rebelling against low expectations

Abby Enck, Age 8: Social Entrepreneur


Abby Enck is only eight-years-old, but her story provides an excellent blueprint for rebelutionaries on how to make a difference. This shy girl found a cause close to home (supporting her brother who has cerebral palsy) and took one small step to meet that need (raising $4.50 selling lemonade to buy crayons).

Once she had developed a successful model, she multiplied it (buying crayons for other kids too and equipping other people to sell lemonade) and that is only the beginning (she is going to buy DVD’s next year and wants to become a special education teacher when she grows up).

We hope Abby’s story will encourage you that starting small is better than doing nothing. Whether it is raising money for Haiti, witnessing to friends at school, or volunteering to help out at church, remember that God can do great things when we make ourselves available. So, stop making excuses, and step out in faith!

8-Year-Old Girl Creates Charity Lemonade Franchises

by Kate Allt • NBC ChicagoFriday, July 16, 2010

Chicago, IL — Plenty of elementary school kids run lemonade stands during the summer. Few turn those lemonade stands into charitable franchises that help sick kids.

But 8-year-old Abby Enck found a way to use her refreshing entrepreneurial enterprise to bring some color into the life of her 6-year-old brother Cameron and his cohorts at Lutheran General Children’s Hospital in Park Ridge. Cameron was born with Cerebral Palsy.

“It’s hard sometimes to have a sibling with a disability, but Abby is a really great sister,” Abby’s mother Becki Enck said. “I’m amazed by her everyday. She’s a very giving, thoughtful, gentle person.”

Cameron was diagnosed with the disease when he was just one week old. Big sister Abby has accompanied him to almost all of his appointments, and she noticed that the kids at the hospital liked coloring.

So when Abby made $4.50 from selling Delicious lemonade to neighborhood locals, she decided use the money to buy 36 boxes of Crayons for Cameron and the other kids at the hospital.

“Cameron’s doctor loved it,” Abby said. “I really like to color, and I thought the kids would love it too.”

When 2010 rolled around, Abby thought she could best last year’s donation. So rather than sling lemonade on her own, she created “lemonade kits” consisting of a bottle of water, a packet of lemonade and a homemade tag that explained her goal. Abby made 52 kits and recruited family and friends to help sell them for $1 each.

The franchise idea turned out to be Crayon boom-town, and Abby has been able to purchase 869 boxes of Crayola Crayons so far this year. She hopes to make it to her goal of 1,000 boxes in the next few weeks.

Officials at Lutheran General are thrilled.

“What’s special about this donation is that she took it upon herself and made it personal,” Lutheran General communications manager Nate Llewellyn said.

It doesn’t hurt that the kids at Lutheran General love using the gifts.

“Coloring is a great creative outlet for kids,” Llewellyn said. “It helps them work through any issues they may be going through and take their mind of metal or physical pain. It really creates a sense of home, safety and comfort for them.”

Becki said Abby handled the whole operation herself: She created a to-do list, compiled a list of family and friends that she planned to reach out to, designed a company logo on the computer and came up with a slogan: “If life gives you lemons, COLOR!”

The whole experience has been good for Abby and Cameron.

“She used to be very shy, but this is really bringing her out of her shell,” Becki said. “She wants to share and this is something exciting that she can be recognized for.”

Abby says the best part about making the kits is buying and donating the Crayons. When her mother asked what she had learned from the project, the 8-year-old replied, “Everybody can make a difference”.

Abby will deliver the next batch of Crayons to Lutheran General on July 25. In the meantime, she continues to be a supportive, caring sister.

“Whenever Cameron is having issues, she always says things will be okay,” Becki said.

Cameron’s treatments include a demanding set of therapy sessions that focus more on cognitive work than physical rehab. The sessions work to progress Cameron’s developmental capabilities. The doctors and therapists at Lutheran General have taught Cameron to play with toys, try new things and sign words like “thank you,” “more” and “please.” And Cameron continues to learn, with his sister always by his side.

“She really puts the saying ‘When life gives you lemons, make lemonade’ into practice,” Becki said. “She is always looking on the bright side.”

The bright side for Cameron is that he’ll join his sister in elementary school when he enters first grade next year. Abby will surely help him along the way: She says she wants to be a special education teacher.

“We are so proud of her, and we know that whatever she does, she’ll go onto great things,” Becki said. “She’s just got a great compassion for people.”

Abby already has big plans for next year. She’s going to upgrade from handing out Crayons to handing out DVDs. How refreshing!

Help Abby: Call Lutheran General Hospital (847-723-7747) or send a check to :

Lutheran General Hospital Child Life Department, Room 205 Park Ridge, IL 60068

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About the author

Alex and Brett Harris

are the co-founders of and co-authors of Do Hard Things and Start Here. They have a passion for God and for their generation. Their personal interests include politics, filmmaking, music, and basketball. They are both graduates of Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, Virginia.


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  • Wow! This is an amazing young girl with her mind wide open to all that God has in store for her. Keep up the great work, Abby! (:

    Soli Deo Gloria!

  • I saw this on Yahoo. God says to have “child-like faith”. Even though Abby isn’t talking about her faith, it is good to be like a child sometimes. Children are never afraid and being afraid is one reason teenagers don’t do hard things. Children don’t care what other people think. We should learn from them.

  • Great job Abby, and not just for giving crayons to the hospital, but for being with your brother every step of the way.

  • I think that it is a great story but i think that we should give God the praise over this. And to thank God for using this girl in such a great way.It says in the bible not to boast in yourself but boast in the lord

  • Awesome! A guy was telling me about her yesterday and I had no clue what he was talking about till now! She should be an example to all of us.

  • i hope that there would be more children like her. she’s very selfless and compassionate. praise God for using her to be an inspiration and model to other children and i believe it opened our eyes as adults that we should not underestimate kids…
    God sure use little people to do great things just like David and Joseph…

  • WOW we can all learn from this young lady. after reading your book a project of my own has been buzzing in my mind i was wondering if my fellow rebelutionaries can help me. Well i was seeking information about community centers that play an active role in the places in which they are situated. When i say active role i mean free dance classes, study halls, a library, art classes. I myself believe that community centers should take an active role in enriching peoples lives and especially making a positive impact on the youth. I dream of a community center that will keep teens from things like drugs, sex, and alcohol and show them that they can be spending time doing wonderful things: volunteering around their communities, and just like you talked about, ‘building the blocks of their futures today!’
    Its just an idea buzzing in my mind but i would prefer to first do my research if anyone can help, even if its just to send me examples of what their community centers, or similar places that make a difference.

    thank you

  • @Kaylyn – I would be cautious of posting an email address online for at least two reasons:

    1) People you don’t want could be contacting you and trying to steal your identity
    2) Spammers could find it

    If your parents allow you, I would think it’s OK to post it. Often, though, when I put an email address on the web, I’ll do something like myname at – just to make it harder for the spam bots.

  • Wow, I’m gonna be 16 soon so it struck me that Abby is about half my age! She has so many years of helping people ahead of her :).

  • WOW!!! That is amazing! I can’t wait for the Atlanta conference this weekend! God Bless you guys.

  • This is so neat! I have a foster sister named Abby, and she has CP! So touching and coincidental too. Go Abby, you’re an inspiration to us all!

  • Abby’s story is so encouraging! I am considerably older than she is, but the idea that I can start living my passion in a simple way takes considerable stress out of the idea.

  • That is so inspiring! Thanks so much for sharing this!
    One thing I love about little kids is that when they have a “big idea”, they never think about all of the things that could be against them when it comes to doing it. It’s a good idea so why not do it? I love that! It’s reminds you of just what Jesus meant when He talked about having faith like a little child.
    Way to go, Abby! Keep it up!

    In Christ,
    2 Cor 5:15

  • @Alex & Brett Harris – Kaylan posted her email address in the comments without realizing that it can be dangerous to give out. Could you please edit the comment (see above)? Thank you!

    @Kaylan – I think the best way to have people discuss your idea would be in these comments or on the forum (I’ve never joined – I know you have to write a paper – but it might be worthwhile for you).

  • Wow; I think that we can all participate in some way to raise money for people less fortunate. Start out with giving, and then plan a fundraiser of your own; a lot of the more organized charities have programs you can work through (like Charity Water).

  • This little girl is a great inspiration. We can certainly earn a lot from her story. Thanks for posting. 😀

  • That is just what the world needs, a little 8 year old that does Do Hard Things. That is really incouraging!!

  • Way to go Abby!! What a great inspiration to us. If only we were all like Abby, then we could really make a difference in our society. How come it seems like it’s always the little kids who best others, especially us teenagers? Really got me thinking.

  • Wow, that’s really amazing! Way to go Abby!

    Um, I just thought I might let you (the Harris Bros.)
    There is an Enternal Server Error that pops up when you go to,
    “How to Write Good Like Me” I would have e-mailed matt@therebelution but I don’t have an e-mail. 🙂

    Kathrann (TN)

  • Hi Everyone,

    This is Abby’s mom. I just wanted to share with you that Abby made her delivery to Advocate Lutheran General Children’s Hospital yesterday. She was able to donate 1,009 boxes of crayons, 140 boxes of markers and 125 boxes of colored pencils. As my husband and I watched Abby handing out crayons to patients and their siblings, there were several moments that we caught ourselves holding back tears. One moment that touched us forever was when a little girl whose brother was a patient started to join us and walked around with us. She was 7 years old, so just a little younger than Abby is now. As Abby and her walked and talked, Tim and I watched. They had an instant connection, a connection shared by two young girls who both have younger brothers with ongoing health challenges. As the afternoon came to an end, the little girl seemed to want to hug Abby and when the child life specialist asked her if she would like to, she said yes. The child life specialist then asked Abby if it would be okay and Abby said yes. As the two girls hugged everyone stood in silence and just watched. It is a moment that will forever be etched in my memory and in my heart. It reminded me so much of a time a few years ago when Abby was the big sister and Cam was one of the patients in the hospital. Abby needed so much to feel special and we thank God everyday that the child life team recognized that and really took time to talk to her, play with her, and color with her. After we left the hospital and drove home yesterday, Abby talked about how she had made all of the children so happy when she gave them their crayons and how she could not wait to start working on her next project for the hospital.

    Thank you all for your support. We are going to print out your comments to put into Abby’s scrapbook so she will always have them.


  • That is amazing! That little girl puts me to shame. But its really inspirational to read about someone so young doing things for Christ.

  • I’m new to to the blog, so hi! Me and my mom are reading your book together. : )

    Wow! Her story is a very good example how even though we’re young, if we have the determination to make a difference, we CAN do it with God’s help.

  • WOW! Thats really cool how just somone like her can go out of their way to do that for people she doesnt know. God can do some amazing things. And think if an 8 year old can do that, imagine what teenagers can do! Way to go abby and thanks to the harris twins for writing the book.

  • God can use anyone, He doesnt care where you come from, your age, your wealth or how eloquent you are (1 Corinthians 1: 26-28). I am really proud of this little girl and I am empowered to make a difference in my community as a result of this….GOD BLESS YOU ABBY!!!

  • Good job Abby!!! Keep up the good work! It’s amazing now small things can make such a big difference in the world around us.

  • Hi Abby,
    Hope it is ok, I used your story this morning in a children’s sermon at church to encourage them to see what could happen if they gave Jesus their 5 loaves and two fishes or their lemonade ! Thank you for a wonderful, heartwarming story. I bet it just keeps multiplying.

  • Abby, you’re amazing! A true inspiration; I hope I am the kind of sister to my brother that you are! Keep it up! 🙂

  • Tradução do português para inglês
    I wanted to go to naming conventions that you do not live in USA, I live in Brasl.Sera you could visit the Brazilian adolescents’ I love 🙂

  • Abby,
    God has great plans for you! It brings me great joy to know what He has done with you and what He will do through you! You are a very beautiful young lady!
    Love in Christ,
    P.S Even though Abby probably won’t see this, I pray that she will continue to serve the Lord, bless and encourage others! (just like she did to me) Thank you Abby!

  • This just goes to show that even the least of us, can make a differance in our world. IF an eight year old can do this, imagine what we can do.

  • Wow this is great! im only 12 but im still thinking for ways to glorify God and when i read this i thought ” it doesnt have to be some great thing, it it can be as simple as lemonade and crayons.”

  • Dear Mr. Brett Harris,
    I have a question to ask It’s a B-I-G question.

    Have you ever thought about ADOPTING a child?

    I know this is a HUGE question but you can’t always tell the people that CAN make a difrence and “DO HARD THINGS” in theire own lives. You have to be willing to go and help those that can’t ‘DO HARD THINGS” and help and guide them so that they can learn to do hard things.
    Please think about this and most inportant of all P-R-A-Y.
    A rebeliest teenage girl rebeling against the rebeling.

    P.S If there is anything wrong with my spelling please forgive me I have been away from the States for some time now and my spelling is getting confused with this strange languege the people speak here. I much rather speak inglish.

  • Wow this inspires me so much! This little girl amazes me in that out of love for her little brother and her kind spirit that she would go to such great heights to give these kids something to brighten their day. Seriously, most of the kids her age would have thought nothing about keeping that $4.50 for themselves and spent it on candy or something random, but she decided to be selfless and give something as simple as crayons to bring joy to others. That’s awesome! Keep going Abby!

rebelling against low expectations

The Rebelution is a teenage rebellion against low expectations—a worldwide campaign to reject apathy, embrace responsibility, and do hard things. Learn More →