Deedra Scherm is a mom who wants to make the world a better place. When pregnant with her first child, Deedra found out she had a potentially fatal pregnancy-related illness. This made her think long and hard about how she wanted her and her kids to live. She realized that the most important thing she could teach them was how they could make a difference in someone else’s life. That became her inspiration for The Lemon Squeeze Foundation.
Deedra lives by the motto “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” She wants kids to understand that “just like squeezing a lemon can be uncomfortable in the beginning, so can giving back, but in the end you have an amazing result”. Deedra’s passion for getting others to “squeeze the lemons” led to her creating The Lemon Squeeze, which teaches kids how to give back to other kids. The Lemon Squeeze’s main project is “A Room to Give”, where one deserving child is granted a room makeover and a wish.
Sean Carlson, a boy who has spina bifida, received the organization’s first room makeover in February 2008. Hundreds of children helped raise funds to buy supplies for his new room. Kids came in shifts to help redesign his room into a replica of the headquarters of The Justice League, Sean’s favorite comic superheroes. Deedra believes that this type of project truly teaches the children involved the joy of giving. All the children were so excited to give Sean the best room possible.
Deedra says that The Lemon Squeeze gives children a new sanctuary where they can relax and rejuvenate. She says it also teaches them the joy of giving. “If I can teach these kids one thing, it would be to reach out and give the best of themselves,” Deedra says.
Here is a video that tells the story of The Lemon Squeeze Foundation.
- Here is the website for The Lemon Squeeze Foundation.
- Here is the website for a headband Deedra invented – 2010 profits from sales of the headband went to The Lemon Squeeze Foundation!
Topics for Discussion:
- What if you suffered from a long-term illness? Would it help you to know that people care about you?
- Why is it so important to help someone less fortunate than you?
- In what ways could you contribute to The Lemon Squeeze Foundation?
- What can you do to make a difference in your community?
- Here is a link to a Critical Reading Skills worksheet that you can use for elementary school students.
- Here is a link to a Critical Reading Skills worksheet that you can use for middle school students.