They say that a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.
The medicine of the situation is that Sun Valley is a neighborhood held tight in the grips of poverty. The average annual income is 8,000 and it’s the only neighborhood in Denver where the children outnumber the adults.
The medicine of the situation is that over seventy percent of Sun Valley lives below the poverty level and most don’t have cars to get to work.
The medicine of the situation is that some of these people have lived in Sun Valley their entire lives, and some feel like they are stuck there, like they will die there. The faces that compose the community are as different as they are numerous, some speak no English, some are refugees from Sudan.
With all this medicine, is there a sugar sweet enough to wash the reality of their poverty down? They say when life gives you lemons, to make lemonade. This is exactly what Fresh Start intendeds to do. Instead of sugar coating the facts or turning a blind eye on this community as so many others have in the past, they plan on showing the youth of Sun Valley that there is much to be gained with a hard, honest days work. Lemonade Day is an annual event that helps encourage youth across Denver to exercise and learn some entrepreneurial skills. Lemonade Day targets youth anywhere from ages six to sixteen.
Essentially the children of Sun Valley will work with mentors (volunteers from River Front Park) who will help them through the process of starting a business in the all American form of a lemonade stand. The kid’s get to learn how to earn money and manage the more tricky elements of a business like cost and marketing. Though Lemonade Day is open to any child that wants to participate, the hope in bringing it to the children of Sun Valley rests in the idea that with enough hard work and dedication, they too can accomplish any of their dreams.
The event details include a sign-up on May 29th where the families of Sun Valley can come and sign up for the event. A mentor will be assigned and the children will receive their backpacks. The yellow Lemonade Day backpacks include various goodies and a very important booklet. The booklet outlines in simple steps how to go about running your lemonade stand. On June 3rd, the families will meet the mentors at a designated location and commute over to the location of Lemonade Day. Though the kids get to keep most of the money their lemonade generates, a percentage of the proceeds will go toward a charity within Sun Valley, to show that an important part of being a business owner is giving back, an example Fresh Start is making clear.