Many children set up lemonade stands on their front lawn at least once in their lifetime. Most of that money goes into their piggy banks without a thought. But what if they thought about putting that money towards helping other people?
My name is Amanda Belzowski and I am 13 years old. Like many kids, I set up a lemonade stand because it looked like a lot of fun. Since I didn’t really know what money meant yet, (most kids don’t) my parents decided to put out my sponsor sheet for the Heart and Stroke Ride for Heart that we had just completed as a family.
From that day in 1999, I began walking down a path of entrepreneurship, fundraising, compassion, empathy and a love for helping to make a difference. I didn’t know it back then, but I was soon to find out that my efforts would have a huge impact on the lives of other people around me.
I have inspired many people to get involved and make a difference in their own community. I always say, “You’re never too little to make a big difference in this world,” and have acted as a role model for other kids that have dreams of changing the world. I want to empower and inspire people to give back, be leaders and responsible global citizens and encourage positive social change, just like me! So far my annual Lemonade Stand has raised over $151,000 for life saving Heart and Stroke Pediatric Research.
My brother, who is almost five, has hosted his Cookie Counter beside me for the past two years. Last year, we set up the “Nothing’s Impossible Challenge" to encourage and salute families that get involved in something they feel passionate about. The kids receive a great certificate after doing small positive actions to benefit their communities! We are never too little to make a difference, but we are often can't volunteer for organizations because of our age. There are few places that kids are recognized for the changes that they make in this world. With this challenge, kids log onto my website and list their accomplishments.
I want everyone to know that it doesn’t take a big event to make big change. When a child has a fundraiser, and wants to make this world a better place, Mummies automatically want to be involved too and they realize that making a difference is much more fun when it is done together as a family. By inspiring one child, I inspire people around them too.
I’m proud to announce that Joshua is very excited to be officially taking over on May 15, 2011 so now it will be Joshua’s (formerly Amanda’s) Lemonade Stand and Cookie Counter for Heart and Stroke. I will be his assistant as he becomes a young entrepreneur too!
On January 30 2011, in order to guide and share my tips and experiences with other children, I have created and am hosting Amanda’s “Nothing’s Impossible Young Entrepreneurs Conference”, to teach kids aged 9-15 how to become young social entrepreneurs through fun activities, games and presentations.
Lastly, since I’m now a teenager I am excited to announce ‘Lemon-Stock’, coming in June 2011, which will be a great Concert, as well as a Battle of the Bands/ Glee/Talent competition to encourage the entire city/province to get involved. Not only will this 2nd fundraiser support Heart and Stroke, but since many people at Woodstock probably chose not to wear shoes during the weekend, I want to raise awareness and send shoes to support those who don’t have that choice, through Souls for Soles. Amanda’s Lemon-Stock will be “Fixing Hearts and Saving Souls”
I believe that everyone has the power to make a change in this world and no matter what cause you are helping, it will make a huge difference. Young people are the leaders of tomorrow, but we also have to recognize that young people are leaders today too. Together, we can teach everyone the importance of contributing not only to their own communities but also to being responsible global citizens.
You can google the two words Amanda Lemonade to find out more about what I have done and my upcoming events too. I hope to see everyone there. Of course if you can’t make it, you can always support my hard work by sponsoring me from my website and it goes directly to the Heart and Stroke Foundation!!