When Life Hands You Lemons…

We have all heard, at some point in our lives, the age-old adage that ‘when life gives you lemons, make lemonade’.  I’ll guess that most of us first heard this from either our mothers or grandmothers.  I also suspect that most of us, while remembering hearing it, did not really internalize it or even begin to understand it until faced with a big basket of sour lemons. When life hands you lemons, you have two choices: to give in to the lemony bitterness or sweeten the juice to bring new perspective, renewed strength and the opportunity to share the newly made lemonade.

The exact moment when the news arrived, that cancer had invaded the body of my wife, I knew in my heart that life, as we knew it, would never be the same. News spread quickly amongst our many circles of community and soon messages of support were filling up the answering machine and meals were overwhelming the freezer.  I found myself struggling to manage the abundance of the generosity, concern and love, in addition to my new full-time caregiving role.

Carole’s four-year battle with Ovarian Cancer came to an end when she was 47 years old.  In an attempt to extract some meaning from this very bitter lemon, I began to contemplate ideas that would serve to make the caregiving process easier for both families, as well as those who wanted to help.  Thus was born the idea for Lotsa Helping Hands.  The mission of Lotsa Helping Hands is to power online caring communities that help restore health and balance to caregivers’ lives.  The service brings together caregivers and volunteers through online Communities that organize daily life during times of medical crisis or caregiver exhaustion in neighborhoods and communities worldwide.  Now that the lemonade was made, it was time to open a lemonade stand.

To date, through the hard work and dedication of an amazing team of lemonade makers, nearly one million members have lent a hand through more than 60,000 Lotsa Helping Hands Communities around the globe.  Here’s a taste of that lemonade:

Illinois resident Lydia puts her love of cooking to good use through Lotsa Helping Hands’ Ascension Angel Cooks Community. She prepares meals for families in need and has received an overwhelming number of messages from those who have enjoyed her dinners.

Maine resident Jaime coordinates a Lotsa Community – with more than 50 Members – that has “adopted” a family of four children, whose mother was diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer. Through Lotsa Helping Hands, Jaime organizes meals, “thinking of you” cards from across the country, birthdays, and everyday help around the house.

Everyday the entire team at Lotsa gets inspired by these stories of community support, love and generosity.  We never lose sight of the fact that we just provide the service – it is really the people in these Communities who are offering help, emotional support and peace of mind to their friends, families and loved ones. It’s some pretty delicious lemonade.

Barry Katz is Co-Founder at Lotsa Helping Hands

10 thoughts on “When Life Hands You Lemons…

  1. we call my son lemon ( a mispronouncing by a two year old led to his nickname). it reminds me, on a daily basis, that life does not always unfold as you imagine, but is richer, funnier, and more bittersweet than i thought possible. and that parts of life can be kind of wretchy. but never dull, and always funny, if you have the right attitude.

    • Thanks so much for the heartfelt thoughts, you certainly have the right attitude!

    • Thanks so much for the kind words of support. Kudo’s really go to the entire team here at Lotsa for making this so amazing!

  2. Barry: We were neighbors on Fox Run. I am currently involved with helping a dear friend through your AMAZING site! THANK YOU for this amazing site. I hope you and your girls are well!!!!

    • Great to hear from you Amy! Your enthusiasm is really appreciated. So glad to hear that Lotsa has been able to help with your friend. The girls are doing great, both out of college now! I hope that your boys are well. –Barry

  3. I wish I knew about this three years ago, my husband of 36 years was Dx with 4th stage cancer everywhere. He survived for two years. Even with the help from family and friends we could have use this help.
    At least I know about it now and can spread the word. Blessings to you, Judy Hoover.

    • Hi Judy,
      Please accept condolences from all of us at Lotsa on the passing of your husband. Thanks so much for taking the time to share your comments and for the wonderful support!

  4. I was searching for a website or forum to use to communicate info about my mom who has alzheimers. I needed to keep my brother and sisters up-to-date without making repeated phone calls. Lotsahelpinghands is the perfect tool! It has everything you need. You did an amazing job on it and it benefits so many people. Thank You!

    • Hi Karen,
      So glad that you found us! Thanks for the most kind words of support. Please keep an eye open for an upgraded version of Lotsa that will be coming to all Alzheimer branded communities next week.