Stories of Kindness from Around the World

All It Takes Is Lemonade!


--by beastly, posted Jul 16, 2007
In a fast-paced city like New York, one can spend a lot of time thinking about doing big things to spread smiles in the city.  But often, it is the spontaneous, simple and small ideas that do the job.

Take our lemonade stand, in the heart of New York City.  Spontaneously decided over coffee one day, and six days later, five of us were at Central Park at 5PM, handing out "free lemonade" to all passerby's who wanted it!  "Why are you doing this?"  "Just because."  "Is it really free?"  "Yes.  Spread the joy, pay it forward."  "Can I take some more smile cards?"  "Absolutely."  "I'd like to help you give out lemonade."  "Sure thing."

We collected 250 smiles and were out of lemonade in all but ONE hour!  The box of 1000 Smile Cards that we started with was down to 200, thanks to everyone. =)


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About 5 minutes after we started, 2 people just started helping us out of the blue saying, ‘If we take one, we must help with at least 10’.  So, we had new friends in no time!

There was a family that came from Australia 2 days ago (the son had his face painted as an American flag). After they got their lemonade, the entire family sat about 10 feet away from us for half an hour while the 3 kids sat there explaining to each other how to use smile cards.

This one dude could not understand how it was free. He kept asking, ‘How much it cost?’  And then when he finally got it, he said, 'You are my brother!'   Then he had a taste and said ‘this tastes bad' and walked away. :)

On one side of the walkway was our booth, and on the other was Gandhi’s quote -- You must be the change you wish to see in the world -- which MANY people read and pondered. We decided to leave the sign up as we left the park.

One of the first people to come by asked if we had heard about a recent kindness outbreak in Japan where people are randomly finding $80 envelopes public bathrooms!

A woman -- who seemed to be on drugs -- came by, borrowed on of the volunteers cell phones, called up various friends to tell 'em about it. :)

Kids brought parents because they wanted the lemonade, the parents were interested because of the smile card poster and practically everyone LOVED the idea. Many people took extra smile cards.

LOTS of people wanted to take pictures of us.  A couple people waited 20 minutes for the right shot!

About 20ft away from a street magician was doing his act; he took time out for a lemonade break in between performances. :)

We met people from all over the world, folks left and came back with others. We needed to explain the concept a lot because apparently, it was SOOOO foreign!  Some folks had a hard time believing it.

Majority of passerby's LOVED the kindness idea and didn't even bother with the lemonade.  People just lit up, you could see it on their faces, like we showed them a new way to be.

We're going to do it again next Saturday too! :)
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Readers Comments

Spoonerism wrote: This is a great idea but takes a fair amount of courage! You have to get past the initial fear and shyness, or at least i would! :-) i guess if you are a group of people that must make it easier. I feel like making cookies or flapjacks this weekend and giving it a try somewhere! :-) thanks for sharing!
keepsmilin wrote: What an awesome idea!
nikini wrote: Ah, this sounds so like the buddhist festivals in sri lanka- this is the only place where i have ever seen free food distribution stalls so far, and i'm really happy to hear that this is happening in us as well. Cheers to those who initiate these actions!
anita wrote: Very inspiring. I watched the pay it forward movie years ago and have never forgotten how much we need more of it in this world. Great idea and thank you as your efforts impact many to do good deeds me included.
pat wrote: This is a wonderful report, and it sounds so easy. I have got to try this!
katlampi wrote: Kindness is trendy, yet classic!! This is such a great idea, though it does not surprise me that people were quite skeptical. Thank you for sharing this wonderful way to make others happy!
megha wrote: lovaduck!That seems quite exciting.keep up the good job, you inspired me a lot.
You can truely find new ways to make people happy.
ram wrote: ya....it's really a good attitude to make others happy. u r so kind with others but nobody can think about the kindness which have done by others.In the materialistic world most of the people think about themselves and not about others.their kindness is only in words not in action.they are only big mouth.anyway u made a good attempt to keep others smiling.
harry wrote: it's very heart-touching job .it's really excellent.keep it up
there are hardly a few people who do good to others without expecting anything in
return.good.....
keep doing GOD BLESS U

susen wrote: this is really great.lets spread the fragrance of love

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