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Warming hearts with homemade cocoa

Kasey Snyder, a fifth-grade student at Churubusco Elementary School, recently put on a fundraiser which led to a $180 donation to Ray Of Hope Medical Missions. Snyder is pictured with Rebecca Ghent, the co-founder and CEO of Ray of Hope Medical Missions. Photo Contributed

By Matt Getts

mgetts@kpcmedia.com

CHURUBUSCO — Kasey Snyder, a fifth-grade student at Churubusco Elementary School, is no stranger to raising money for her favorite charity, Ray Of Hope Medical Missions.

In years past, she has helped with a fun run, two music festivals, a babysitting night so parents could go out on dates and a garage sale.

This time, she took it upon herself to make homemade hot cocoa, put it in packets and take orders at $1 a bag. She talked to her school’s administrators, outlining the ingredients and her order forms (she created a letter explaining Ray of Hope Medical Missions and that she had an African brother staying with her family right now) to get an OK to send it home with all the elementary students in their Friday folders.

After getting approval, the enterprising young lady started mixing up the hot cocoa to get ready for packaging. She took orders for three weeks at the school.

During this time, word spread through her family members to their workplaces, churches and extra curricular activities.

The orders started coming in along with love donations for those that wanted to help but didn’t want the cocoa.

Her product made one large cup of hot cocoa with mini marshmallows and some peppermints to give it a little minty taste. She tied each bag with a tag stating to just add hot water on one side and a thank you on the other.

On March 4, Kasey presented a check to Rebecca Ghent, co-founder and CEO of ROHMM for $1,800. Rebecca stated that this amount is what they pay for a round trip plane ticket for one child.

ROHMM has 12 children in the United States right now with six more ready to come in the near future. The charity is a non-profit with the children coming over for life-changing medical procedures before returning home to their parents.

The children stay with host families in the states. The hosts do not get any monetary help as they house, clothe and feed the children, along with traveling to and from doctor appointments and surgeries.

All medical help is provided free of charge by a large group of medical professionals along with hospitals that donate the rooms for these surgeries.

At this date, 17 children have come to the U.S. and returned home to their families and villages.

The cost averages around $6,000 for each child.

This cost is to get their medical visas which are good for one year, passports, preliminary medical tests and plane tickets.

All donations go completely to the charity.

Kasey is no stranger to this as her family hosted a child in 2013 and has another one in their home right now. She calls them her African brothers and is very proud of them. Her family celebrates on the day of their birthdays as if the little ones were still here.

Ray of Hope Medical Missions has teamed up with an orphanage in Uganda.

The opportunity to sponsor the children there is open while a family birthing center is being built. Check them out on Facebook or visit their website at rohmm.org.

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