Young children get lesson at lemonade stand

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GREENWOOD, S.C. - Three-year-old Sarah Darrah and 21-month-old Robert Woodard make for one pretty effective business partnership.

She provides the charm, and he brings his limitless energy to the project.

Together, they sell lots and lots of lemonade - and for a good cause, too.

The initial idea for the lemonade stand began with Robert's mom, Doris Woodard, who feels that giving to church or charity is not merely constituted by dropping money in a passing plate or sending in a check.

It's the personal experience that counts most, she said.

"I'm a missions person," Ms. Woodard said. "We wanted to give to missions, and I thought, 'What better way for them to give than for them to have the experience and see there are more ways to give to missions rather than just writing out a check?' They can earn it and do little simple things."

Both children come from Connie Maxwell Children's Home families.

Henry Woodard works on the grounds crew that keeps the grounds at the children's home beautiful, and Brian Darrah (with wife Elizabeth) is a team leader.

They hope the lessons taught in their homes will prove valuable learning tools.

"Obviously, they had some help with the lemonade stand, but it was a wonderful learning experience for them later on when their moms tell them they were out selling lemonade for missions," said the Rev. Doug Kaufmann, the pastor at Connie Maxwell Baptist Church.

"So many times when you talk to children, the things they treasure are small events, and from small events come great lessons and encouragement," he said.

The local Chick-fil-A restaurant donated cups, lids and straws to the youngsters, who made their own brand of fresh-squeezed lemonade for the event.

And boy, was it an experience.

First, the weather chose not to cooperate, providing clouds, wind and cold rather than clear skies, sunshine and higher temperatures.

"It was more like weather for selling hot chocolate," Ms. Woodard said.

Robert had it placed into the business contract that he was precluded from having to actually stand behind the lemonade stand for any length of time longer than, say, about three seconds.

"Robert was all over the place," Ms. Woodard said. "It was interesting."

Which often left responsible young Sarah to stand the post. After several attempts at a group photo, the tiny entrepreneur threw her hands up in mock frustration at her god-brother's restlessness.

However, she's not mad. She knows it's just the little guy's curiosity getting the better of him.

When Sarah is asked what she liked most about selling the lemonade, she replies with a predictable answer: "the lemonade."

But there were other high points. Two days into their business, the duo made a $55 profit at 25 cents per cup.

"It's not about the amount," Ms. Woodard said as Robert found something new to chase. "It's the experience."


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