Rachel’s Lemonade for St. Jude celebrates 10 years

Posted August 3, 2016 at 1:55 pm

Rachel Sawyer 08-16.psd

Ten years ago my friend Abbi and I held our first lemonade stand and told the Clinton County News we had hopes of buying a playhouse. However, we only made around $100 (we later found out most of that came from my parents). I soon learned of a girl in another state that donated her lemonade stand money to St. Jude Children’s Hospital. I then decided I wanted to do the same.

I feel very blessed for my health but unfortunately some kids have health issues. I feel that since I’m so fortunate that I should do my best to help others and that’s why I love helping the patients at St. Jude Children’s Hospital.

Ten years ago I never imagined that I would still be hosting a lemonade stand nor that I would be raising thousands of dollars for St. Jude Children’s Hospital. Over the past ten years I’ve developed a great love and passion for helping others. I’ve had the opportunity to visit St. Jude Children’s Hospital to see firsthand some of the work being done and have high hopes to visit again this fall.

Rachel’s Lemonade for St. Jude has given me an opportunity to share my passion not only locally and statewide but now throughout other states. One year we even took the lemonade stand on the road and set up at my aunt’s house in Henderson, Kentucky.

At age 9, I had the honor of sharing my passion in Frankfort at the Governor’s Mansion where I was the youngest recipient to receive the Governors Youth Volunteer Service Award.

I always look forward to the lemonade stand. As soon as one year is over the planning and dreaming starts for the next year. Thoughts of new goals, thoughts of who will stop by, and how can we make it even better the next year.

Last year I had told everyone my goal was $2500 but I was really hoping for $2700, and just dreaming about how awesome it would be to reach $3000. When the bank tallied the total and I found out we had raised $3154.24 I was ecstatic and knew that God was behind it all!

I remember a couple of years ago when it seemed like some didn’t believe we could reach the goal. I kept reminding everyone of one of my favorite verses, Philippians 4:13 which says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” During that weekend I kept my faith in God and trusted that He had a plan. By the time it was over with, the goal was not only met but we exceeded it!

There’s no way I could ever do this without the help and support of my family, friends, and community. Most importantly, there’s no way I could ever do this without God. He gives me strength, courage, and patience with everything I do. I thank Him for giving me this opportunity.

While thinking back on 10 years and about all of the people that have been a part of this adventure it’s been amazing. My grandmother lets a bunch of kids invade her house for a couple of days and my family helps with setup, running back and forth making lemonade, and feeding all of the volunteers.

My friends and their parents who come to help out are wonderful people. A few years into this Gregory Design donated some t-shirts and now those small shirts are being used by our younger volunteers. Then there are those who take time out to stop in and make a donation.

Thinking back about the people who stop by some are local and some travel a great distance. We hear stories about “I read your article in the paper,” “we heard about you on the radio,” and often we hear “we heard about your lemonade stand at another yard sale” or “we heard about you from someone who stopped by last year.” And there’s a group of people who always come every year, some get out and set a while with us, while others stop just to make a donation.

All of these people have left an impression on our hearts forever. During the past 10 years I’ve been amazed at the love and support shown to Rachel’s Lemonade for St. Jude.

Please keep Rachel’s Lemonade for St. Jude stand in your prayers this weekend and also the families at St. Jude Children’s Hospital.

So, as we look forward to year number 10 of Rachel’s Lemonade for St. Jude remember to stop by during the 127 Yard Sale at my grandmother’s house next to Talbott Funeral Home and help us reach our goal of $3000.

Oh yes, I’ve checked the weather and saw the chance of rain but please don’t let that stop you from coming by.

Hope to see you there!

Rachel Sawyer