Action: Making a Stand Against Slavery
Last year we tried out Action: Lemon:Aid Stand to raise money for clean water. In less than two hours, we were able to give 50 people access to water for a year! This girl, Vivienne, is taking it a step further. She is keeping her lemonade stand out all summer in order to raise money to free modern-day slaves. Read her story below and consider being part of her Make A Stand Band!
Summer has arrived. That means lemonade stands are sprouting up across the United States.
But Vivienne Harr is not your ordinary lemonade stand kid.
Vivienne accepts credit cards from her iPhone. She streams Adele from her iPad to entertain her customers. She serves 100% organic, fair trade raspberry/mint/yerba mate-infused lemonade in eco-friendly cups branded with her logo, website and social media icons.
You might call this: “Lemonade Stand 2.0.”
Vivienne is an 8 year-old from Fairfax, CA with big dreams.
On the first day of summer, she will set up her lemonade stand. Only Vivienne has decided to sit there every day, rain or shine, until she has raised enough money to free 500 children in slavery around the world.
That’ll take about $150,000.
“When I learned that a lot of kids, like me and my brother Turner (2), don’t have hope, that they can’t just set up lemonade stands in the sunshine or swim or play soccer or just be a kid, I decided to make a stand.”
“I didn’t think of reasons why I can’t. I thought of reasons why I must.”
The idea started on a family trip to Sonoma where the Harrs discovered Lisa Kristine, a journalist who photographs enslaved people around the world.
“My husband and I sat there crying,” said Vivienne’s mother, Alexandra. “Here we were sauntering around the Sonoma square, noshing cheese, blissfully unaware of these atrocities. I was ashamed and embarrassed. But, Vivienne reacted differently. She was motivated and determined.”
One photo in particular moved Vivienne. It is of two children in Nepal carrying heavy rocks with straps on their heads, yet holding hands.
When the Harrs returned home, Vivienne got right to work on researching ways to help.
She started with the only “business experience” she had: lemonade stands.
“It is all the business experience I have. But, I didn’t want to do a regular old lemonade stand. I wanted to do lemonade to the ‘next level.’ I want to serve incredible lemonade with a fancy presentation and excellent service—and I want the world to help me raise money.”
So, she sought help from her father Eric Harr, who happens to be one of the world’s leading social media experts, a best-selling author and the founder of Resonate Social.
“She said: ‘Dad, you do this social media stuff all day for all these companies. Can you help me raise money and awareness for human slavery?’ It was one of those moments when your jaw drops—and your heart soars. I would get to apply my social media expertise to help my daughter help the world. I hugged her for about a minute.”
They didn’t waste a moment. Within four days, Vivienne had a blog (www.makeastandlemonade.com), a Twitter page with 2,700 followers, a Facebook page with over 500 likes, an Instagram account and a Pinterest “pin board.” Anyone, anywhere can make donations and send virtual cups of Vivienne’s MAKE-A-STAND! Lemonade in seconds using PayPal Donate.
“We’re taking an integrated approach with social media as the driving force behind the awareness and donations,” says Eric. “But the ‘brick-and-mortar piece—the lemonade stand itself—is a critical component to the story.”
“If you’ve got a great story to tell, social media is for you, because the empowered consumer marketplace will become your marketers. Make meaning, win hearts—and the people will tip your brand.”
After that, Vivienne researched anti-slavery organizations online and decided on NOT FOR SALE, a501(c)(3) organization located in Half Moon Bay, California whose mission is to help free the 30 million people enslaved around the world, roughly half of whom are children.
“It’s just not right,” said Vivienne. “Lemonade is for sale. People are NOT FOR SALE!”
“It’s amazing,” said Jessica Henry, Director of Marketing of NOT FOR SALE. “Everyone here knows about Vivienne’s incredible story–and we are supporting her 100%.”
To raise the funds, Vivienne will need a lot more than foot traffic to her lemonade stand. She’ll need web traffic. And, she intends to get it.
“She saw me using my Square reader (a device that plugs into your iPhone to accept credit card payments) and she said: ‘Papa, can’t we let people use their credit cards to buy lemonade? I mean, won’t they buy more—and make maybe even make donations?’ Jack Dorsey (Square’s founder) would be proud. That’s precisely how he envisioned Square being used!”
For Vivienne, this is a dream come true—and a perfect summer project.
“This is the best. I have a great team around me and I don’t have to pay them much. My dad is great at websites and social media. My mom is an artist who helped me design the stand. My brother Turner (2) is the perfect mascot. My backa (grandpa) has great, creative ideas. My nonnie (grandma) makes the best lemonade in the world. And, my dog buddy is the perfect guard dog!”
But, this is no ordinary lemonade Vivienne is serving.
Vivienne’s guiding principle is “make a stand” in everything she does: from sitting at her stand every day to choosing the organic and fair trade ingredients.”
“I feel like most drinks are compromises,” Vivienne said. “Well, I’m not making any compromises. I’m making a stand. I only use 100% organic, fair-trade ingredients. My nonnie helps me with a recipe her mom taught her. I use fresh Meyer lemons from our organic garden, fresh organic raspberries, pure cane, fair-trade sugar, fresh mint from our organic garden, Yerba Mate for a little “kick-the-coffee”–and my secret ingredient: I only use FIJI Water! Manners matter, so I present it in a fabulously fancy way with two raspberries balanced across the top.”
“And, I am going to sit at my stand until I raise enough money to free 500 child slaves. And, I am going to serve the best lemonade in the world to do it.”
How sweet it is.
Visit Vivienne at her world-famous lemonade stand at Doc Edgar Park in Fairfax, California or view her unique recipe in action here:
- Online: makeastandlemonade.com
- Twitter: @vivienneharr
- Facebook: Make a Stand Lemonade
- Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/makeastand
Also, consider buying a virtual cup of lemonade (a donation to her cause), because I can assure you, we want to support this little girl! Not only to actually free slaves, for those who are oppressed, but also for Vivienne’s sake, as she becomes an advocate! That is what the whole post Art of Advocacy: Supporting the Causes of Others to be World Changers is all about!