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5 Service Projects for Martin Luther King Jr. Day 

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  • Alex Scott at her stand
    Alex Scott at her stand

By: Trish Adkins

Alex Scott was just 4 years old when she told her parents that she wanted to host a lemonade stand. That initial and extraordinary lemonade stand raised $2,000 and launched a movement to cure childhood cancer.

Like Alex, all kids can make a difference! Get your own family involved in a service project just in time for the National Day of Service on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Here are five ideas that help kids learn about community service:

1. Plan A Lemonade Stand

Any time of year is great for hosting a lemonade stand! Kids can host a pop-up lemonade stand on a whim after school one day or register for Lemonade Days. Held every June, Lemonade Days is a time when supporters all around the world join together to host lemonade stands, just like Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) founder Alex Scott did. Lemonade Days will be held June 6-June 14, 2020. Learn more here.

2. Turn Atlethics Into Service
Young athletes can turn into Champions and help kids with cancer! Mallory Brodnik lost her sister Kelly in 2018 after a battle with osteosarcoma.

In an effort to raise funds and awareness for the fight against childhood cancer, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology‘s basketball center, Mallory dedicated her senior season to all kids battling the disease as a Champion for Kids with Cancer. Mallory accepted donations and pledges for every point she scored during the 2018-2019 basketball season. The result: Mallory raised over $36,000 for ALSF! Champions can sign up here.

3. Grab Some Paper and Share Your Good Cheer
When a child is diagnosed with cancer, it can be a difficult time for the whole family, especially siblings. Making sure they feel cared for is important, and a Girl Scout troop from Exton, PA recently did just that. They created beautiful cards with animal drawings and quotes to inspire SuperSibs and remind them how loved they are! One card can go a long way towards making a sibling feel extra special. Gather your art supplies and make some cards. Send them along to ALSF (111 Presidential Boulevard, Ste. 203, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004) and we'll make sure to include them in our Super Sibs mailings.

4. Sell Old Toys and Books
Maybe you’ve gotten on a purge kick for the New Year and have been inspired by Marie Kondo to get rid of all the things that no longer give you joy. Instead of throwing them away, kids can help plan a garage sale or list items on a website like Poshmark or eBay and give the proceeds to ALSF! (Bonus: noting that your sale benefits a great charity can help drive sales.

5. Declare a Lemonade War at Your School
Three elementary schools in Haddonfield, NJ chose The Lemonade War by Jacqueline Davies as a part of their "One School One Book" initiative. The schools read the book and competed in a spare change war to see which classroom could raise the most money for ALSF. Schools everywhere can get involved with The Great Lemonade War or choose another fun, fundraising activity for their students. More details here.

Looking for more community service ideas for your kids? Check out these great ideas.