There are a ton of lovely things about being a Lemonhead, but I think I speak for the whole crew when I say our annual 3/2/1 charity donation is one of my favorite days of the year. It’s a great way to make sure the $6,000 we set aside has a tangible impact on causes our coworkers are passionate about.

So how’s it work?

1. When the calendar’s getting ready to turn to a new year, each Lemonly employee has the opportunity to nominate a local charity of their choice. We meet and each gives a quick pitch on their nominated charity’s mission and why it’s close to their heart.

2. After the meeting, everyone has 24 hours to cast 3 votes for the causes they most want to support.

3. Lemonly donates $3,000, $2,000, and $1,000, respectively, to the three charities with the most votes.

4. The Lemonhead(s) who nominated the charities we donate to get to drop off the checks themselves.

It’s such a great exercise to see the different causes people care about in the office. Each year we learn about such a wide variety of organizations doing good in or around Sioux Falls.

Here’s where our 3/2/1 donations went in 2019:


Breathe Bravely

At just one month old, Ashley Ballou-Bonnema was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, a disease determined to ruthlessly destroy her lungs through the creation of thick, sticky mucus that would cause scarring and life-threatening lung infections. But the very disease that would threaten to silence the music alive within her soul would actually spark an “untamable passion and commitment to breathe deeply, live fully, and sing purposefully.”

Originally, Breathe Bravely found its voice in a personal blog reflecting Ashley’s journey with the disease. That next year, it grew into the nonprofit it is today, dedicated to giving voice to CF. Breathe Bravely uses lessons learned from its founder’s journey to help others with CF heal and express themselves. Through grants and donations, Ashley and her team of coaches provide individuals around the world with 10-week programs that promote self-awareness and respiratory strength through exercises that surround the art of singing.

“Breathe Bravely may be a small organization, but they have a giant heart and are tackling a big problem. Their innovative approach to helping individuals with Cystic Fibrosis through the power of voice lessons is fascinating to me. I am a lifelong singer and I love how Breathe Bravely is giving those with CF a voice.” —John T. Meyer


REACH Literacy

The REACH Literacy mission is to provide individualized reading, writing, and life skills tutoring that empowers adults in the Sioux Empire to reach their potential. After learning how to read and write, adult learners build self confidence to take on everyday challenges like reading the bus schedule, getting a library card, navigating the internet, and overcoming other obstacles many of us might not consider.

“I take knowing how to read and write for granted almost every minute of every day. REACH provides such an important support system for our community’s adult learners, but I’m especially excited about their recent addition of workforce literary programming. They now team up with area companies and create personalized tutoring to help workers with skills specifically needed to advance their careers within the company. Their programming has raised awareness for these issues and have led many area businesses to focus on providing the education and tools their employees need to succeed professionally.” —Morgan Larson


Lutheran Social Services of South Dakota

Lutheran Social Services focuses on strengthening individuals, families, and communities through a variety of programs that help people of all ages thrive to their full potential. One Lemonhead has even had a first-hand look at how LSS of South Dakota is working to positively affect local youth.

“Lutheran Social Services has so many great programs, it was hard to choose just one to support. Among them, I particularly appreciate their counseling and adoption services, their classes for new Americans, and their mentorship program, which I’ve been a part of for a little more than two years now. Seeing how much of an impact just one weekly hour of board games and lunch can have on my mentee, I understand just how my little bit of volunteering can compound to a much greater whole to when considering all the other mentors, and the structure that LSS provides for us.” —Michael Todd

Want to see other stellar organizations we’ve given to? Check out last year’s list here.