The Money Maker

My son Teddy had no trouble making money. Ever the entrepreneur, if he needed money he went and got it. He mowed lawns, ran errands, and did household chores; whatever it took to get some cash. (Ted is 16 in this picture)

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I don’t mean to suggest that all his money making endeavors were selfish. When the Tsunami hit in Indonesia in 2004, Teddy was 13. I thought I would seek some contributions for Northwest Medical Teams (now called Medical Teams International). So I got a box with their logo on it and went to New Seasons grocery near our house on 33rd and Killingsworth. I asked Teddy to go along, which he was happy to do.

We asked the store manager’s permission to collect money for Northwest Medical Teams and he said we could if we stood across the street in the parking lot and not directly in front of the entryway to the store. So we did. We didn’t say anything, but just stood there by the box with NMT logo on it. People contributed, sometimes, but not too much.

I asked Teddy if he wished to go into the store and get a drink or something to eat. He said yes and I was left alone with the box. Still not much money was coming in.

When Teddy came back he asked me to go in and get some coffee and he would watch the box. So I did. When I came back a half hour later he had collected $56, most of what we collected all day.

But that’s not the story I wanted to tell you. This story is about his lemonade stand. Whenever Teddy wanted/needed funds, the quickest way was the lemonade stand. He would come to the kitchen, make lemonade from frozen juice concentrate into a big plastic pitcher, collect some disposable plastic cups. Make a sign that said “Lemonade, 50 cents.” He took a chair and TV table to the corner of Prescott and 32nd Place near our home and sit.

Prescott was a very busy street and people would stop and buy some lemonade from him. He did this all afternoon and when he came home he counted $110 he had made! When I asked him how he has made so much he said he didn’t know but said that everyone was so generous. Some people paid him as much as $5.00 for a glass of lemonade. Some people told him they had to go home and get some cash and then came back and gave him a five dollar bill without getting a glass of lemonade. He was happy with the results. He needed to buy a new video game.

My wife and I talked it over trying to figure out how he had been so fortunate or how the people felt they should donate money to him. And this is what we figured out: Teddy was sitting on the corner as I said, by the TV tray, but with his hand held game player (seen above) under the table requiring him to bend over a little to see it out of the sun. But all the people in cars saw was this pathetic young man slumped near his lemonade stand, so they took pity and gave him money, lots of money, and kindness.

Others tried this selling lemonade with poor results. Teddy often is kind and so inspires kindness in others. People responded to what they thought they saw and Teddy benefitted.

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