Ziyana Moledina (left) dressed as Supergirl to sell her homemade hot chocolate to trick-or-treaters. (Contributed photo)

B.C. girl raises $3,000 for Syrian children with annual hot-chocolate brew

Sweet fundraiser aims to help sibling quintet

Ziyana Moledina has found the perfect recipe for helping:

“Cocoa powder, sugar and salt – but just a pinch of salt, otherwise it’s too salty,” the nine-year-old said, listing off ingredients for the homemade hot chocolate that’s helped her raise $3,000 for children and refugees in war-torn countries.

Ziyana, in Grade 4 at Southridge School, began her tradition of setting up a hot chocolate stand t the end of her South Surrey driveway every Oct. 31 three years ago.

Her mom, Zehra, recalls Ziyana initially asked to host a summer lemonade stand because she wanted “to raise money for orphans,” but life got busy and the idea never came to fruition.

But Ziyana didn’t give up, and the idea for a hot chocolate stand during prime trick-or-treating hours was born.

“I kept talking about lemonade stand, lemonade stand, lemonade stand,” Ziyana told Peace Arch News last week.

“Now, I’ve been doing this for three years and I’ve raised about $3,000.”

Days ahead of time, Ziyana goes with her dad to deliver flyers around the neighbourhood to promote her fundraiser, then prepares a banner and other decorations for the stand itself.

On the big day, she brews the drink, dons a costume and, with the help of her younger siblings Armaan and Aila, and under mom’s supervision, offers the sweet concoction at 25 cents per cup for trick-or-treaters, and by-donation for adults.

When she started out, Ziyana set a goal to raise $1,000 for Child Aid International, a Canadian charity focused on helping orphans.

The first year, her effort raised $524 – including $100 that was donated by a classmate’s parent following a school presentation Ziyana did about her fundraising project.

Last year, with no time for advance promotion, she collected $200.

This year, not only were 250 flyers distributed ahead of time, but the availability of the tasty beverage, along with details of where donations would go – and a link to the charity itself – was posted to Facebook. A prize draw was also added, to sweeten the pot.

The result was better than expected – just over $2,000.

“At the stand alone, cash that came in… was $326,” Zehra told PAN the day after Halloween.

“And then she got a whole bunch of donations because we posted on Facebook. And, she got a matching donor.

“She was ecstatic this morning.”

Ziyana described the funds raised as “great.”

“The more money I get, the more money goes to the children and refugees.”

The donations, she said, will help build a home in Syria for five siblings whose parents were killed in war.

It should be no surprise that Ziyana is no stranger to helping. In kindergarten, she donated her hair to Wigs for Kids, a charity that aims to improve the quality of life for kids dealing with cancer.

And if someone gets hurt at school, “I reassure them.”

Zehra said her family also participates in “all sorts” of charitable work with their mosque, the Az-Zahraa Islamic Center in Richmond.

Asked if she has plans for more fundraising, Ziyana’s response was decided:

“I’m just sticking to this one,” she said.

Just Posted

Local soccer player Sydney Kelly receives prestigious Premier’s Award

The 18-year-old trained with UNBC’s soccer team while in high school

2018 marks 100 years since the end of World War I

Quesnel legion’s historian Doug Carey documents some of the atrocities of WWI

B.C. Legions in need of young members to continue aiding veterans into the future

Lest we forget what thousands of men and women did to fight for Canada’s freedoms – but without new membership, many Legion chapters face dwindling numbers

North Coast figure skater to star in Dancing On Ice

Carlotta Edwards learned to skate in Prince Rupert, before becoming a star with millions of viewers

Union pulls back on job action at Interior and northern mills

Legal strikes will discontinue for now as union is optimistic, vice president says

VIDEO: Marvel Comics’ Stan Lee dies

Marvel co-creator was well-known for making cameo appearances in superhero movies

VIDEO: Newcomer kids see first Canadian snowfall

Children arrived in Canada with their mother and two siblings last week from Eritrea

Feds dropped ball with WWI anniversary tributes: historians

Wrote one historian: ‘Other than the Vimy Ridge celebration … I think they have done a very bad job’

Sides ‘far apart’ in Canada Post talks despite mediation, says union

The lack of a breakthrough means rotating strikes will resume Tuesday

Feds’ appeal of solitary confinement decision in B.C. to be heard

Judge ruled in January that indefinite such confinement is unconstitutional, causes permanent harm

B.C. health care payroll tax approved, takes effect Jan. 1

Employers calculating cost, including property taxes increases

Nunavut urges new plan to deal with too many polar bears

Territory recommends a proposal that contradicts much of conventional scientific thinking

Shelter struggles: Landlord takes over rental unit whenever visiting B.C. town

Renter’s story highlights how hard it is to find accommodation in Revelstoke

Lack of public response threatens B.C. referendum credibility

Of the few who have voted, poll finds most rejected proportional representation

Most Read