Fifth grade cocoa sales support local, world initatives

PROVIDING HELP TO those in need is the mission of Help for Hope, a non-profit established in 2014. The organization provides immediate support to area residents in need and directs them to services for long-term support and guidance. The organization also serves as the headquarters for the St. Vincent de Paul Society food pantry, a program offered through Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Roman Catholic Church. Students in Jennifer Rink’s class made a $500 donation to the organization in December.

Students in Jennifer Rink’s fifth grade class sold more than 1,600 cups of hot chocolate in the days leading up to the school’s winter break. The funds collected went to support local families in need, pediatric cancer research and to purchase a cow, a pig and two flocks of chickens to create sustainable food sources for individuals in third world countries.
    As reported last month, Rink’s class sold the cups of cocoa before the first school bell rang in the morning and after each lunch hour. Each cup started at $1 and increased based on the buyer’s selected toppings — from crushed peppermint candy to sprinkles and caramel sauce. The final cup sold brought the fundraising effort to $1,665.
    Fifth grader Melody Kinder came up with the idea of holding a class fundraiser after reading a pamphlet about the work Heifer International is doing around the world to help individuals lift themselves out of poverty and hunger. Kinder presented her idea to Rink, who thought it would be a wonderful project for her class to take on. The students were just as excited to participate.
    The students far surpassed the hope of generating at least $120 to purchase a goat for a family. Based on the amount raised the students were able to purchase more substantial livestock and some poultry for Heifer International.
    As a class, the students also wanted to give locally, so before heading off on a two-week break the class walked across the school parking lot to present a $500 check to Help for Hope. On the same day they received a visit from Coal City High School student Megan Bugg, who dropped by to accept a $500 donation to support cancer research being conducted at Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.
    The students would like to conduct another fundraiser in the spring, so stay tuned for what might be coming up in the second half of the school year.