These are my girls. They are amazing and every day I tell them they are destined for greatness because they are girls, not in spite of it. They are not second-class citizens. They are not to be pushed around. They, and their peers, are here to make the world a better place. My goal is for them to feel empowered that they are girls, not marginalized.
Ultimately though, if I put blinders on and only wish this for my girls, I am not doing enough. The only thing that will truly lift my girls to great heights is to help all girls reach their full potential. The age old axiom "United we stand, divided we fall" is no where more relevant than when we speak of girls rights.
While my children are growing up in one of the best countries in the world to be a girl, the reality is bleaker elsewhere. Girls in the poorest regions of the world are among the most disadvantaged people on the planet. They are more likely to live in poverty, more likely to be denied access to education, more likely to be denied medical care, and more likely to be malnourished, simply because they're girls. Studies show that if you give a girl enough to eat, an education and a safe environment, she'll work to raise the standard of living for herself, her family and her community.
Two years ago, my daughters held a Pink LemonAid Stand at our town parade. They raised just over $1000 for this amazing initiative and helped lift up girls their very age. Small actions drive BIG change. My girls walked a little taller that day knowing that not only did they do good, they helped spread it.
This year the girls are planning to be at the parade again and are recruiting their cheer gym to help them. I'm excited for them because they get hands on experience with fundraising, get to show some entrepreneurial spirit, are able to build stronger bonds in our community and with each other, and once again help improve the standard of living for girls just like them. Powerful stuff.
The best part is that your girls can host a Pink LemonAid Stand too! It's incredibly easy and Because I am a Girl helps you every step of the way! Follow their easy guide and a successful day is guaranteed.
The first thing you need, of course, is a no-fail lemonade recipe and I happen to have one for you.
Perfect Every Time Lemonade Recipe
2 cups fine sugar
1 cup boiling water
2 cups fresh lemon juice
16 cups of cold water
1 lemon, sliced
In a large container, dissolve sugar with boiling water. Stir until sugar dissolves. Add lemon juice and water and stir. Add lemon slices to make it pretty.
Here are a few points to consider if you're expecting a big turnout like we did:
If you're expecting a big crowd, making your own might not be feasible. Buying frozen lemonade on sale will help keep costs down and allow you to maximize the total amount sent to Because I Am A Girl.
Ask all of your friends and family ahead of time and make sure these are clearly labeled so they can be returned.
You don't want to run out of lemonade, so make as much as you can ahead of time and keep in coolers.
As you sell lemonade, have a crew making more lemonade as containers are emptied.
Let people know where you'll be and when!
Remember to say THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU to all your amazing customers!
You just helped Plan Canada create sustainable projects in developing countries that will improve girls' access to clean water, food, healthcare, education and protection from violence and exploitation. So, last but not least, celebrate being a girl! You are amazing!