Maddie's Virtual Lemonade Stand

If life gives you lemons...
The people living in the slum just outside Tijuana, Mexico, make the most of what they have even though they have so little. I had a very moving experience in Mexico last year with the grass-roots non-profit Build A Miracle. I was able to help out a family with painting and laying a concrete walkway for their new home.  I asked for donations instead of birthday gifts and bought them a dining room table and chair set and kitchen supplies.   As I learned last year, what really makes a difference for these families is having some simple necessities to use in their new home: a stove, refridgerator, table and chairs, a sink, a microwave, etc. For my 16th birthday, I am hoping to raise as much money as possible to make this happen!

The spirit of this Tijuana community is contagiously happy, caring and energetic despite the challenges of their living situation. Families of five or more live in one small room - a shack really, with a corrugated metal roof topped with old tires -  they wash their dishes in tubs from a hose, and walk along a plank over the mud to get to their front door (often a sheet nailed to the wood.)

I met a little girl, Nubi, when I was helping to paint her house last year, and she was the absolute happiest, full of life little kid I've ever met. She showed me the drawings she had done in school and spoke to me in Spanish as if I were fluent, though I'd had only one semester of High School Espagnol. Her family of four "“ mom, dad, and 15 year-old-brother "“ had been sleeping in one bed for her whole life. She told me that her favorite thing in the world was going to school. Unlike Nubi, I have every material thing I could possibly need, and I know that for a lot of people, living without the luxuries we own is hard to imagine. Two of the things I love about Build a Miracle (BAM) is that the people getting the new homes put in sweat equity to build them, AND they make a commitment that their children will finish High School (most drop out in Elementary School, but BAM ensures that the students get the help of tutors, role models and financial assistance.) The people of Tijuana don't have much, so please help me help them:make a new, safe home they can be proud of:help me help them make a better life for their children through education:help me take the lemons of their challenging situation and make "lemonade!"

If I raise $10,000 ($25/square foot), I can build a house. If I raise $2,200, I can furnish a house. Even if I only raise $1,500, I can send someone like Nubi to college in Mexico and give her the opportunity to build a better life. Build A Miracle is a 501(c)3 non-profit so all donations are tax deductible.

Furnishings :
Stove with Oven: $200
Cabinet/Sink: $300
Refrigerator: $400
Dining Set: $150
Bathroom Cabinet & Sink: $200
Bunk Beds with mattresses: $440
Full Bed with headboard, mattress and frame: $220
Microwave: $50
Living Room Sofa/Futon: $240

Thank you for your support!


This is the Mendoza Medina family, whose house we will paint when I go to Tijuana on April 27th.  The parents are getting married that night!  I would love to surprise them by furnishing their home!

Mixing concrete is hard work!

This little girl recently got a new home!

Can you imagine cooking your meals in that?

Now here is where the family gets to cook their meals.

Painting the walls between an old one-room house and the family's new home.

Here is the family we helped last time (and my new friend, Nubi.)

For more information on Build a Miracle:
  • frank armas 
    • $10 
    • 83 mos
  • frank armas 
    • $10 
    • 84 mos
  • frank armas 
    • $10 
    • 85 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $20 
    • 86 mos
  • Ellyn McKenna 
    • $20 
    • 86 mos
See all


Suzanne Lowe Weerts 
Burbank, CA
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