Two young sisters are turning lemons into lemonade through their efforts to pay off their local school district’s $41,000 lunch debt, by running a charitable lemonade stand.
On May 20, Hailey and Hannah Hager submitted their first check of $460 for the cause, Yahoo Lifestyle reports. Both Hailey, 13, and Hannah, 11, are students of the Lexington-area Davidson County Schools district, and are going all-out to help their fellow classmates through the crusade.
The girls’ mom, Erin Hager, told the outlet that her daughters first kicked off their philanthropic lemonade stand to benefit their grandfather’s hospice center, and decided to raise money for their school district this year when they learned how massive the cafeteria debt truly was.
“There's one family that owes $800,” Erin said, as per Fox 61. “I don't know how many years’ worth that is, but it's a big deal.”
According to Yahoo, Hannah’s school Southwood Elementary owes the federal government $3,100 in cafeteria charges, while Hailey’s school, Central Davidson Middle, owes $3,500. Throughout the 36 schools total in the Tar Heel State school district, a total of $41,000 is owed.
Fortunately, their hard work is already paying off. Erin told Fox News on May 22 that due in part to an online fundraiser, her daughters have already paid off the school lunch debt for Southwood Elementary.
Though Hailey and Hannah have a whole lot more lemonade to sell to ultimately bridge the financial gap, they are determined to make it happen.
“They’re just out there flailing and waving at people, trying to get people to stop by,” Erin said of the girl’s dedication to their lemonade stand, which they have been operating on the weekends. “They’ve had a couple of friends over who have been able to help, and they really enjoyed doing that.”
In a larger sense, Southwood Elementary Principal Ashley Lemley said that she is so proud of the Hager’s campaign.
“I could not be more proud of Hannah and Hailey for wanting to help others. They are truly amazing students who are going to continue to do great things in our community,” the educator told Yahoo. “They are showing initiative, kindness and empathy toward others.”
According to their Facebook fundraising page, the family is donating 100 percent of the proceeds earned through their lemonade stand to the school lunch debt cause.
To date, Erin and her husband, Nick, have funded all aspects of Hailey and Hannah’s mission – though the girls are thrilled that local vendors are now getting involved, too.
“They are all smiles ear to ear and were so excited [when vendor] Lakeside Lemonade brought them lemons and cups for this weekend!!” Erin told Fox News of the lemonade stand’s growing impact.
Cheers to that!