236: The Power of a Simple Idea, with Lulu Cerone, LemonAID Warriors
LemonAID Warriors is a youth empowerment program that aims to give young people the tools that they need to turn their compassion into action, and raise funds and awareness for causes that they care about
Lulu Cerone was an entrepreneur from an early age. At the age of six, she opened her first lemonade stand. At first, she used the money to buy toys or candy. But her mom made a suggestion. Why not use the profits to help someone else? Lulu looked into it and found an animal shelter that needed the funds. “This really crazy thing happened,” Lulu said. “This crazy thing I was doing with my friends actually took on this whole new meaning. It became a lot more fun. My friends and I became more engaged. We felt like what we were doing was meaningful.”
Lulu became interested in community service. However, she had a hard time finding opportunities to serve at a young age. Most organizations require volunteers to be 16 to 18 years-old. She found a few opportunities through her school. Her parents tried helping her to find opportunities. Lulu explains, “It’s hard to know how to raise effective global citizens as a parent.”
In 2010, when an earthquake struck Haiti, Lulu was ten years old. She says, “That was the first time I was aware of a global tragedy. I remember being online with my mom and looking at pictures of kids whose lives had been completely changed by the earthquake. I really had this strong urge to help.” When Lulu went to school, she challenged the boys to a Boys vs Girls LemonAID fundraising competition. Her fifth-grade class raised just over $4,000 in two weeks.
This early success has had a ripple effect. “I found it spinning out of my control really quickly,” Lulu says. She looked back at what worked with the Lemonade stands and came up with bigger idea – PhilanthroParties. A PhilanthroParty is any gathering with a social purpose behind it. Lulu started an organization, LemonAID Warriors to spread this idea of youth empowerment. She wrote a book, PhilanthroParties!: A Party-Planning Guide for Kids Who Want to Give Back.
“This is such a simple idea, but people really latched onto it,” Lulu says. “There is power in simplicity.” Lulu has attracted partnerships for her business. She partnered with Mattel and Forever 21. She was recently recognized as a L’Oréal Woman of Worth. She is currently a freshman in collage as she continues to develop her nonprofit.
Social Entrepreneurship Quotes from Lulu Cerone
“Growing up, I had a passion for community service.”
“Young people can get involved.”
“They can do it in fun and simple ways that integrate social action into their social life.”
“That’s when I had my first PhilanthroParty.”
“It was the first time my friends and I felt like we could be agents of change.”
“I did not set out to start a nonprofit organization.”
“This is such a simple idea, but people really latched onto it.”
“There is power in simplicity.”
“LemonAID Warriors is youth-driven and community-based.”
“It was incredible being in eighth grade and having Mattel looking to me.”
“See yourself as an important agent of change.”
Social Entrepreneurship Resources:
- LemonAID Warriors: http://www.lemonaidwarriors.com/
- Book: PhilanthroParties!: A Party-Planning Guide for Kids Who Want to Give Back: http://philanthropartiesbook.com
- L’Oréal Women of Worth:https://www.lorealparisusa.com/women-of-worth.aspx
- Book: Crazy Good Advice: 10 Lessons Learned from 150 Leading Social Entrepreneurs: https://tonyloyd.com/book