At Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation one of the things we pride ourselves on is our belief in the power of small things adding up to big things. In fact, we have a philosophy that we share with all of our employees that every donation counts, no matter the amount. We truly believe that you never know which dollar is going to make the difference and lead to the next big discovery to help kids with cancer, and that every single dollar adds up toward making those dreams of a cure a reality. Last year while opening the mail, something that we do as a team every day, we received a donation that made me stop in my tracks.
The donation was for $5, but that's not what stilled me, instead it was the note included. It went something like this:
"I just finished paying my bills for the month. I had five dollars left in my checking account and I could think of no better place to use the money than giving it to Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation to help kids with cancer."
What a genuine and selfless act, sending in literally your last five dollars to help find cures for kids battling cancer. I am lucky enough to be inspired on a daily basis by the bravery and courage of children as they fight cancer, as well as the amazing donors who support them, evidenced by this one. This particular person decided that instead of being frivolous with their money, or saving it for a rainy day, that they would prefer to save the lives of children. I'm inspired by this act, and thankful that there are generous people like this in the world.
Another memorable moment came when we received a phone call from a social worker several years ago. She was calling from Austin, Texas where she was working at a homeless shelter. She started out the phone call with an apology, going on to say, "you probably don't get calls like this often, but the residents in our homeless shelter saw Alex on TV and were wondering if they would be allowed to help out too." We have always felt that anyone can be a member of Team Alex, and this only solidified that - of course they could help too! The residents, with literally no home to live in, set aside their own needs to help kids with cancer. They set up a fundraiser, sending in over $700 - another amazing act of generosity.
Often, when I think of the state of the world, I like to remind myself of stories like these - to accept the good in people. It is easy to get mired down in the day-to-day doldrums of life, or to turn on the news and easily be discouraged. It is during those moments that I take a page out of my daughter Alex's book, to make lemonade when life hands you lemons, and what an amazing thing these generous donors are doing to honor her too - following in her footsteps. This August we will mark over 11 years since Alex left us, but I know that she is still with us, and her spirit lives on through the thousands of supporters continuing what she started.
Thank to you each and every one of them, for keeping my daughter alive.