For the third year in a row the Salvation Army is inviting the community to participate in LemonAID. (DHI Media/Kirsten Barnhart)
For the third year in a row the Salvation Army is inviting the community to participate in LemonAID. (DHI Media/Kirsten Barnhart)

VAN WERT – For the past three years, the Van Wert Salvation Army has sponsored a program, “LemonAID: Kids helping Kids,” to give local children and youth the opportunity to raise money to donate to the Salvation Army food pantry in an effort to provide eating needs to local families during the summer months.

“Hunger hurts, kids can help,” commented Salvation Army’s Joshua Brookman, who helps head up the effort.

“We have done this for several years. It’s amazing the amount of money that has been raised to allow for the purchase of food for those with need,” said Brookman.

Brookman said the idea is for local youth to sell lemonade out on the sidewalks, for parties and meetings and for other places of purchase. The kids make and sell the lemonade and then turn the profits in to the Salvation Army to go towards the food pantry.

“The nice part about this is that it teaches the kids to give toward others and the value of sharing towards the needs of the poor,” said Brookman. “It gives them a real sense of giving in a Christian way and starting to give toward the Christian cause for the rest of their lives.”

This year’s LemonAID started on May 10 and will continue through July 21.

Those who wish to get involved are encouraged to register and make a stand. Mail or drop off a registration form at the Salvation Army. Next, pick up your LemonAID starter kit from the office.

“Gather your supplies including cups, lemonade and other items you would like to sell, cash box with change, ice stored in a portable cooler and decorations for your stand,” said Brookman. “Secure your location and set up. Run your stand any time between May 10 and July 21. Permission must be asked if you are setting up in front of a business.”

The Salvation Army’s LemonAID program fundraiser supports local hungry children while empowering young people to make a positive difference in their community by operating a lemonade stand during the summer months. One hundred percent of the lemonade stand proceeds benefit the hungry kids of Van Wert.

“This program will help us feed thousands of children through our pantry, supper clubs and Wednesday lunches,” said Brookman. “Your help is needed to continue serving children and their parents at the Salvation Army. Kids can also learn life skills, fellowship with other kids and enjoy hot means during supper club.