Thursday, February 20, 2014

10 year old Vivienne Harr: The Making of a Movement

The first post I wrote, on the then 8-year-old Vivienne Harr and her Make-A-Stand "lemon-aid" stand, dates back to 2012.  Her aim was to raise money to help free people from human trafficking, also known as modern-day slavery.  Later in October 2012, she reached 100 days of selling lemon-aid on her sidewalk, while sporting her new motto, "Pay what's in your heart," with the hope of raising funds faster.  That first idea of fundraising at her lemon-aid stand in hopes of freeing 500 slaves may have seemed naive at first, but let's review the results and the other creative ideas that sprung from that first thought.

Today Vivienne has not only raised over $1 Million through her organization Make A Stand, Inc., which benefits the human trafficking abolition organization Not for Sale, but she has instigated a movement and through this, has become the first business to bottle lemon-aid stand lemonade.  Aside from bottling her lemon-aid, which is now sold online and in select retail stores, she has been interviewed across the nation, sold her lemon-aid in Time Square, wrote a book with the help of her family, and just released the #StandWithMe documentary. In just a two year time-span, she has done more than most of us would do in 10 years, and this was all done with the hope to free people from bondage. Makes you ask yourself what you were doing at age 10, doesn't it? The story doesn't stop here, it was just reported that she has been invited to speak at The United Nations in May.  What a wonderful opportunity this will be for a 10 year old to show the world that no matter what age you are, you can make a difference and help end human trafficking!

One thing little Vivienne points out is that being just one person does not mean you are limited, "Mother Theresa was just one person," she proclaims in her TED talk.  Vivienne also attributes her success to the help, support, and motivation from her family.  With this help, she has been able to educate thousands of people on the injustice of human trafficking while creating a business model to help abolish it.  I have always been inspired by the drive this mover and shaker has.  She is the littlest-big inspiration I know!  If you too are inspired by her and want to know more, Make-A-Stand has created a movie which is now premiering across America and Canada, until early April.  You can check the dates and locations and if they aren't within your radius, you can bring the film to you!  Not only will you learn about the innovative and growing movement for freedom captured in a bottle (and now a book) by a little girl, but you will learn about the bottling process of this freedom lemon-aid, and the importance of using products that do not endorse labor trafficking or harm the environment (organic and GMO free).  After each premier, there will also be a Q&A session by the director and producer of the movie.

"I know us as individuals may seem
small and insignificant, but it's not about 
how small we are, it's about 
how big we think we can change the world."

Whether it be lemon-aid, a book, or a movie, this young social entrepreneur has one thing in common with those who have succeeded before her; she doesn't let worldly limitation prevent her from chasing her goals.  The saying, "big dreams start small," may sound cliche but, when referring to Vivienne Harr, I think it is more than appropriate.  Do not let your mind limit your chance to change the world!

In the human trafficking abolition movement, the first step is to educate yourself on human trafficking and recognizing the signs, then talk to someone about the presence of slavery in our world today.  Human trafficking doesn't only happen in developing countries, it happens in America too, and you can be a part of preventing human trafficking from occurring.

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