to help. Never mind that they live 1,722 miles away and are only six and eight years old.
Their uncle Bill Harbort, Minot State University art professor, lives in Minot, and although he isnít in the flood plain, he knows many who are. So Sara and Sophia did what many resourceful, young entrepreneurs do best: they opened a business to raise money for Minotís flood recovery.
"We love our cousins, so I really wanted to help them," Sophia, 6, said.
"We decided to help and do a lemonade stand because we did it in the fall and earned a lot of money," Sara added.
Last fallís lemonade stand raised money for the Humane Society.
The girls and their mother, Nancy, made a sign, "scavenged through the cupboards" and set up shop for two days near a local park selling lemonade and Girl Scout cookies for 50Ę.
"People could give more if they wanted," Sophia pointed out.
"It was me, my mom and Sophia," Sara said. "Some people gave the amount they were supposed to give, but they were nice."
Nancy commented that customer reception was surprising.
"A lot of people hadnít heard about the flood, but the girls would tell everyone, so people were generous," she said.
At the end of the run, grandma and grandpa chipped in and mom and dad matched funds, so the money sent to Uncle Bill totaled $400. He purchased gift cards and distributed them to friends, one of whom bought an industrial-sized fan to dry his home and plans to share it with others, making those little cups of lemonade go even further.
A touching ending to a heart-felt effort, but the Bottema women arenít done. Theyíve moved on to collecting box tops for the Minot schools damaged in the flood, with intentions of approaching Mahopacís PTA in the fall and organizing a community box top drive for the Minot Public School system.
"We just hope everybody in Minot is safe and that they have a fun summer," Sara said.