Project Lemonade provides foster youth with a back-to-school shopping experience and offers support to inspire self-esteem and promote success.
I write this letter to share my deepest and most heartfelt thanks for sharing in my vision to support foster youth in the greater Portland metro area. As most of you know, that vision is Project Lemonade and our mission is to positively impact the lives of foster children who, through no fault of their own, lost the support, guidance, and warmth of their families.
Almost 18 years ago I became a foster parent to Alan. He carried a light load--nothing more than a paper sack with a few belongings--but a heavy heart. The weight in his heart was the separation from his parents, who proved unfit to care for him.
I could not have imagined how Alan would guide me to the idea I began working toward over three years ago, an idea called Project Lemonade. During this time and with your support Project Lemonade’s free back to school shopping event has sent more than 5,000 foster youth off to school with multiple bags filled with new and nearly new clothing and accessories. More important, Project Lemonade has sent them off to school with the self-esteem that comes when a classmate says, “Hey, cool shoes.” Foster youth deserve this feeling of confidence and optimism just like their peers.
At the end of October we finished packing up the store and moved what little remains to our storage locker. Now it is time to prepare for 2015. Our intent is to serve 1,700 foster youth and our goal is to increase the ratio of “new” to “nearly new” inventory. Your support will help us do that. $100 will outfit one foster youth from head to toe. It can also buy 75 pairs of socks or underwear. Through some amazing retail partners who offered their support, we can tell you that $100 can buy 8 backpacks or 10 pair of jeans.
Sir Winston Churchill once said, “We make a living by what we get but we make a life by what we give.” On behalf of the Project Lemonade Board of Directors, I wish to thank you for all your support in 2014 and hope that you will continue with us to help inspire self-esteem in foster youth in 2015.