For over a month 10-year-old Cohen Lane stood outside in the frigid temperatures, braving wind and rain to sell hot chocolate and raise money for Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children.
The results are sweet.
On Tuesday, Cohen is going to present SickKids with a cheque for $6,130.90—a far cry from his original goal of raising $350 over the holiday season.
“I’m happy,” he said in a phone call to CTV News Toronto from his home in Whitby, Ont.
Cohen came up with the idea for the fundraiser on his own, his mother said. He designed the stand, which featured not just hot chocolate but various toppings and alternative tea options, as well as a QR code so that those without cash could still make donations.
He even set up a seating area where people could enjoy their beverage every Saturday and Sunday between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Neighbours helped set up canopies when the weather turned sour, and classmates took turns manning a pop-up station at Cohen’s school—helping raise $500 in the process.
“We brought the entire setup into the school, and then every class came down and donated,” Cohen’s mother Karina Oliveira said.
Cohen said he plans on doing the fundraiser again next year, adding that it is his dream to open up a little café in which “all the profits will still go to SickKids, no matter what.”
Cohen’s cousin was taken to SickKids Hospital when he was three months old after experiencing a Trachael collapse. Ever since, his family has had a strong connection to the facility and its staff.
“We’ve had other family members who’ve had to go to SickKids, like actually recently last month, my young cousin, he also had to go in,” Oliveira told CTV News Toronto in November when the campaign first launched.
“Cohen’s just really always loved SickKids … it’s just such a great hospital.”
Cohen will be receiving a certificate of recognition for his fundraising on Tuesday. He will also be going to city hall at the end of the month to get yet another certificate for his good works.
“I try to be the best person I can,” Cohen said.
By: Katherine DeClerq CTV News Toronto