During lunchtime, Waylon mentioned to Arjun that he saw a homeless person during an outing with his family. He was sleeping on the floor outside on an egg basket.” Ellie said, “I have seen homeless people, too. Arjun said, “I see them all the time, too. They don’t have homes.”
“How does it make you feel to see people sleeping outside?” I asked.
“It’s so sad. It makes me sad. They don’t have a home, and they sleep on egg baskets.” Ellie answered.
“It makes me sad. They don’t have homes. They don’t have anything. Or food.” Arjun said.
Jordan and Makoa collectively said, “Sad.”
I asked, “Do you think you can help them?” and they all responded, “Yes!”
“How do you think you can help a homeless person?”
“Find them a job.” Arjun answered.
“Give them money.” Ellie said.
“Where would you get money to donate to a person.”
All of the children shrugged, and Arjun said, “I don’t know.”
Addy said, “We need to help them.”
Ellie mentioned a story about a lemonade stand and said we could sell the lemonade to raise money. Arjun was worried that we would spend too much money purchasing lemons. I let him know that I have two lemon trees, and Little Owl has a tree currently filled with lemons that are all free for us to use. Some of the other children mentioned they could bring in lemons from their trees.
While they ate their pasta, they decided on selling lemonade for donations for five days. They want to help homeless people and give them the money to buy the necessities. “They can buy food and a real pillow,” Jordan said.
I asked, “Why do you want to help homeless people?”
“Because they need things. Food, a house, they don’t have anything.” Ellie answered.
“Because I’m scared of them, but they need food.” Jordan said.
“Because they need help getting a house. They’re homeless.” Arjun said.
During the conversation, some of the children spoke with a perception that we should be afraid of homeless people. Their views started to change with the questions I asked and the way the other children expressed their feelings and concerns. They grew empathetic towards homeless people and together planned a project to help people.
Thinking about the recent covid surge, I wondered if it would be safe for the children to sell their lemonade to the community. The next question we will discuss is, “How can we sell lemonade safely?” I am curious to hear their ideas, problem-solve together, and watch the development of this project.