Lemons might be sour ... but 5-year old Jayden Sink shows they can also be very, very sweet.
When Jayden learned about the hateful and homophobic activity of Westboro Baptist Church, a church in her hometown of Kansas, she set up a lemonade stand to promote peace.
Westboro Baptist Church is overtly homophobic and has amassed an extremely controverial reputation for activities such as "picketing soldiers’ funerals, protesting in front of the Holocaust Memorial Museum and celebrating massacres like Sept. 11 and the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting." According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, Westboro Baptist Church is an official hate group.
Jackson Sink, Jayden's father, said that he "could not fully explain to his daughter what Westboro Baptist stood for." Sink is the founder of "creative compassion" project, Freshcassette; according to the Huffington Post, he simply explained to his daughter that the local church "had a message of hate," and Jayden began promoting peace in the best way she knew how.
The elementary school student is raising money for Planting Peace, a non-profit whose mission is, put simply, "peace." The organization undertakes a variety of projects including protecting rain forests and providing care for underprivileged children and orphans. Jayden strategically opened her stand in front of Planting Peace's "Equality House," "a rainbow-colored headquarters intentionally set up just 20 feet away from the front door of Westboro Baptist Church.
According to NBC News, Sink began selling lemonade last Friday, but her mission has echoed far beyond her neighborhood. In addition to lemonade sales, people from across the country have already demonstrated their support, donating over $6 thousand to Sink's project through the fund raising website, Crowdrise.com.
Freshcassette's website announced that "on June 14 Jon and Jayden held the first Pink Lemonade for Peace." And due to support both local and remote, "it was a great success."
Jayden is teaching America an important message with her project: a person may not be able to save the world, but everyone can do his or her share. At only 5-years old, Sink is standing up against hatred in her own way, and she is making quite a statement. Despite her small stature and soft voice, Jayden's message is reverberating across the nation.
As a young girl and a voice of the future, Jayden's project is an optimistic one. Her lemonade stand for peace echoes far beyond the delusional and bigoted cries of the Westboro Baptist Church. And while such hateful messages might not disappear completely, Jayden gives us hope that they will be pushed to the background behind a louder message of peace.