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The Lemon Project Blog

By: Mikaela Gibson

On Saturday, August 24th, 2019, the Off The Lens team tried something new. We hosted our first ever internship project and fundraiser called “The Lemon Project”.

The Lemon project is a donation lemonade stand with all the proceeds going towards Sick Kids Foundation. This was our way to give back to the wonderful community we’re based in.

From interning a young motivated entrepreneur, to hosting our first successful fundraiser, the first ever “Lemon Project” was beyond a success and a great learning experience for everyone involved.

Getting the team together and spending the day at the stand was exciting yet nerve racking. Was everything going to go smoothly? Or were all the preparations and time we put into this one single day all for nothing? One thing was for sure, the day went the complete opposite of what we expected.

Setting Up:

The OTLM team set up the stand bright and not so early, at 10:30, at the Listowel Zehrs, as they generously allowed us to host our fundraiser right in the centre of the plaza. This location was perfect for a busy Saturday morning and people would stop by our stand whether they were driving by, checking out, or going in for some groceries. Throughout the day many people were happy to help out and support our cause.

The generosity of the people who visited our stand was outstanding.

From donating without treating themselves to any of the refreshments available, whether that was a sweet treat or a lemonade, expecting nothing in return and donating based solely on their want to do so was a beautiful thing to see. One particular donor, a cart organizer who worked at Zehrs who went by the name of ‘Cam’ made actions that highlighted our day. What started with the OTLM team offering him a free glass of lemonade for his hard work outside, as he was collecting and rearranging the carts for a few hours, ended with an action of generosity we’re still to this day shocked to have received.

After his long shift, Cam promised to come back and visit our stand before he left. When he returned, he gave a $25 donation, along with a $25 gift card for more supplies we may have needed throughout the day. Everyone running the stand at the time was surprised and overall shocked at the generosity this wonderful employee showcased that day. A few minutes later everyone agreed it would be best to pay forward the gift card he had given to us, and to purchase food for the Zehrs food bank to help those who may be in need of a meal, and who may not be as fortunate as us.

A Special Thanks:

We are so grateful to our Listowel community and for all of the opportunities this community has given to us. From approving our permits and requests on short notice, to supporting our small lemonade stand and our hard working lemonpreneur Hayden, a thank you is not enough to express how grateful we are for this experience.

Hayden: “It’s been such a great summer of learning with the awesome people at Off The Lens. No matter what we were doing I always had a great time while also learning tips and tricks about entrepreneurship. The biggest thing I’ve learned and gotten the chance to improve on would be communicating with customers. Overall it was a once in a lifetime opportunity and I’m so thankful I got it!”

Throughout the day, a total of $1500 was raised solely through donations and the sale of lemonade and refreshments, none of which could have been possible without the support and generosity of our wonderful Listowel community. Off The Lens would like to give a huge thank you to everyone who helped to make this day possible, from our sponsors at Dynafit and DG’s Pro Tech, along with the Replenish Food Co for keeping everyone well nourished throughout the day!

Another thank you goes out to Zehrs for letting us host the stand on their property, and most importantly, a huge thanks to Hayden and her mother Amy, for attending all the meetings, getting prepared, and overall bringing their positive attitudes and smiles to every meet up, photoshoot, and of course the long day at the stand! We couldn’t have done it without you!