Fundraising by a preteen Fountain Valley girl this weekend surpassed her expectations, shooting past her goal of raising enough to feed 50 children in Africa for a month.
Melinda Jack, 11, sold lemonade Saturday in her neighborhood and Sunday at Beachpoint Church with hopes of raising money for students at the Puzamoya Baptist School in Swaziland, Africa.
Melinda learned about the school at Beachpoint Church’s Vacation Bible School program.
Children at Puzamoya are fed meals in addition to being taught English, life skills and religious studies. For some, the meal at Puzamoya is their only one for the day.
“I really wanted to help the kids at the school,” Melinda said.
Debbie Jack, Melinda’s mother, added, “We have very busy schedules and [Melinda] kept reminding me she wanted to help the kids in Swaziland.”
Melinda’s goal was to raise $500, enough to feed 50 kids at the school for one month. By weekend's end, Melinda had raised more than $800, combining her profits from Saturday and Sunday. According to Debbie Jack, Melinda had already raised $200 from neighbors before she sold a drop of lemonade.
“I’m really overwhelmed,” Debbie Jack said. “Kids were emptying their piggy banks. It was really nice to see the response and how really young children can understand that, even though we live in a society where we don’t have to worry about our next meal, other children are hungry.”
Melinda said she is thinking of having a lemonade stand again next year since this one went so well.
“This has really exceeded our expectations,” Debbie Jack said. “We want to thank everyone for their response and whatever they could give because it’s for a good cause. Melinda is energized and wants to do it again.”