Melbourne kids deliver a precious gift

Siblings Elijah, Asher and Aliya know all about hard work and perseverance.

Over the past year they've managed to raise $1,425 to buy the gift of clean water for a community from the World Vision Gifts catalogue by running an old-fashioned lemonade stand in their neighbourhood.

After Elijah, aged 10, told mum Kirra that they wanted to "buy a well for the kids", it was Asher, aged 8, who came up with the lemonade stand idea.

Kirra shared the young activists' plans on her Facebook page and oversaw the lemonade-making, but left the three children to organise and promote the stand themselves.

On the first morning they were up at 5.30am to sell the lemonade outside their house in Melbourne's east. Passers-by on the footpath and in cars soon started to stop and buy lemonade to help the kids to reach their goal. The neighbours got involved too, delivering a well-earned lunch of fish and chips.

Kirra said the support the children received was nothing short of fabulous. "We've had people leaving notes in the letterbox, dropping envelopes off, saying 'This is for the kids' lemonade stand - tell them they're doing an awesome job!'" she explained.

"It's been such a wonderful thing for them to see, the generosity of others in responding to their plan. We even had people taking one cup of lemonade but dropping a $50 note into the kids' tin!"

With stands outside their house and one at the World Vision national office, the children had almost reached their target. But on reading about them in the local paper, Take 5 magazine offered to chip in the final $200 needed in exchange for their story.

This month the children proudly presented the full amount of $1,425 to World Vision CEO Tim Costello. Asked if they celebrated when they finished, Elijah said, "We had a happy dinner."

With such a great effort under their belts, the children don't plan to stop now. Aliya, aged 6, says they now have their sights set on the World Vision gift of a stable full of animals. It looks like more lemons will be required.