Saturday, July 14, 2012

Bay Area 8-Year Old Makes a (Lemonade) Stand to End Slavery

Bay Area 8-Year Old Makes a (Lemonade) Stand to End Slavery:
A few days ago, 8-year-old Vivienne Harr from Fairfax, California began her quest to raise $150,000 to help Not For Sale create new futures for survivors of slavery and exploitation. To do that, Vivienne will sit at her lemonade stand every day, rain or shine, and sell her “MAKE-A-STAND! Lemonade: The Sweet Taste of Freedom” until she raises the money. She is also raising funds online.
“I am making a stand: a lemonade stand and a stand against slavery,” said Vivienne. “Lemonade is for sale. People are Not For Sale. There are kids just my age who don’t get to have summers or sell lemonade or enjoy the sunshine. They work all day with no hope. I want to give them hope. When you buy MAKE-A-STAND! Lemonade, you aren’t just buying a drink, you are making a statement. You are making a stand.”
The idea came on a family trip to Sonoma, Calif. where the Harrs discovered the work of Lisa Kristine, a journalist who photographs enslaved people around the world. One photo particularly moved Vivienne. It is of two children in Nepal carrying heavy rocks with leather straps across their heads. They are holding hands, as if to comfort one another.
“That was the tipping point for our family,” says her father Eric Harr, who is helping Vivienne use social media to spread the word. “You could feel the Earth crack underneath us. Vivienne looked us square in the eyes and said: ‘We’re doing something about this.’ It was so pure and powerful—from depths of this 8-year-old’s heart.”
Vivienne’s is no ordinary lemonade stand. She accepts credit cards from her iPhone. She streams the music of Adele and Katy Perry to entertain her customers. She serves her 100% organic, fair trade raspberry/mint-infused lemonade in eco-friendly cups with her logo. Some have called it: “Lemonade Stand 2.0.”
Vivienne has already attracted a worldwide following. Within a week, she had over 15,000 followers on Twitter, with bloggers covering her story. One-hundred percent of profits go to Not For Sale, a 501(c)(3) organization in Half Moon Bay, California, whose mission it is to help free the 30 million people enslaved around the world, roughly half of whom are children.
“Not For Sale believes everyone can make a difference in the movement to end slavery,” said Jessica Henry, Director of Communications for the organization. “Vivienne’s courageous endeavor is proof and inspiration for us all that everyone has the ability to make a stand.”
Given her ambitious goal of $150,000, Vivienne will likely be at her lemonade stand through the fall and winter months—when lemonade becomes…hot chocolate.
Making a stand means doing what you think you can’t do. When I dreamed of doing this, I didn’t think of all the reasons why I can’t, I thought of all the reasons why I must.”
Vivienne is not just making a stand on human rights, she’s making a stand on ingredients in her lemonade: what they are and where they come from.
“Most drinks seem like compromises to me,” Vivienne said. “I am making a stand on ingredients. I only use organic, fair-trade (anti-slavery) ingredients.”
Vivienne’s long-term goal is to bottle her lemonade and sell it at specialty grocers like Good Earth, Mollie Stone’s and even Whole Foods with whom she has engaged on Twitter. With her MAKE-A-STAND! Lemonade, Vivienne wants to start a “movement” of people who make a stand in their own lives, “whether that’s for better health, a better environment, against slavery, against bullying, whatever,” she says. “Just make a stand.”
“Some people have asked me what a little 8-year old can do. I just say to them:
“Big things have small beginnings.”
We at NFS are so  inspired by Vivienne and the stand that she is taking to fight slavery using her unique abilities. How can you make a stand against slavery? Join the conversation on Twitter by mentioning @nfs and @vivienneharr or on our Facebook Page.
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