In the summertime, you might see a neighborhood dotted with lemonade stands run by busy young hands and entrepreneurial minds. Sisters Emily and Ashley started a refreshing tradition – not lemonade in the comfortable warmth of summer, but cocoa and coffee in the frigid cold of winter as a way to help our neighbors who experience food insecurity.
On Saturday, March 19, 2022, the girls’ Cocoa Café was held in their family’s front yard. This is the fifth year the girls did something philanthropic, this time raising more than $7,200 for local charities! The funds will benefit the Interfaith Outreach and ICA food shelves.
Emily, the oldest sister, was especially excited: “Seeing how generous people are with their money was amazing. Somebody gave us $100! My friends think it is really cool and a lot of people from my class actually came to it.”
The girl’s Cocoa Café reignited community connections as pandemic restrictions began to lift. Supported and promoted by their faith community, Messiah United Methodist, the girls raised more funds than ever this year. Younger sister Ashley said, “I got to see my neighbors and my friends and my uncle and my cousins. I have not seen some of these people for a long time.”
This year, a Messiah anonymous donor stepped forward to match community donations. Mom (Miranda) confirmed the incredible success of the girls’ effort this year. “At the end of day Saturday, we had raised $3,451 and the church matched it and after the fact, more money came in so $7,223 is what we will be able to split between the two nonprofits.”
Messiah Senior Pastor Steve Richards reminds us: “Once again, we see that children are able to accomplish far more than we might ever imagine, and they do this with hearts open to meeting the needs of persons in our community.”
Thank you Emily and Ashley for your incredible give-back spirit. Keep making a difference, one cup of cocoa at a time.