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

Residents fear return of campers to Cuthbert Holmes Park

Saanich Police deliver eviction notice to make-shift camp

Washington State man facing murder charges in 1987 killing of Victoria couple

Two counts of aggravated first-degree murder filed against William Talbott II in Snohomish

Art Gallery of Greater Victoria expansion gets $6M boost from province

Project many years in the making, but planned for current Rockland site

Does a creature lurk beneath Cadboro Bay?

Researchers on hunt for Cadborosaurus, with sightings dating back centuries along the B.C. coast

Celebrating the 120th Philippine Independence day

Local Filipino communities host first public celebration in Victoria

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

5 fun things to do this weekend in Greater Victoria

Car Free YYJ, family fishing, Sooke bluegrass, walk for cancer and a mascot’s birthday

WEB POLL: Would you be in favour of a ban on plastic straws?

Would you be in favour of a ban on plastic straws?… Continue reading

B.C. NHL prospect expected to make ‘full recovery’ after an incident in Calgary

Jordy Bellerive was injured in a reported house fire Saturday night

Saanich farmers’ market ready to plow ahead in 2018

The market returns for its second year July 8 with some minor changes

BC Lions defensive back Marcell Young levels streaker in home opener

Young hit the fan near one of the 45-yard lines

Police: Taxi driver who hit 8 Moscow pedestrians fell asleep

Two Mexican World Cup fans were among those hit

B.C. VIEWS: Orphans of our urban drug culture neglected again

Child advocate Bernard Richard leaves B.C. with harsh message

From marijuana beer to pot cookies, Canadian companies creating cannabis edibles

Manufacturers think that edibles will do well with users who don’t want to smoke or vape

Most Read