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A Donor Story: Deena and Maia’s Lemonade Stand

Deena Kamali (left) and Maia Mordovanaki (right)

In today’s world that celebrates superheroes on the big screen dressed in fantastic costumes, it is especially refreshing to learn of the everyday heroes that come in all sizes, disguised in t-shirts and flip-flops. They perform their feats in ways that seem more modest, but are no less critical to those they help.

As the weather turned warmer, Maia Mordovanaki and Deena Kamali, both 9 years old, were beginning to think about summer plans. They were eager to have some fun and see friends and neighbors. Together, they came up with an idea to have a lemonade stand, giving away the lemonade to passers-by and using any tips they got for some fun activities or toys this summer.

As plans percolated, their thinking turned philanthropic. Instead of spending the money they raised, they decided to donate it. They had seen the colorful Children’s Hospital of Michigan in Troy, Mich., and thought of the kids who go there for injuries and other treatments. With their metaphorical capes catching wind, the girls were intent on helping other kids struggling with their health and determined to make this venture a success.

Deena and Maia spent three weeks planning, creating signs, determining the perfect recipe for thirst-quenching lemonade, publicizing their stand in the neighborhood, and making bracelets to give to each person who donated.

On Sunday, May 23, after tracking weather patterns they held their one-day event and had lots of fun while raising a jar full of funds for the kids at Children’s Hospital of Michigan. Success! Their superhero efforts paid off and with the help of friends and neighbors (and critical support from their parents!), they raised more than $100 to help hospitalized children!

A couple of weeks later, the girls arranged to present the donation to The Children’s Foundation at the very hospital that had inspired their effort. During the meeting, Deena and Maia asked the curious question: “What will this donation do for kids?”

Left to right: Leyla Khavanin, Deena’s mother, Deena Kamali, Maia Mordovanaki, and Noha Eid-Mordovanaki, Maia’s mother

They each shared they experienced their own hospital stay in the past, describing it as “scary.” They were reassured to find out that children’s hospitals work to make the experience less scary for kids by using special distraction techniques and activities to make the stay more comfortable, and even fun!  They learned how doctors and researchers are always working to develop new treatments and that there is always a need for money to help there.

Their hard work was worth it – they walked away in their t-shirts, flip flops, and invisible capes knowing that the cash they worked so hard to raise was going to help kids just like them.

Help us improve the health and wellness of more children and families.

You can help us reach more children and families by making a gift to The Children’s Foundation. Click here to make your gift.

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