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Bay Area Proud

Inspiring stories of people making a difference

Fairfax Girl's (Lemondade) Stand Against Slavery Grows

Vivienne Harr set up a lemonade stand every day for a year in an effort to fight child slavery. Turns out that was just the beginning.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    In her effort to end child slavery, Vivienne Harr set up her lemonade stand every day for an entire year. That, it turns out, was just the beginning. (Published Wednesday, Sep 18, 2013)

    Vivienne Harr says she is scared of a lot of things. 

    Roller coasters, for one.
    That, of course, is not terribly unusual for a 9-year-old girl, particularly one with a penchant for stuffed animals, frilly skirts and sparkly headbands.
    What is unusual about Vivienne Harr, though, is what she is not afraid of, like tackling the complex and disturbing issue of child slavery.
    "I really want to help these kids," Vivienne says, "and I really want to end slavery. Modern slavery is not good at all."
    Vivienne's mission started in the spring of 2012 with a photograph her parents had shown her. The photo was of two young brothers in Nepal. Forced into slavery, the boys were carrying heavy stones on their backs. They were also holding each other's hands.
    When Vivienne's parents explained to her what slavery was, she wanted to do something about it. She decided to raise some money to give to an organization that fights child slavery.
    Vivienne decided to do that with the one business a then-7-year-old knows how to run. "A lemonade stand," Vivienne says. "To fight slavery."
    Vivienne first set her lemonade stand up on a July day in 2012 in front of her family's Fairfax home. She set it up the following day as well. And the day after that. And every day for an entire year.
    Within a few months of starting, journalists from around the country, and the world, began doing stories on Vivienne. Her celebrity grew, as did the amount she raised.
    "I started charging two dollars for a glass but then switched it to 'pay what's in your heart'", Vivienne said. "One man wrote a check for $1,000."
    Vivienne reached her initial goal of raising $100,000 with her stand set up in Times Square in New York City.
    Eric and Alex Harr, Vivienne's parents, told her she was free to stop after reaching her goal. "I said you're done," Eric said. "She said, 'Is child slavery done?' I said no. Then she said 'Neither am I.'"
    Vivienne and her family have since raised $1 million to begin bottling Vivienne's lemonade and sell it in stories. Make A Stand will eventually donate 50 percent of all its profits to help organizations that aid child slaves around the world.
    Make A Stand lemonade is already available in 70 stores around the western United States. Many more, undoubtedly, are to come.
    "I'm so glad that I am helping," Vivienne says, "and it's just the best thing in the world. I thought getting a stuffed animal would be the best thing, but this really is."