When Lulu Cerone was 10-years-old her life was forever changed when she saw the horrible devastation from Haiti’s 2010 earthquake on the news. Living a comfortable existence in suburban Los Angeles, she felt that she had to do something to help. Her parents had always encouraged her to give back so she decided to organize a lemonade stand war between the boys and girls at her school. That initial event was a huge success raising $4,000 for the earthquake victims and was the social highlight of the year. From there, LemonAid Warriors was born. The non-profit organization uses ‘philanthroparties’ to raise money for a range of global organizations. To date over $100,000 has been raised.
The 17-year-old’s ‘philanthroparties’ are “parties with a purpose”. A consummate DIY expert and budding chef, she decided to share her love and knowledge in her new book, Philanthroparties, A Party Planning Guide for Kids Who Want to Give Back (May 9, Beyond Word/Simon & Schuster). Each month showcases different ideas with seasonal recipes and easy DIY crafts. Lulu’s goal is to spread her enthusiasm for social activism to kids everywhere.
I had asked Lulu if she would share a few words with us about her successful book and she wrote:
"Compassion. Empathy. Empowerment. Generosity. We can all agree that community service is the one of the best ways to practice these traits. While most families prioritize these values, we don’t always prioritize community service when it comes to scheduling. In my family, sports, music lessons, and a myriad of extra curricular commitments kept pushing away our well-intended plans to volunteer. When we did make an attempt, most charities required volunteers to be sixteen years or older unless accompanied by an adult, and my parents were just too busy. When I was ten years old, I decided to do something about it.
I came up with a PhilanthroParty action plans. I’d take a look at what was already on our calendar, like holiday parties, sports banquets, music recitals, or smaller events such as birthdays, sleepovers or play dates. I’d research a worthy cause and then add a few creative twists that turn any gathering, big or small, into an opportunity to create positive change in the world. Friends coming over for Canada Day pool party? Ask them to bring extra used towels to donate to your local dog shelter. No pool? Set up sprinklers, water balloon piñatas and water guns. Voila! You’ve got yourself a PhilanthroParty. My book has dozens of simple, inexpensive ideas like this to turn any gathering into a party with purpose. Adding kindness and generosity to the things you are already planning on doing is a realistic way to make social-good a part of your social life!"
Check out her amazing book and become a game changer for the world!