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For the past five years, Isaac Martin has been holding a hot cocoa fundraiser for the non-profit Mennonite Central Committee. This year, with his parents’ recent move to Cornwall, he’s bringing the fundraiser to Lebanon County.
Cocoa Kid Fundraiser
March 30, 8am – 3pm at the Root Beer Barrel
(Corner of Rt. 419 and Cornwall Road)
Known better as the Cocoa Kid where he’s from (West Milton), Isaac came up with the idea for a cocoa stand when he was just five years old. Isaac was exceptionally attuned to how life is different for kids in less privileged parts of the world and wanted to raise money to help them with access to food and water. “He knew he could raise more money by offering something to people,” writes his mother, Kitty Martin, “little did he know that his vision would explode into something so amazing!”
That first year, the family setup at a red light in West Milton with a 5 gallon container of hot cocoa, a table, cups, and Cocoa Kid and his Cocoa Bro, Liam, in a little red wagon. State police ended up halting the sale about two hours and $41 into it, saying that the family had interrupted traffic. “Before Isaac realized what was happening, he joyfully offered the officer hot cocoa to which he grumpily declined,” said Kitty. Although the family had to relocate home, a local blogger ended up getting the family a lot of attention, leading to newspaper coverage, the Cocoa Kid moniker, and over $800 total raised that first year.
Over the last five years Cocoa Kid has raised over $3,000 for Mennonite Central Committee. Isaac also asked for donations to MCC in lieu of birthday presents this year (he turned 10). Now he’s inviting the Lebanon community to help him roll out the fundraiser locally.
The event will be held March 30 from 8am to 3pm, rain or shine thanks to Lebanon Valley Rails to Trails letting the family use the Root Beer Barrel for the fundraiser. “We are hoping this prime location will bring in a lot of people from the trail and driving by,” said Kitty.
The family is inviting friends from Encounter Church Palmyra, classmates from Cornwall Elementary, as well as all other neighbors and friends. In addition to the obligatory hot cocoa, lemonade, snacks, and other goodies will be available. Nothing is priced, but of course donations are accepted. You’ll also be able to learn a little more about the mission of Mennonite Central Committee.
Cocoa Kid is already getting ready for the fundraiser, and our bet is that he’d like nothing more than seeing you there later this month. “He is truly a servant with an altruistic heart,” said Kitty. “He does not enjoy being in the spot light but loves putting in the hard work to bring joy to others!”
Thank you so much for featuring our story! We’re so excited for cocoa day! –Kitty Martin