A girl from Pittsburg raised $1,400 in only three hours for local charities. Jaylen Sanchez's secret is setting the right price point: Free.
The dream of a pint-sized entrepreneur grew bigger than she could imagine, said her mother, Elaine Baluyut, because she rallied her friends and community around her cause.
Here are some lemonade marketing tips from a first-grader:
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1. Be persistent and have vision
Jaylen saw a group of Girl Scout with a lemonade stand outside a grocery store, wanted her own, and with persistence that only a six-year-old can muster, she started asking her parents for help.
"I asked my mom and she said no. So I asked my dad. He said yes," Jaylen said.
2. Set the right price point -- Free!
Jaylen's parents asked her what she intended to charge per glass.
"She said, 'All the lemonade is for free. I don't need the money.'" said Baluyut. "And we were like, 'What if people end up giving her money anyways.' And she said, 'I'll just give it to a kid who needs it.'"
Jaylen wanted to buy school supplies and uniforms for foster kids.
3. Get the word out with social media and set up an online donation page
"Mommy invited everybody on Facebook," said Jaylen.
Her mother set a date, the last Saturday in August, set up an event on Facebook, and invited all her friends, explaining that Jaylen wanted to raise money for Pittsburg charities.
Her husband Jason shared it on Instagram. Many people forwarded the invitation to their Facebook followers, including the family's former daycare.
Friends and family RSVP'd with enthusiam. Those who couldn't come asked how they could donate so Baluyut set up an account on Venmo, which counted a couple hundred dollars in donations before a single drop of lemonade was sold.
They bought school supplies, uniforms and backpacks for the Love a Child homeless shelter for women and children in Pittsburg, donated some to Jaylen's school, Stoneman Elementary, and still have some left over to give to a children's hospital.
4. Recruit help from friends and family
"My little brothers made the cookies," with help from their mom the night before, Jaylen said. "My cousins made signs."
Her parents saw the response that their event had generated online and made gallons of lemonade the night before.
Jaylen and her cousins stood on the corner sidewalk and waved signs, screaming, "Free lemonade!," Baluyut said.
She went inside to get more lemonade, and returned to find a hundred people in her front yard, she said.
5. Have fun, rake in the money and feel good about your community
The donations jar kept filling up, but Baluyut didn't realize how much money they made until it came time to clean up and count the cash.
"At the end of the day when I counted it, I wanted to cry because I didn't imagine that so many people would donate so much money to such a small cause," she said. "It was a pretty cool feeling but it goes beyond my daughter's dream of having a lemonade stand."
Baluyut said she credits the outpouring of support to her family's long history and connections in Pittsburg. She and her husband Jason grew up there and she knows people wherever she goes.
"People love to help out. They just need a chance. That's what Jaylen gave them," she said. "Kids should be raised to give more than they receive and to love more than they hate."
Jaylen said the lemonade stand felt like a party and she enjoyed every minute of it. But if she'll count the event as a real success if she inspires other kids to raise money for the needy in their communities.