Preschoolers Raise Money For Classmate With Cancer
Even at such a young age, they knew they wanted to help.
A group of preschoolers and their parents braved the chilly weather in Redding, CA last week to sell hot cocoa. What's even sweeter is that they were doing it to raise money for the family of one of their classmates, who was recently diagnosed with a rare type of brain cancer.
Jasper Mazzocco, 4, goes to Redding Cooperative Preschool, and when the other students in his class found out that he was leaving to start cancer treatment, they wanted to do something to help.
"The kiddos miss and talk about him everyday," Becky Haskins, a fundraiser organizer and mother to one of the preschoolers, told CNN . "He is one of the sweetest souls that I have ever met and his family is just the same."
Haskins said her daughter came up with the idea to sell lemonade. But with the cooler temperatures they decided to do a hot cocoa stand instead.
The group even got the help of local businesses for the fundraiser. They set up the stand in front of Trader Joe's, and a local Starbucks provided hot water and Costco donated baked goods. Starbucks employees did several trips back and forth to replenish the hot water throughout the day. Dick's Sporting Goods set up the tables and chairs.
The community came out in a big way to support “Jasper's Cocoa for a Cure," including his preschool teacher and several cancer survivors who shared their stories of how they battled the disease.
The group raised over $10,000 from the hot cocoa stand, all of which will go to helping Jasper's family with medical expenses.
"So many tears were shed in those six hours," Jessica Stephens, Jasper's preschool teacher, told CNN. "This experience has been the most beautiful thing I have ever been a part of."
The community also started a fundraiser for the family on GoFundMe for those who couldn't make it to the cocoa stand but would still like to donate.
According to a recent post on the fundraising page made by Jasper's mom Shelby, his initial surgery went very well, and they hope to start another round of treatment soon.
Shelby said that Jasper got a very special phone call from his preschool class on Monday, where he got to say hello to his “teacher-fer-jennifer" and sing songs with his classmates.
“They shared with us that their hot cocoa stand inspired our community to raise over $10,000," she wrote. “Tears were shed and everyone laughed when Jasper told me to stop crying."
Kudos to Jasper's classmates for stepping up in such a big way to help their friend. Hopefully there will be a lot more happy tears for Jasper and his team of supporters in the days to come.