COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – June 15, 2018 – Three young brothers set up a charitable lemonade stand over Memorial Day weekend to benefit Compassion International, a global child development organization. When Denver police shut them down for not having the proper permit, Compassion offered the siblings another chance to sell lemonade at its Colorado Springs headquarters on June 7. More than 400 thirsty community members showed up, donating $2,729 within two hours for Compassion-registered children and bringing the boys’ total fundraising efforts for Compassion to more than $8,000.
The boys’ mother, Dr. Jennifer Knowles, wanted to teach her sons – Ben (7), William (4) and Jonathan (2) – about entrepreneurship and giving. They set up their lemonade stand at a city park across from their Denver home and selected a Compassion child in Indonesia to whom they would donate their profits. Quickly into their endeavor a complaint was filed, the Denver police arrived, and they were asked to shut down.
The boys and their parents, Knowles and Dr. Patrick Guffey, then set up a virtual lemonade stand on GoFundMe, which reached their $4,560 goal. On June 1, two Chick-Fil-A locations in Denver also donated 10 percent of their lemonade sales to the family’s Compassion fundraising efforts. On June 7, the “Lemonade Boys” presented a check to Compassion for more than $8,000, an amount that continues to increase as word travels about the boys’ endeavor.
“It means everything in the world to me to be able to contribute to Compassion,” said Knowles, the boys’ mother. “I am a mom of little boys, and there are moms of little boys and little girls all across the world. And we have that commonality that we are all just trying to do the best we can for our kids. So if I can create that connection and create that bond with parents across the world, I am just thrilled to be part of it.”
Knowles is working to convince the city of Denver to waive permits in the future for kids' lemonade stands when another stand isn't within close proximity. Country Time Lemonade has also joined the movement by creating a team, aptly named Legal-Ade, that will pay fines and permit fees for kids nationwide who want to run their own lemonade stands.