Honest Helping Hands: LemonAID Warriors

Honest Helping Hands: LemonAID Warriors

An Inside Look at Honestly Amazing Non-Profits

At the age of 10, Lulu Cerone (now a teenager) founded LemonAID Warriors because she knew kids wanted to make a difference in the world and do so on their own terms. So, she encourages them to make social activism part of their social lives by mentoring kids to use the skills they already have, do the things they are already doing, and create change now. Through her efforts, Lulu has raised over $65,000.00 through kid-driven events like rock concerts, PhilathroParties, Water:Walks, and LemonAID stands.

Lulu of LemonAID Warriors

Q. What was your motive to start LemonAID Warriors?

A. The first solo fundraiser I did was when I was ten years old for the earthquake in Haiti. I was desperate to help — and my Boys vs. Girls LemonAID War spread from a classroom event across the city to the country. We raised $4,000.00 in two weeks. I saw how putting a simple creative twist on a standard lemonade stand turned it into a big deal. Not only did our creativity help our friends in Haiti, it also brought my class closer together. Acting on our compassion for others made us more compassionate toward each other too. After this event, my friends kept asking me when we were doing another one. So, that's why I started LemonAID Warriors…to continue finding creative ways to turn compassion into action and making social activism part of our social lives.

LemonAID Warriros Fundraiser

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

A. It is important to get kids involved in non-profit work for so many reasons. When kids hook into the fact that they already have skills to make a real impact on their world, their self-esteem grows. The skills we learn from organizing events helps us in all aspects of life — from teamwork to money management, to marketing and PR, to public speaking. Even something as simple as making a phone call to ask an adult business owner for sponsorship is a huge lesson. Finally, it puts our own problems into perspective when we look outside ourselves and put our energy into helping. It cuts down on all the drama that happens, especially in middle school, because you really can't get too worked up about the trivial stuff when you are aware of the problems facing others. It makes you grateful. And, like I said above, when you connect your compassion with those in need, it really does help you become more compassionate toward those in your daily life.

LemonAID Warriors Lemonade Stand

Q. How can people (and kids specifically) get involved with your organization? Tell us about philanthro-parties!

A. Come to my Web site lemonaidwarriors.com, click my ACTION HERO page, and get inspired by warriors’ work. Copy their ideas. Check out my PARTY PLANNING page to see how you can turn any social gathering into a Philanthro-Party, which is a party with a purpose. Anything from a trip to the mall to a birthday party to a backyard BBQ can be given a LemonAid "twist" and become an opportunity to give. I have action plans and tools to get you started on my Web site, or email me. I will mentor you one on one. Here's how I do it:

  1. We talk about issues that matter deeply to you. My personal passion is helping the water crisis in Africa. What's yours?  Is it helping pets?  Homeless?  Sick people?
  2. Once we find a cause, I help you vet an organization to partner with.
  3. We discuss your skills and strengths to use your talents as a tool for change.
  4. We plan an event, fundraiser, or philanthro-party, using that skill to raise money and/or awareness for your cause.

Check out some of my warriors’ philanthro-party videos for ideas. They can be big events like my Water Walk birthday philanthro-party. Or small events like Maddie's Beauty Brunch or Brynn's Art Fair That Cares.

Q. What was your most memorable moment during your work with LemonAID Warriors?

A. A memorable moment as a LemonAID Warrior was speaking at the United Nations. It was part of the United Nations International Year of Youth celebration. I was 11 years old. I gave the opening address. It was so amazing to be in a room full of young change-makers and see that there is an army of young warriors out there who are going lead my generation to a better future.

Lulu visits Ugnada

Q. Getting a non-profit up and running (and keeping it running) can be hard work. Do you have any advice for someone (of any age) looking to start one?

A. If you want to start your own non-profit my best advice is to work closely with a non-profit you love. Learn from them. I continue to work with Blood:Water Mission for my water projects. I have a contact who has taught me so much about marketing, strategy, communication, and messaging. I traveled to Africa with them to see how money is spent, to learn about how to listen to the people you are helping, and ask them what they need instead of deciding what you think they need. They have taught me about looking for sustainable solutions…and how to empower the people you are helping to help themselves. After a few years of being mentored by them, I finally applied for my 501c3 nonprofit status. So, take your time and learn from the best first.

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.