Fruit of the Giving Tree

We have a mango tree in our backyard. That isn’t so unique. I can’t imagine how many noncommercial fruit trees there are in the yards of Florida. Growing up, I had a fig tree. My grandmother had a satsuma tree. The playground in my elementary school even had a huge pecan tree.  There’s nothing extraordinary about having fruit or nuts in your backyard in Florida (or your family for that matter but that’s another post).

our mango tree

Recently, I was talking to my four year-old, LG, about the tons of mangoes on our lone tree out back. I asked him what we should do with all the mangoes. He replied with a few very interesting recipes. And then he said something special. He said, “maybe we could sell the mangoes and give the money to someone who needs it.” Brilliant! Why not? Sure, I’d be happy to give mangoes to my friends and my hubs would be thrilled to eat a bucket load, but even then there would be plenty left over. Seriously, do all mango trees make so much fruit?

For the past few weeks we’ve been talking about selling the mangoes, making signs and generally getting excited.  This past weekend it finally happened.  We set up a mango stand (think lemonade) at the beach while visiting the boys’ cousins who also got in on the act.  Turns out, LG is a born salesman.  No sooner did we have the signs up than he started yelling “Mangoes! Mangoes!” I don’t even know where he came up with that. Ha!

ready for their first customers

After a short while, the boys wanted to hit the waves.  So, we left the unsold mangoes, brown bags, knives, and fliers in the shade with our little donation bag sitting next to them.  When LG looked up from the beach and saw a group of people crowded around the stand he got very excited and started shouting, “Mom! We have customers! Look!”

on the honor system

By the end of our day, there were only a few mangoes left.  As we packed the car with all the gear that comes with taking two small boys to the beach (boogie boards, blankets, umbrellas, floaties, towels, changes of clothes, coolers, buckets, shovels, nets, etc.) a church group ran up to the car yelling for us to wait.  They wanted mangoes and hadn’t had a chance to grab them yet.  They cleaned us out in the parking lot! LG proudly stood there with his donation bag and a giant grin on his face.  Super G helped, too.

parking lot sales

In the end, we made $50 for charity.  The boys helped me count the money.  We talked about dollars and coins and what each is worth.  We talked about the responsibility of keeping up with the money.  We talked about being polite and saying “thank you” to our customers.  Sounds basic, but all good lessons for a 4 and (almost) 3 year old.  Fifty bucks isn’t much really, but I’m sure any charity would be glad to have it.

cousins - feeling good about doing good

I’m so proud that my Little Guy thought of something so amazing all on his own. I can’t wait to see the look on his face when he turns that money over.  Being charitable at any age is noble.  Being charitable at age four? Now that is extraordinary!

We’d love you to have your own Fruit of the Giving Tree stand! If you do, please take some pictures and post them to our Facebook page (and “like” the page too):

To find out more about the charity we are supporting, please visit Two Sisters Trust at and​orafrica2012 where you can donate to the cause.

my sister-in-law is running a DOUBLE marathon to raise money for an orphanage in desperate need


About Peace, Love, and Toys

As a mom of 2, I know that the recipe for a happy child is simply peace, love, and (who are we kidding) toys. I'll try to share my tips on how to get all 3.
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