FAMILY & PARENTING

Angelina Jolie Makes Donation To Little Boys’ Lemonade Stand Benefiting Children In Yemen

by Angela Andaloro

Angelina Jolie has been majorly focused on her humanitarian work in the last decade. She first became personally aware of humanitarian crises when filming Tomb Raider in Cambodia in 2000.

Since then, Angelina has traveled to over 20 countries. She’s worked with many organizations, as well as started one of her own. Eradicating rural poverty, protecting natural resources, conserving wildlife, and helping survivors of natural disasters and conflict are all close to her heart.

The actress’s generosity is well-documented, but she showed it in an especially heartwarming way recently. The mom of six recently made a generous donation to a lemonade stand run by two boys in East London.

Ayaan Moosa and Mikaeel Ishaaq are two 6-year-old boys. They started a lemonade stand about a month ago. They’re selling cups of the refreshing drink at £2 ($3) to passersby to raise money for a good cause. The boys want to help families in Yemen, which has been in the throes of civil war for the last five years. The money raised goes to One Nation, a UK-based relief and development charity whose Yemen Appeal initiative provides essential food packs, water supplies, and critical medical care to the citizens of the country.

Ayaan Moosa and Mikaeel Ishaaq wanted to do something to help families in Yemen. The two 6-year-olds are aware of how much they have in comparison to the families there, in a country torn apart by civil war.

“They have nothing, like, the things you need to survive. They have no water, food, oil. And we have all of those things and that’s why we help them,” Ayaan told NBC News.

The kids spoke with their parents after seeing videos of what life was like in Yemen. They decided to start a lemonade stand in their East London neighborhood. They sell a cup for just £2 ($3) to passersby. They’ve also occasionally sold baked goods.

Local news stations began covering the boys’ sweet efforts. Their parents even started an Instagram, LemonAid Boys, to document their fundraising. Today, they have over 2,000 followers cheering them on.

The donations the boys raise are going to One Nation, a UK-based relief and development charity. The organization’s Yemen Appeal initiative provides essential food packs, water supplies, and critical medical care to the citizens of Yemen.

The organization breaks down what different donation levels can contribute to families in Yemen. Food packs are £25 ($33), while 30,000 liters of water costs £150 ($193). Monthly water refills for a family are £16 ($21) a month. A solar water well costs £3,500 ($4,510). Sponsoring an orphaned child costs £40 ($52) a month.

The boys got a big break recently. About nine weeks into running their stand, it appears that Angelina Jolie got wind of it. The actress and humanitarian sent a handwritten note and a donation to the boys, to their complete surprise.

“Dear Ayaan and Mikaeel, Thank you for what you and your friends are doing to help children in Yemen,” Angelina wrote.

“I’m sorry I’m not able to buy a lemonade from you, but I’d still like to make a donation to your stand.”

“This is beyond our wildest dreams,” Ayaan’s mother, Adeela, said.

“To get the recognition of somebody who genuinely cares, that really meant a lot to us,” added his father, Shakil.

Even before Angelina’s donation, the parents marveled at what good this project was doing for the boys. “It’s really helped them understand and appreciate what they have,” she said.

The 6-year-olds admit they didn’t know who Angelina Jolie was. Their dads filled them in.

“When our dads were telling us about her, they said she was really pretty, really good actress, really nice person, and then we knew who she was,” Ayaan said.

Angelina intends on meeting the boys and their families the next time she is in London. In the meantime, she’s grateful for them raising awareness. They were also grateful and made a video thanking Angelina for her generous contribution.

The boys have raised an impressive amount of money so far. According to their online fundraising page, they’ve donated over £60,000 ($77,177) to support the humanitarian crisis in Yemen. Their online campaign has raised over £7,000 ($9,004) in less than a week.