Siblings Chloe Love and William Miranda, two kids trying to make a difference in their Bushwick community, had their fifth annual Lemonade and Cake Stand this past weekend on Saturday, September 18, at Dodworth Street between Bushwick Avenue and Broadway. They were able to raise $5,677, and 100 percent of the proceeds will go towards winter survival kits for people experiencing homelessness.
What started as two children selling lemonade in front of their home in 2017 now resembles a block party with a cotton candy machine, carnival games, music and dancing. However, the purpose of the lemonade stand — to provide those without a home with basic necessary items — has remained the same, according to Chloe.
“We’ve been making kits for the homeless since year one,” Chloe told Bushwick Daily. “They’re the people that need more than we do.”
Mother Jonie Miranda shared that what had motivated the family to start the lemonade stand was to teach her children the value of taking care of the community in which they live.
“The biggest thing for me and my husband ultimately was to teach our children the importance of giving back in anything. It’s now second nature. It doesn’t matter where we are or what we’re doing, we’re conscious. When you see someone in the street you help them,” she said.
The items that can be found in the winter kits are fairly consistent year to year. Last year’s winter survival kits included 2 pairs of socks, a fleece hat and gloves, a plastic rain poncho, a toothbrush and toothpaste, among other items.
You can follow the ChloeLove and William foundation, a nonprofit organization that was founded this year, to find out what will be in this year’s winter survival kits. The tentative delivery date for the kits is November 13. According to Jonie, donations are still coming through. “I don’t want to order 400 kits and then later find out I could have bought 415,” she told Bushwick Daily.
The growing nature of the lemonade stand is made possible by family, friends, neighbors, classmates and “police friends,” all who volunteer to make the event happen, the family explained.
“We met our police friends through donating and, one time, we actually physically went to the 83rd Precinct and gave little goodie bags to each of the officers,” said Chloe.
The family had been moved by the 2017 case of Officer Misotis Familia, “a good policewoman” who had been shot in her car. Police survival kits were put together, which included sweets like Lifesavers and gum, and a note explaining the meaning of each.
“We thank you for your service!” reads the note.
The family, with the help of other “moms wanting better for their community and kids,” opened up the nonprofit Kids Care Crew NYC. Kids of various neighborhoods volunteer to help with Thanksgiving turkey drives, toy drives for Christmas and book bag drives for the school year. The nonprofit has also cleaned up Knickerbocker Avenue and Maria Hernández Park.
“This is something that we want our children to always be involved in,” said Jonie. “We would want our kids to continue this with their children and for their children to say ‘Mom started this when she was six and Dad started this when he was three,’” she continued, referencing Chloe and William, respectively, who are now 11 and seven.
“Just go for it!” said Chloe to those who want to get involved in their community but are a bit hesitant or unsure on how to go about it. “It ends up being so exciting and it’s amazing. So if you can do it and if you, let’s say, have the money or have the time to make a lemonade stand for the homeless, do it because it’s really worth it.”
“It’s fun,” added William when asked about what’s it like working with his sister.
“It doesn’t cost anything to be nice but the importance and the value that you learn from it will always stay with you and that’s priceless,” said Jonie.
Currently, the Kids Care Crew is collecting gently used Halloween costumes to provide for children who don’t have one. The deadline for donations is October 1.
Those interested in donating to the winter survival kit fund have until Monday, Sept. 27, to do so. Venmo @Daisy-Miranda-5 to donate.
Images: Jonie Miranda
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