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Project Lemonade Report

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Project Lemonade Report

Project Lemonade’s History, Mission and Values

History

The history of Project Lemonade originates from the story of a boy called Alan. Alan attended Chapman Elementary and always sat under a lamppost after school waiting for his mother. However, his mother did not always come, and this prompted the teacher to involve social services and also ask her daughter to contemplate fostering Alan. Alan arrived at her daughter’s home with only some shorts and two pairs of socks in a tattered bag. The next day the teacher’s daughter took Alan shopping, and he evinced immense enthusiasm taking the tags off the clothes himself. This enthusiasm was evident even in school with Alan seeming more confident, happier and a little taller. The case of Alan represents the lives of many foster children whose belongings usually fit into a single grocery sack. Moved by the image of Alan on her doorstep with his few belongings, Rhonda decided to advocate for foster children to have better lives tirelessly.Project Lemonade Report

The impacts of the recession in 2011 caused a lack of clothing vouchers for foster families. Rhonda decided to fill this gap by creating a place whereby foster youth were allowed to shop for free shoes, clothes, and accessories. Based on this desire and the support of her friends and donations from people, Rhonda launched Project Lemonade in August 2012. More than one thousand three hundred foster youth visited the space three weeks after its launch, and by August 2013, more than one thousand six hundred foster youth had shopped for free shoes, clothes, and accessories at the non-profit organization. For a non-profit organization that was inspired by Alan’s gift, Project Lemonade has grown tremendously and is poised to expand in the future.

Mission

Project Lemonade’s mission statement is to help and support foster families, promote success and inspire self-esteem by offering a back-to-back shopping experience whereby the shoes, clothes, and accessories are free.

When foster children arrive at their novel foster homes, they usually have little to no belongings. It is the responsibility of the foster families to provide them with shoes and clothing which can turn out to be quite the financial burden on these families since the funds allocated to them do not cater for new apparel for the foster children. Since the cost of housing and feeding a foster child is already a financial burden on many of these families, the provision of novel attires creates an additional hardship that they can find hard to sustain. It is because of this reason that Project Lemonade was formulated, that is, to provide essential shoes, backpacks, clothing, and coats.

Based on this understanding, Project Lemonade achieves its mission statement by procuring new shoes, clothes, and accessories donated by clothing companies. The non-profit organization also secures funding from community members and grants to buy clothing at low rate and shoes, clothes and accessories from businesses, churches, and clothing drives. Project Lemonade store usually opens for four weeks before the commencement of the school year. The non-profit organization also operates out of a pop-up shop in a location or place situated centrally to the surrounding buildings. The shop is a donation of community property owners and staffed and organized by a meager staff and seven hundred and fifty volunteers in a year.

Vision-project Lemonade Report

Project Lemonade’s vision statement is to have a permanent home where it can provide help and support services to foster youth who require the assistance throughout the year instead of just being open for four weeks before the commencement of the school year.

What sets Project Lemonade apart from a for-profit organization or government agency?

Public Sector

The public sector refers to the part of an economic system that is under the control of the provincial or state, and national governments. This sector also entails organizations that are own and run by the government and provide various services to the citizens. As in the voluntary sector, public sector organizations usually do not pursue profit. Funding for public services emanates from different methods or channels including fees, taxes and financial transfers from various levels of government, that is, from the federal government to state government. In as much as the public sector and private sector are different, the former overlaps the latter in the production and provision of specific goods and services.

Private Sector-project Lemonade Report

The private sector refers to the portion of a nation’s economic system that is operated by companies and people instead of the government. A significant portion of the private sector is operated with the intention of making a profit. It is vital to note that organizations found in the private sector usually are free from government ownership or control, but sometimes select to partner or cooperate with a government body in what is referred to as a public-private partnership to venture into a business or provide a service jointly. Moreover, the private sector and public sector usually overlap resulting in public-private-partnerships and privatization whereby a company or service providers shifts from the public sector to the private sector.

Non-profit organizations

A non-profit organization refers to an institution established for the provision of services to products and services to people without making any profit. These organizations are usually funded by donations, grants, and fundraisings for the betterment of communities through the provision of free commodities and services to people. Project Lemonade is an example of a non-profit organization. What sets Project Lemonade apart from a for-profit organization or government agency is the fact that it is a non-profit organization with a 501(c)(3) status. Based on this understanding, Project Lemonade is a public charity that obtains a significant portion of its revenue from the government or the general public. Project Lemonade also has active programs that mostly involve offering a free shipping experience for foster youth and their families.

Structure of Project Lemonade-project Lemonade Report

Project Lemonade has a board that is responsible for establishing the vision and trajectory or path of the organization. Also, the board of Project Lemonade oversees the daily operations of the organization.

The board members of Project Lemonade with leadership positions include the president, Cheryl Scherzer, the vice president Rhonda Meadows, the treasurer, Michael Liska, and the secretary, Karen Hinsdale. Other members of Project Lemonade who sit on the board include Kirsten M. Brady, Cynthia Fraser, Austin Blythe, Betsy Lake, Anna Palmero, Dawn Tangvald, Maria Ponzi, Sara Wright, Andrea Wetsel, Heidi Grenley, Linda Favero, Lexy Garbarino, Sarah Allen, Melissa Clausen Conrad, and Jonathan Cavanagh.

Project Lemonade acknowledges the immense efforts of its former board members. As such, the organization makes a point of mentioning them in its structure. These former board members include Jennifer Andres, Cari Coyer, Brianna Finney, Teri Beatty, Gali Andersen, Paula Brooke, Susie Ellison, Anthony Preston, Cheryl McElroy, Laurel Strickler, Kris Wright, Betsy Koback, Stephanie Kjar, Cynthia Morgan, Tricia Smith, Janet Cathcart. Former board members who are also founding members include Jennifer Andres, Cheryl McElroy, Janet Cathcart, Paula Brooke, Brianna Finney, and Susie Ellison. Current board members of Project Lemonade who also double as founding members include Rhonda Meadows, Cheryl Scherzer, Kirsten M. Brady, Austin Blythe, and Cynthia Fraser.

Financing of Project Lemonade

Current Funding

Since Project Lemonade is a non-profit organization, it has no gains or funding from business revenue.  A significant portion of Project Lemonade’s financing comes from grants and contributions with the returns summary for 2016 stating the total amount of grants and donations to be 507,514.

Project Lemonade also receives non-cash contributions that it converts into cash for use in running of the organization and meeting various expenses. The organization also accepts donations from people, government and companies, be it in the form of money or novel or nearly new clothing from companies such as Columbia and Nike and members of the community.

Apart from the donations, grants, and contributions that are crucial to financing Project Lemonade’s operations, the organization also has supporters in the form of members who make contributions on a regular basis. Some of these supporters include Adidas America, Nike, 7 For All Mankind, Ponzi, Residents of The Bridgeport, Infinity Images, Columbia, DHS, Deloitte, Komar Kids, Nordstrom, Deli, Wells Fargo, Oregon Foster, Parr Lumber, Agave, Jen Andres and Friends, R&H Construction and Cellar Door among others.

Future Funding-project Lemonade Report

The organization will continue to raise funds by enhancing its existing relationships with foundations, local corporations, and the community at large. Funding will also keep coming from the fundraising events Project Lemonade hosts or organizes. Since the organization already receives in-kind donations from both small and large companies, it looks forward to receiving the same support in the foreseeable future.