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Turning lemons into lemonade into help for Haiti

Sheepshead Bay kids are using a lemonade stand to help an impoverished country.

For the second year in a row, Paige Strackman is helping her children Chedera, 9, Christopher, 8, and Conner, 3, run a lemonade stand outside their Emmons Avenue home in Sheepshead Bay.

The kids are allowed to keep one-third of the profits but the remainder is used to purchase food and send it to starving children in Haiti.

“It’s such a great way for them to spend some of their summer helping other people,” Strackman said. “This year, the goal is to raise $500 and send 1,000 pounds of food to Haiti.”

Last year, theymailed 245 pounds of beans to Haiti, which is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.

“My husband is from Haiti,” Strackman said. “We thought that if we know this is an issue and there’s something we can do to help, we should try.”

Strackman sends the food to her friend Elsie Lherisson, who runs aprogram in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, that feeds 700 kids a week.

“[Lherisson] said that when she doesn’t have enough food, she has to choose what children to feed,” Strackman explained. “That’s totally unbelievable and I thought we have to help these kids.”

The children in Haiti have expressed their appreciation by sending three-foot-tall handmade cards to the Brooklyn family.

“It’s a huge card that me and my brother got. I thought that was very sweet and nice,” Chedera said.

Brooklynites have opened their wallets — and hearts — for the Strackman family’s efforts.

Sometimes locals will forgo the $1 per glass lemonade and just give donations.

“Generally people will give more,” Strackman said. “We don’t ask for more but it’s been heartwarming to see people’s response to this. They’ll drive by and say we don’t have time for lemonade but take the money.”

To make a donation, visit www.lemonadeforhaiti.com.

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