Hoffman Estates, Ill. – Every summer, brother and sister team, Noah and Ruthie, set up their annual neighborhood lemonade stand. But this isn’t your typical lemonade. Their lemonade is made with clean water.
You may be thinking, “Clean water? Shouldn’t all lemonade be made with clean water?” This is the typical response of many of their friends and neighbors as well. Nine-year-old Noah, wise beyond his years, would reply that not everyone in the world has clean water, so we should be grateful that we do.
Parents, Chad and Amy Helms, of Palatine, Illinois have always tried to set an example for their children and encourage them to help others. A few years ago, they became involved with Bright Hope’s JELLY program, which stands for Jesus, Education, Livelihoods, Love, and You. Through this program, they learned about extreme poverty and participated in serving activities as a family.
One of the activities Amy remembers was a video they watched about access to clean water. They saw families in developing countries walking long distances to find water, and when they found it, it wasn’t always clean, but they had to drink it anyway. “Noah was bothered by this,” Amy shared.
One summer, Noah asked his Mom about setting up a lemonade stand. When she asked what he wanted to charge for the lemonade, Noah’s initial response was five dollars. When she said that cost might be too high for some people, Noah said, “Well then, let’s give it away for free.” It was soon decided that the family would use the lemonade stand to raise money for clean water through donations.
“I think the lemonade stand was just the beginning of serving in other ways,” says Amy. “It’s not always about raising money, sometimes it’s about raising awareness, or just has allowed the kids and us to see people in need in our community.”
The Helms family donated the funds raised through their lemonade stand to Bright Hope to purchase clean water pumps for communities in Haiti. Chad and Amy were soon able to share stories and photos with their children showing the impact the pumps were having for families in need.
Chad recently shared, “It doesn’t have to be huge. It just has to be you willing to say, ‘I want to make a difference, and we’re just going to do something simple, and see what happens.’ It has made a difference and it’s teaching our children.”