Vidalia children raise more than $600 for orphan care
By Kara Witherow, Editor
Saturday, July 11 was a typical South Georgia summer scorcher. Temperatures in Vidalia reached 99 degrees and heat indices soared past 100.
Undaunted by the weather, William and Lauren Greene braved the blistering heat for three hours to sell lemonade to raise money for Lifeline Adoption Agency and Stand for Orphans (www.standfororphans.com).
The brother and sister duo set up their lemonade stand on Vidalia First United Methodist Church’s property, right off busy Highway 280. Their father, Rev. Robert Greene, serves as Vidalia First UMC’s senior pastor.
William, 8, and Lauren, 5, Rev. Greene and his wife, Kate’s, two oldest children, were inspired to help orphans after talking to their parents and watching a couple of short videos from Lifeline Adoption Agency.
Stocked with pitchers of cold lemonade, ice, fliers, and two healthy doses of youthful enthusiasm, William and Lauren welcomed thirsty customers who learned of their cause via Facebook and Instagram.
Friends, neighbors, church members, and strangers came to sip their sweet drinks and help the two raise $664.10. Through a promotion being run by Lifeline Adoption Agency and Stand for Adoption, all money raised and given in July, up to $150,000, would be matched.
“I thought we would raise $250,” William said. “I was like, ‘Wow!’ (when I found out how much we had raised.)”
Even at their young ages, William and Lauren are learning that they can serve and help others and are living examples of what James meant when he wrote, “be doers of the word…” (James 1:22).
“It was a neat experience for them to see how God can use even the youngest of children to impact a lot of people,” said their mother, Kate Greene. “It was awesome.”
Finding age-appropriate ministry opportunities for children can be a challenge, she said, but their family makes serving and giving back to the community a priority. Orphan care is something they are passionate about, too, and the lemonade stand was a very tangible way for their family to help serve children in need.
“The Lord has really burdened our hearts for orphan care, and it’s something we feel very strongly about,” Greene said. “God doesn’t call every Christian family to adopt, but even if you aren’t called to adopt there are so many different ways to care for orphans. We are called and commanded to do it.”
Business was brisk, and William and Lauren stayed busy making, pouring, and serving lemonade, greeting customers, and explaining their cause. The whole family pitched in to help: Rev. Greene provided manual labor, setting up and tearing down the tent and tables and hauling ice; Kate handled the planning, organizing, marketing, and promotion; and even baby sister Caroline, 18 months, tagged along on a mid-morning grocery store run for more lemonade mix.
Lauren liked stirring the lemonade and handing out fliers, but the best part of the day was being able to do something for someone else, she said.
The siblings wanted to do a lemonade stand “to help people,” she said. Helping people is important “because other people matter.”
The Greene family strives to live their lives according to God’s word, to not just talk about the Bible, but to “be doers of the Word.”
“You feel like you can’t change the world sometimes, but we change it by being obedient to Christ in little things,” Rev. Green said. “It’s amazing what can happen when we plant some seeds and are obedient to him.”