The Childhood Cancer Blog

Inspiration for Your National Day of Service

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By: Trish Adkins

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a wonderful opportunity for everyone, everywhere to reflect on Dr. King’s wisdom and to find ways to serve their communities. 

Last year, a Lemon Club at Camden Catholic High School in New Jersey installed an interactive mural at their school to inspire the school community to be the “I” in “Kind.” Lemon Clubs are student-led organizations at high schools and colleges that raise awareness and funds for childhood cancer research. 

At Camden Catholic, members of the school community were encouraged to share their favorite Dr. King quote as part of the mural, inspiring their school to make a difference for kids with cancer and to find ways each day to serve their community. 

Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) Founder, Alex Scott, was just 4 years old when she first shared her idea to make a difference and serve her community. For Alex, childhood cancer was a constant part of her life. She always believed that big things were possible if we all did our part. Alex’s mom, Liz, says that she often thinks of Dr. King’s wisdom and is reminded of Alex. 

“I often reflect on Dr. King’s wisdom and famous words, that darkness cannot drive out darkness, that only light can do that. It reminds me of Alex in so many ways, but mostly of her firm belief that we can make lemonade, and that anyone is capable of making a change for children with cancer,” said Liz.

Like Alex, everyone can make a difference. Here is some inspiration straight from Team Alex for your own National Day of Service:

1.    Make a Plan for a Lemonade Stand! 
Alex’s initial and extraordinary lemonade stand raised $2,000 and launched a movement to cure childhood cancer. No matter what season it is, everyone can make a difference! While your family is hunkered down this winter, take some time to do a service project together. Whether you plan a cold-day hot chocolate stand or look ahead to a hot day with lemonade in your front yard, now is a great time to plan a stand. 

2.    Turn Your Gaming Time into Fundraising Time 
Are you a gamer? Turn your esports competition into a streaming event that benefits ALSF and helps kids with cancer! Just pick your favorite video game, register on the ALSF website, and start accepting pledges and donations from family, friends and fans for every win, point or other stat you choose. 

3.    Get Creative!
There are many different ways people support ALSF and the fight against childhood cancer, but some people go above and beyond with their crazy fundraising ideas. From skydiving grandmothers to breaking world records, the sky is truly the limit! Get creative (and a little wild!) and see what fun ideas you can come up with to help kids with cancer. Need inspiration? Check out 10 of the most unique ways supporters have helped fight childhood cancer.

4.    Turn Success on the Field into Success in the Lab
Raising young athletes? Turn them into Champions, like Mallory Brodnik, whose sister, Kelly, passed away 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, and accepted donations and pledges for every point she scored.

5.    Honor Alex Scott
On January 18, Alex Scott would have been turning 26 years old. Alex once told her mom, “I am happy for what I have. I am not unhappy for what I don’t have.” Her enduring sense of gratitude and her drive to what some thought was impossible, drove a movement to cure childhood cancer. Now, more than 20 years later, ALSF has raised more than $250 million and funded over 1,000 grants at nearly 150 research institutions. In honor of Alex, make a donation of $26 to continue her legacy of helping kids with cancer.