What Is Project Lemonade?
Project Lemonade is a Portland, Oregon non-profit 501(c)3 run entirely by volunteers. Our mission is to support and promote confidence in foster youth. Each August youth ages 5-20 shop for free back to school clothes at our store in Lloyd Center Mall. Each foster youth chooses his or her own new or nearly new outfits, accessories and shoes.
Foster youth with open cases and those under the supervision of the state of Oregon are eligible to schedule an appointment to shop. Youth are referred to us via non-profit and government agencies, such as the Department of Human Services – Child Welfare, Morrison Center, and Janus Youth. Since 2012 Project Lemonade has served approximately 10,00 foster youth from over 26 counties.
Each youth receives a “shopping list” which entitles them to shop for staples from a selection of new and gently used jackets, denim, sweaters, t-shirts, shoes, accessories. Each youth receives new underwear and socks. Personal shoppers are available to help navigate the store. Inventory varies greatly due to the quantity and nature of donations.
Recently, Project Lemonade added two new programs: WISH and our Foster Youth Internship. Every month, a foster youth is granted one WISH up to $250. Our paid Summer Internship for foster youth launched in 2016.
Project Lemonade relies on financial contributions, grants, in-kind donations and volunteer efforts by both individuals and companies. Its board of directors provides oversight to the organization and its nearly 300 volunteers.