Brooklyn has been selling her homegrown fruit at the Payson Farmers Market every week since she was 7. She donates 100% of her earnings from the produce she harvests back to local schools and other organizations.
Brooklyn’s family has been involved in the Payson Farmers Market for the last 9 years, and when Brooklyn was old enough, she started selling lemonade at the market. After they moved, she discovered they had fruit trees in their backyard and started "Peaches for Teachers" with that fruit. Now Brooklyn sells peaches, plums, apricots, almonds, apples, and any other produce locally grown that she harvests herself. Neighbors and friends in her community help out as well, offering fruit from their houses for Brooklyn to sell at her stand.
In the past, Brooklyn has raised money for Shoes for Orphans Souls (Buckner International) and Operation Christmas Child. Currently, she is raising money for local schools, helping them purchase basic school supplies, a wagon for the P.E. teacher to transport equipment, snacks for elementary classes, chairs for a classroom, and privacy shields for testing.
“The most rewarding part of what I do is to see how the stuff I buy makes a difference,” Brooklyn said. “Last year I was also awarded the ‘Hero of Education’ from Payson Unified School District which was really cool.”
Brooklyn says she wants to continue her stand for as long as possible because she enjoys learning how to sell produce and likes the opportunity to give the money to different charities or places in need.
All of us here at Pinnacle Prevention are inspired by this young lady’s dedication, enthusiasm and entrepreneurship within her community, its food system, and its people.
If your child, just like Brooklyn, wants to be a young entrepreneur or has an idea worth sharing, visit AZ Children’s Business Fair. This one-day event provides an incredible opportunity for kids to develop a brand, create a product or service, build a marketing strategy, and launch their very own startup business. Children are responsible for the set-up, sales, and customer interactions.
There are many opportunities for your kids to get involved and learn about giving back to the community. You and your family can start by volunteering with any of these organizations that help Arizona families experiencing food insecurity:
- Valley of the Sun United Way. Their WeekEnd Hunger Backpack Delivery program provides weekend and summer meals for students who rely on schools for two out of their three meals during the week. Come with your family and help assemble weekend hunger backpacks containing seven meals and snacks. Kids must be at least age 5 to participate, and adult supervision is required.
- United Food Bank. You can help pack food, sort food and build emergency boxes for people in need. Volunteers must be at least age 12, except on monthly Family Nights when kids can be as young as 8. An adult must participate with youth ages 12-15.
- St. Mary’s Food Bank. They have many different volunteer opportunities, from packing emergency food boxes with non-perishable items to helping package meals and snacks for their kid’s programs. Children ages 12-13 must be accompanied by an adult, but teens 14-17 can volunteer on their own. Exceptions for ages 8-11 can be made for groups.
- Arizona Brainfood. This nonprofit organization discreetly provides a backpack of food to feed hungry school children on the weekends. You can find more information about volunteering donating food items here.
Whether you donate money, your time, or items, you will help someone in need, teach your kids about giving back, and maybe even stumble upon a spark of inspiration.