Every summer the enterprising children of the Wickens family set up a lemonade stand. It’s a fun way to earn a little extra money and to quench the thirst of someone passing by. But last summer, Taylor, 11, Ella, nine, and Ayden, seven, decided to do something different.
“We just thought of the idea to raise money for Matthew’s House instead of keeping the money to ourselves,” said Taylor.
Matthew’s House is the vision of Doug and Andrea Froese and was built as a legacy to their son. It is a respite home for families with children who have complex health care needs. Matthew’s House opened its doors in November and many families have already used this resource.
Taylor, Ella and Ayden knew Matthew and have good memories of spending time with him.
“We hung out with Matthew at our house a couple of times,” Taylor recalled. “We were a lot younger then but we remember laughing with him.”
This connection became the impetus behind the change from a for-profit enterprise to an opportunity to bless others. They set up their lemonade stand at the end of their driveway and sold lemonade for 50 cents a glass. To their surprise, they found that most people were willing to give much more than that for a refreshing drink. In a couple of hours they managed to raise a total of $37.23. Their success made quite an impact on the children.
“My heart felt happy that we were doing a nice thing by not keeping the money to ourselves,” Ella said.
Ayden reflected on the spiritual nature of their enterprise.
“I felt like we were doing what Jesus would want us to do,” he said.
Alan Cavin, resource development coordinator for Matthew’s House, was moved by their efforts.
“Stories and efforts like this that just warm my heart,” he said. “It’s so wonderful to see children helping children.”
The Wickens’ lemonade stand will go up again this summer and they’re considering expanding on their success by selling Rainbow Loom bracelets that they have made along with the lemonade. No matter how much money they make, they know they’re making a difference and that their own lives are enriched for their efforts.
“It felt really good to help out in the community and to be able to help out the kids that are like Matthew,” Taylor said.
Matthew’s House is a home away from home dedicated to caring for children who live with complex health care needs. Matthew’s House is operated by Communitas Supportive Care Society. Learn more at mattshouse.ca.
To learn more about how you can partner with Matthew’s House, visit mattshouse.ca/getinvolved/partner-with-us.