As temperatures dropped on Friday afternoon, an unusual scene unfolded at the intersection of Bergen and Smith Streets. There, a family of four stood happily running a lemonade and cookie stand despite the unseasonable weather for such a thing.
But the lesson local mom Shira Hassidim was trying to impart to her children wasn't one of entrepreneurialism, it was about service: All proceeds of cookie sales will be used to purchase toys for kids who lost their own during Hurricane Sandy.
"We wanted to do something that our kids would be able to be involved in and really understand the idea of helping others," said Hassidim over plates of $3 homemade chocolate chip cookies, brownies and pitchers of tart lemonade.
Her young daughter, Elyana, helped Mom coordinate sales by handing customers their cookies and change. Her husband held on to their son in his arms.
"Friends of ours have been driving down to Coney Island every day to make deliveries," said Hassidim. "So we are going to hopefully go with them to bring the toys there. We are also looking for specific places to donate to nearby, like in Red Hook."
She hadn't completely sorted out all of the details, she admitted. If a donation center wasn't currently accepting toys in an area in need, she said, her Plan B is to donate proceeds to KIDS (Kids in Distressed Situations) to facilitate a toy distribution.
"But whatever we have to do, we'll do it," she said, echoing the sentiments of many in Brooklyn. "We just want to help."