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A lemonade stand to cheer up sick kids

Credit: Kidsday illustration / Sophia Moehringer

In 2011, at the age of 17, Ashley Wade was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. When she was in the hospital, she saw how many kids suffer every day from illnesses such as this one. Ashley wanted to bring joy to those children’s faces, and she wanted to give back to the hospital that took such great care of her. So a year later, Ashley started her foundation, The Ashley Wade Foundation, by holding hospital pizza parties for Good Samaritan and NYU Winthrop (two local children’s hospitals).

Now, Ashley Wade, a former McKenna Elementary School student, has visited more than 50 children’s hospitals all over the United States. She not only holds pizza parties for children’s hospitals, but she also donates brand-new pajamas to Jake’s Jammies (in honor of Jake, who passed away two years ago from cancer), sends care packages to children who have chronic illnesses, and creates family fun days for families and siblings.

Starting the Ashley Wade Foundation has changed her life in so many ways. It taught her to love harder, to be a better friend, to embrace the time spent with those who are the closest to her and to see the best in everyone. She learned the true meaning of unconditional love. Over the past six years, Ashley Wade has helped so many children. If you want to give back to her and sick children, you can donate clothes, toys and money.

Local families, including mine, ran a LemonWade stand with Ashley’s permission. The name LemonWade comes from a combination of two words, lemonade and her last name, Wade. We sold lemonade for 50 cents a cup and donated all of the money to the foundation.

If you are looking for a way to help out and feel good about yourself, start by creating your own LemonWade stand. Donate the profit to The Ashley Wade Foundation; learn more at ashleywadefoundation.org

Maggie Rago’s fifth-grade class, McKenna Elementary School, Massapequa Park

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