A group of California preschoolers put some extra sweetness in their hot cocoa for a cause.
Kids from Redding Co-op Preschool organized “Hot Cocoa for a Cure,” a seasonal beverage stand in partnership with Trader Joe’s to raise money for Jasper Mazzocco, a four-year-old who’s battling brain cancer.
The cause’s official Facebook group features a sweet photo of Jasper, along with a heartwarming description of what the cause is all about.
“Redding Co-Op Preschool is a community. We are a group of families dedicated to our kids and their education,” the details read. “We have one of our own in need right now and we as a group feel helpless. We want to do something to support this family.”
And support they have. The fundraiser held on Jan. 10 successfully collected over US$10,000 for their classmate.
“It’s wonderful to see how much people care for people they don’t know,” Jennifer Stephens, Jasper’s preschool teacher, told KRCR-TV. “There were stories throughout the day of people who came who were cancer survivors or who had lost children.”
A GoFundMe, organized by Teddi Homsher and dad Jared Hayes-Mazzocco, has raised over $34,000. They have an end goal of $50,000 to pay for the boy’s life-saving surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, bone marrow transplants and other costs associated with his care.
Last year, Jasper was diagnosed with a rare type of brain cancer after dealing with leg cramps that had been chalked-up to growing pains, his fundraiser reads.
When he started throwing up from headaches, his parents got really concerned. Not long after, he was taken out of school and hospitalized.
“The kiddos … miss and talk about him every day,” Becky Haskins, a fundraiser organizer and mom to one of the preschoolers, told CNN.
Local stores, like a Starbucks, Trader Joe’s and Dick’s Sporting Goods, pitched in to help make and sell hot chocolate as well as host the fundraiser, on behalf of Jasper.
“They wanted to help Jasper in any way they could,” Haskins added. “That was a day that I will never forget.”
Mom Shelby Mazzocco took to her own Facebook page to voice her gratitude for the funds, along with two sweet photos of her son.
“Got to see the scans ourselves today that confirm Jasper’s tumor is shrinking,” the post reads. “Seeing everyone with their cocoa and treats today was the best way to celebrate! We celebrated here with a walk and a race car ride.”
“Keep all those prayers and positive vibes coming our way. We truly do feel your love.”