Anonymous donor gives $5,000 to southeast Raleigh 'lemonade kids'

ABC11 Together highlights the strength of the human spirit, good deeds, community needs, and how our viewers can help
RALEIGH, North Carolina (WTVD) -- It's been four days since our ABC 11 Together story aired about 11-year old Aniya Williams and her business partner, 12-year old Isaiah Lattimer trying to raise money for school supplies and clothes that their parents could not afford to buy.

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Business was still booming at their southeast Raleigh lemonade stand when we went back to deliver some very good news.

They cheered when they heard the news. A professor at Duke, who wants to remain anonymous, is donating $5,000 to the cause.

"I'm so excited. I just don't know what to do with myself," said Geraldine Alshamy, the community advocate, who has been helping these young entrepreneurs stayed stocked up and retain their profits.

With Alshamy's mentorship, these children say they want to turn this little lemonade stand into a vehicle for upward mobility to help more children climb out of poverty.

"The most satisfying thing about it is helping people in the community," Aniya said.

Amid all the good news, it's been a bittersweet week at the lemonade stand. Isaiah had to leave the business after his mother's landlord decided to no longer accept federal vouchers for low-income housing.

"(Isaiah's mom) couldn't find any place; could not find a place to move. Nobody would take the voucher. So she ended up having to take him to his grandfather in Chicago," Alshamy sadly explained.

But Isaiah's entrepreneurial efforts weren't without merit. He was able to help his mom with the move and buy school clothes with his lemonade profits.

And his old partner, Aniya, is still pursuing their dream. She's put her friends on the "payroll"; some make and serve lemonade; others help clean trash from the grassy lot where they operate. Aniya says she wants to use the money to help inspire under-privileged children across the city.

"I can help people start other lemonade stands," she said. "This can get really big. Like, we can have a whole building."

Alshamy says this lesson through lemonade was about character; getting these kids to care about their community and give back to make it better.

That anonymous donor at Duke says he wants his donation to serve as a challenge for others to give what they can, too.

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