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Elemonade homelessness


1st grader selling drinks with money going to SB Rescue Mission

Six-year-old Alyssa Hagedorn is on a mission to e’lemonade’ homelessness in Shreveport-Bossier.

The local first grader has decided to open a lemonade/sweet tea stand Saturday, which happens to be Lemonade Day for Louisiana, to raise money for three local organizations: The Hub: Urban Ministries, the Shreveport-Bossier Rescue Mission and HOPE for the Homeless, a collaborative effort of local organizations and individuals dedicated to ending homelessness in Northwest Louisiana.

Alyssa has set a goal of $500 to divide among the three organizations. She’s asking for a donation of $1 for each cup of lemonade or sweet tea purchased.

Alyssa and her mom, Alisha Hagedorn, began this journey in March when Alyssa came up with the idea. Alyssa said she understands what being homeless means and she wants to help as much as she can.

“I knew that the homeless don’t have anything. They don’t have a home and have to find shelter somewhere,” Alyssa said. “[The money] can help them not be cold when it’s cold outside.”

The inspiration behind her effort comes from seeing others pay it forward.

“Our church set a goal of raising $500,000 for different missions and they surpassed that,” Alisha said. “We’ve said from the beginning that we aren’t keeping the money and we have faith that it could happen.”

So, they created an event on Facebook called “sHebrews to Elemonade Homelessness” to share Alyssa’s story and desire to raise money for the local homeless shelters. So far, she’s raised $400 toward her goal before even selling one glass of lemonade or sweet tea.

If she happens to reach her goal, Alyssa said she will “thank God” first then probably do a happy dance. Once the money is collected, Alyssa will be visiting each of the three organizations to present their share of the final amount.

Alisha said she ultimately wants Alyssa to see the importance of paying it forward and helping others in need.

“I want her to know that making other people happy comes first,” Alisha said. “I want her to have a really giving heart.”

Alyssa’s lemonade stand will be open Saturday, May 3, from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. at Remington College – Shreveport Campus, 2106 Bert Kouns Industrial Loop.

For information on The Hub: Urban Ministries, visit www.loveyourcity.virb.com or call (318) 606-2512. For information on the Shreveport-Bossier Rescue Mission, visit www.sbrescuemission.com or call (318) 227-2868. For information on HOPE for the Homeless, visit www.nwlahope.org or call (318) 670-4591.

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Sean Green is managing editor of the Bossier Press-Tribune.