5-year-old is youngest donor to Berkeley’s A Better Way

Chase Worthington, 5, donated half of the proceeds from his lemonade stand to A Better Way

By Julia Clare

When Chase Worthington, 5, and his family were planning his lemonade stand in August 2012, they talked at length about what to do with the earnings from his first business venture.  He wanted to give half of the lemonade and cookie sales to charity, and his main criteria was to “choose a place that helped kids.”  By researching local children’s organizations, Chase and his parents learned about A Better Way’s services to foster and adoptive families in Berkeley and the Bay Area. This sounded like a good match for Chase’s first philanthropic investment.

The lemonade stand, held on a warm late-summer afternoon in Berkeley, was wildly successful.  Chase and his family made fresh-squeezed lemonade out of dozens of lemons donated by neighbors and baked six dozen cookies. Friends and neighbors came out in droves to support the endeavor, and Chase was unable to meet all of the demand. Hwas sold out in less than two hours.  In the end, Chase’s stand brought in a total of $54, half of which would be donated to A Better Way, making Chase the youngest donor to the organization to date.

Shahnaz Mazandarani, president of A Better Way, presents a certificate of appreciation to Chase Worthington, 5, for his donation

On Wednesday, October 24, Chase visited A Better Way for the first time, accompanied by his parents, Jennifer and Kurt Worthington. He met with Shahnaz Mazandarani, A Better Way’s president and CEO, and Sharon Wright, a member of the board of directors, in addition to other staff members. Chase presented his donation to Mazandarani, and received a Certificate of Appreciation for his charitable work. A high point of the visit was exploring and trying out some of the toys in the visitation rooms that A Better Way clinicians use to visit with young clients.

Mazandarani founded A Better Way 16 years ago. The Berkeley-based agency provides numerous family services, including therapy, adoption services, and assessment and therapeutic services to foster children.

Visit A Better Way to learn more about its programs and services, or call (510) 601-0203.

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  • Cycler

    Better Way is a horribly, terrible agency that deserted its fost/adopt families years ago.  Great kid, but he chose the wrong place.

  • Shahnaz M.

    As the founder and CEO of A Better Way, I would like to clarify
    the reason for transferring our parents to other agencies for foster and
    adoption services. This was due to a freeze on the rate of foster care services
    reimbursement from the state for 10 consecutive years, resulting in a huge loss
    to the agency. We tolerated the loss for three years, but were eventually
    forced to make the difficult decision to transfer our families to other
    agencies. We did the best we could to provide support during this transition. I
    am happy to address your concerns in person if you wish to reach out to me. A
    Better Way continues to provide comprehensive mental health services to foster
    care children and their families, with a staff of over 50 talented and
    dedicated clinicians. We are in the process of starting our adoption program up
    again for older children at this time. ~ Shahnaz Mazandarani, President &
    CEO of A Better Way

  • Cycler

    If only this were true.  The agency went for months without telling foster families and offered no support or transition services.  I am not a fan of people not telling the truth. 

  • RainyDayInterns

    What a great story!