Inspired by his baby cousin who was born with Down syndrome, Luke decided to host a lemonade stand as part of National Lemonade Day with the intention of donating all proceeds to upside Downs, a Down syndrome non-profit organization.
“When my cousin, Spencer, was born, I realized that having Down syndrome might have made him different, but it also made him special,” Luke said. “When I found out about Lemonade Day, I thought this would be a good chance for me to tell other people about Spencer. Donating the money will help other kids like him, too.”
Started in 2005, Lemonade Day is a community-wide education program that teaches youth the entrepreneurial skills necessary to start, own and operate their own business, a lemonade stand. Many kids use this as an opportunity to make a difference, and he is inspiring his classmates to do the same.
On Monday, Luke gave a presentation to his class educating them about Down syndrome and National Lemonade Day. He challenged his peers to not only hold their own lemonade stands, but to also donate their profits. Many of them have accepted Luke’s challenge.
“To see our youth so receptive to Down syndrome is heartwarming, but to see them want to donate their money and help others, well that is just unbelievable, “ said Beau Brooks, co-founder of Upside Downs. “We are touched by what Luke and his classmates are doing. This is the ‘upside’ of Down syndrome.”
On Saturday, April 30, you can find Luke selling his lemonade at his home, 500 Ayreshire Drive in Lafayette, and from 1:30 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. at 100 Shinnecock in Le Triomphe in Broussard.
The money Luke raises will help Upside Downs provide gift baskets for families with newly diagnosed Down syndrome children, promote awareness, and advocate for children with special needs. One in every 691 babies in the U.S. is diagnosed with Down syndrome, totaling 6,000 each year. Approximately 400,000 Americans live, work and play with Down syndrome.