Lemonade for international aid

Youths sell lemonade for East Africa Relief

August 17, 2011 | Young Voices
Rachel Bergen | National Correspondent
Winnipeg, Man.

Many people can identify with being hungry, but cannot understand what it is like to be among tens of thousands who are on the verge of death because of hunger, with little hope of survival.

Many people living in East Africa are living this reality currently. (See more coverage on pages 18 and 19.) They have had to flee to Kenya, Ethiopia and the Somali capital of Mogadishu to find food at refugee camps there.

Recognizing this incredible need for aid, Mennonite Central Committee has been campaigning to raise money for desperately needy famine-affected people, especially in southern Ethiopia and Kenya.

Many people have donated money to MCC and other international aid organizations, recognizing the great need to help. Even some youths and young children recognize the need.

When Meghan Fast and Kate Moulden, 11-year-olds from First Mennonite Church, Winnipeg, saw footage of the famine on television, they felt the immediate call to act.

“It is really awful and instantly I knew that I wanted to help out,” Meghan says.

When Kate suggested a lemonade stand, they set to work making treats and designing their advertising. For six hours over two days of the August long weekend, Meghan and Kate sold cookies, iced tea, lemonade and peaches at the corner of Dominion Street and Wolesley Avenue.

The money raised from the lemonade stand, which totalled about $100, is all being donated to MCC.

“My mom and I made more than 10 dozen cookies and my dad made a sign that said, ‘Best chocolate chip cookies ever, made with love for the African famine,’ ” Kate says.

The two had great responses to their work. According to Kate, one woman donated $10 and didn’t even purchase a beverage or snack.

They had regular customers, people who returned with cash, as well as people in cars and on bikes who stopped to peruse the stand.

They aren’t the only ones making donations to the East Africa food aid effort.

The vacation Bible school (VBS) children at Grace Mennonite Church in Nouenlage, Sask., are giving small donations every day in an offering to MCC. According to Darryl Neudorf, who coordinates the VBS, the children can identify with being hungry—obviously not to the same extent, but it makes sense to them why children in Africa need to eat.

According to Rick Fast, communications director of MCC Canada, Canadians have donated about $1.6 million to the cause so far. American donors have given about $300,000.

“This is simply astonishing and humbling,” he says. “We’re now looking to expand our response.”

To learn more about donating to MCC Canada, visit www.mcc.org/eastafricadrought.

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