Honest Helping Hands: Alex's Lemonade Stand

Honest Helping Hands: Alex's Lemonade Stand

An Inside Look at Honestly Amazing Non-Profits

September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, so we couldn't think of a better way to honor the legacy and work of Alexandra Scott — a 4-year-old girl who made it her mission to find a cure for all childhood cancers. Today, Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) continues to make that little girl's life dream a reality by funding cutting edge research, providing pediatric oncology nursing grants to improve patients' quality of life, and supporting families battling cancer with various resources. And, in the spirit of this blog series, ALSF champions kids helping kids because the organization truly knows children can be the catalyst for meaningful change.

Q. What was Alex's motive to start Alex's Lemonade Stand?

Alex's Lemonade Stand

A. My daughter Alex was motivated to host her very first front yard lemonade stand after receiving a treatment that made her feel better. At the time, Alex was just four-years old and had been battling neuroblastoma, a form of childhood cancer, for nearly her entire life. After receiving a new treatment, Alex said to me, “when I get out of the hospital, I want to hold a lemonade stand so doctors can help other kids feel better, just like they made me feel better.” It was a simple sentiment, but from that moment of inspiration, Alex’s front yard lemonade stand would encourage a nation of volunteers to join the fight against childhood cancer, raising more than $1 million in her lifetime. To date, the Foundation has raised more than $60 million, funding over 300 research projects at leading hospitals and institutions.

Q. Why is it important to get kids involved in non-profit work?

A. It’s important for children to get involved in non-profit work to learn from an early age that they are capable of making a difference in the world. Alex knew that no matter how young (or old!) you are, you can always do something to change the lives of others. Whether it is hosting that front yard lemonade stand or just making a get well card for someone who might really be in need of cheer in his or her life, it’s important for children to learn that they have an impact in the world, even at just 4-years-old. Alex proved that to us, and we are proud to be able to pass that on to others!

Q. How can people (and kids specifically) get involved with your organization?

A. There are several ways to get involved with the organization – of course Alex’s original idea was to host a lemonade stand! We have had supporters of all ages hold lemonade stands, and they have learned that it’s a fun and easy way to contribute to the fight against kids’ cancer. As we enter National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month this September, we are also launching another initiative, the Million Mile Run, encouraging supporters everywhere to help us log 1 million miles. Whether you’re an avid runner and think you can log 100 miles by yourself, or you just want to help through forming a team and splitting the miles, we hope the Million Mile Run will raise the profile of National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month! To break it down, if four coworkers decided to walk a mile at lunch every day for the month, they could easily log the 100 miles!

Q. What was your most memorable moment during your work with Alex's Lemonade Stand? 

A. Wow, this is a tough one, and something that I don’t think I’ll be able to pinpoint. Of course seeing volunteers around the country embrace my daughter’s mission and propel her to reach her goal of raising $1 million in 2004. That was an amazing time in our lives and in the Foundation’s history. That is certainly among the top moments, but there are so many more. We have met so many amazing families on this journey who inspire us each and every day, so many childhood cancer fighters who share the same determination as Alex did, and an innumerable amount of volunteers who continue what Alex started. To sum it up, we are just so thankful for the continued support as we work toward achieving Alex’s mission — a cure for all kids with cancer.

Q. Getting and keeping a non-profit up and running can be hard work. Do you have any advice for someone of any age looking to start his/her own?

Alex with Lemonade

A. I think the best advice that I would be able to give anyone thinking of starting a non-profit is to be passionate about your cause and know that you will face challenges. The journey is not a short one, but with determination, and both the support and help of others, anything is possible.

To learn more about Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer, host your own lemonade stand, or get involved, visit alexslemonade.org.

We aim to provide you with the most honest and credible information possible. This article was reviewed for accuracy by The Honest Team and was written based on trusted sources that are linked at the bottom of the article.