CLAUDIA SYTSMA The Standard
DURHAM: Sam was just 13 when she thought opening up a lemonade stand would be a fun thing to do. She teamed up with her friend Megan, and together they turned a simple idea into a thriving small business. A gorgeous little stand, built by Megan’s father, was created and then decorated, and they now provide their homemade, refreshing drinks at the Uxbridge Farmers Market every weekend, and at other locations hosting special events. The girls are both loving the experience and are learning, firsthand, about the hard work and dedication it takes to meet the challenges of running a profitable enterprise, because lessons learned through small business initiatives often mirror those of a larger venture.
However, through this business, the seeds of understanding how making money isn’t just for one’s own benefit but can be used for a greater cause, has begun to impact the way Sam and her friends feel about their efforts. Sam explained, “I volunteered to go on a mission trip to Honduras with my church last February because I wanted to help the people there build a church. I needed to raise even more money for this, so I decided to start another business making bracelets. I asked my other friend Analisa to be my business partner.” When Analisa, who is just 15, heard this she told me, “I couldn’t believe it. I’d never thought of having a business before, and I said, are you serious? But then Sam just said yes, we’re doing it, and so now we are.” Sam and Analisa bought their supplies wholesale and made beautiful beaded bracelets that accent any fashion choice. By selling to family and friends, and all their teachers, they could pay back their investment in the supplies, and raise $400 that went directly to paying for the building materials for the church in Honduras. Sam said, “I believe we have to make a difference in the world. I wanted to help the people in Honduras, and I think we all have to see the bigger picture, and not just do things for ourselves.” Analisa agrees with Sam and said, “I also volunteered with my church to create packages for homeless people in our community, so we can help them. I like being able to help.”
On May 5th, Analisa and Sam also participated with McHappy Day, bringing their business, aptly named ‘Bead by Bead’, to the Uxbridge and Port Perry McDonalds. As a result of their efforts, they raised enough money to donate $425 dollars to GrandviewKids. Sam has continued to make donations, and over the last year and a half, she has donated about $1,500 to charities. Sam’s advice to other young people is, “the most important thing to remember is to not be afraid to take risks. People always think the worst thing can happen, but if you put work into it, it will pay off. Stay organized, have fun, make the sales, and be yourself. Trying something new is hard, but stay positive. We’re all here to make a difference in the world, and when you believe you can do something...you usually can!” Analisa also added, “start with a partner because you can rely on them, and that will help you stay motivated. Doing this helps build confidence, and its fun.” Both Sam and Analisa credit their success to the support given to them by their parents, who guide them and give direction and advice.
So my challenge to all the youth in our community is to put your thinking caps on, and decide on how your hobbies, interests and likes can be utilized. Talk to your parents, and your teachers, and see if you can start up a small venture to earn money for yourself, and your community so you too can truly make a difference. Then contact us at The Standard Newspaper and let us know what you are doing. We’d love to write your story too!
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