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PhilanthroParties helps kids give back

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We had a lot of people read their 20 hours for the Summer Reading Program who are patiently waiting for their T-shirts, and for those that are, they will be available for pickup Aug. 16-31.

If you managed to get through your book backlog to earn those hours, the Books Again book store run by the Friends of the Library is having a Paperback Book Sale for the month of August. It’s a great chance to find a new favorite series or author. The book store is located at 200 W. Second and can be contacted at 575-627-6179. Hours are Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. And Saturdays 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Contact the library by calling 575-622-7101, visiting us at 301 N. Pennsylvania Ave. or our website at roswell-nm.gov.

Book Talk by Debra Thomas
Tech Services Supervisor
PhilanthroParties, LemonAid Warriors, social activists, fundraising and a 10-year-old girl? We all hope to make a practice of helping others in need, but do we actually accomplish this on a regular basis? I can tell you, after reading the book “PhilanthroParties!: A Party-Planning Guide for Kids Who Want to Give Back” by 18-year-old Lulu Cerone, you will definitely be inspired to “up your game” when it comes to giving back to those less fortunate. Lulu has learned that trusting your instincts, regardless of age, will give you the capacity to do good in the world.
Starting out in the hot Los Angeles summers with a lemonade stand in the front yard, she discovered how surprisingly satisfying it was to use her earnings to give back to the community (a gentle suggestion from her mom early on), and she has never looked back. That small lemonade stand evolved into a powerhouse fundraiser during the 2010 earthquake that devastated Haiti, when she organized the LemonAid War — a girls versus boys contest to see who could raise the most money within a two-week timeframe. This highly compassionate 10-year-old girl, and everyone inspired by her, amazingly earned $4,000 in profits to help earthquake victims. Exhilarated by the idea that people will come together for just causes, in 2011 she started a nonprofit organization called LemonAid Warriors to share ideas so others could throw their own PhilanthroParties (parties with a purpose). Her personal parties have raised over $100,000 to support various local and global causes.

The book has a section for each month, with suggested themes and ideas for invitations, awareness literature, décor, and recipes for party food. This young social activist, born on April Fools’ Day, used her regular birthday party as a venue to spread awareness about the 783 million people who don’t have access to clean water. Using the water crisis as a theme, she requested donations for Blood:Water, an organization that helps build wells in regions throughout Africa where clean water is not an option, rallied her classmates and proceeded to have a “water walk” through town while carrying jugs of water to spread awareness and empathy for this cause. Enough money was raised to build a well in Africa and this party has since become an annual event.
Lulu Cerone designs parties with a purpose — hanging out combined with helping out allows people to gather at social events, have fun and connect with each other, but also have the unique purpose of targeting a social cause to benefit. Love movie nights? You can host a fun movie night with an admission fee of DVD donations for soldiers. Memorial Day events can include donations of cell phones for soldiers. Some of the author’s favorite organizations are listed as sources to check out, but she encourages everyone to find a cause that inspires them to create positive change in the world. So if you ever feel like your actions don’t matter, there is a young girl who would tell you that as long as you pick something that speaks to your heart, no issue is too big or too small and you can have a positive impact on your community at any age.
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Amanda Davis is a reference librarian at the Roswell Public Library. She can be contacted at A.Davis@roswell-nm.gov.