Hot Cocoa for Water

by , posted on December 14th, 2010 in Ideas and Inspiration

A couple months ago, my husband was in India shooting footage for a series of short films. While it was difficult to have him so far away, the magic of modern technology allowed us to stay in touch via skype.

We’d spend his off time trading stories about our days. He told me of the places he visited and all the amazingly kind people he met while there.

During one of these conversations, we took a water break. He rang up the hotel service and asked for a bottled of water. Meanwhile, I grabbed a glass out of a cabinet and turned on a faucet. At that moment, I realized just how much I’ve been taking water for granted.

In India there are over 200 million people who do not have access to safe drinking water. Worldwide that figure jumps to nearly a billion people. What must it be like to be part of the nearly billion without clean drinking water?


Jennifer Connelly in charity: water Public Service Announcement from charity: water on Vimeo.


Earlier this year, when Haiti was devastated by an earthquake, our family sold cocoa to raise money to help the children of Haiti. Neighbors came out of their homes and, gathered round for some friendly chit-chat. They sipped on cocoa and dropped money in an old coffee can with hopes that it would make a difference. It was heartwarming to know that something small like neighbors coming together over cocoa could make some sort of a difference.



There is still an urgent need for clean drinking water in Haiti. In January, it will be a year since the quake and there’s still a great deal of work that needs to be done.


Unshaken – charity: water’s campaign for Haiti from charity: water on Vimeo.


I see this phrase on bumper stickers all the time, Act Locally, Think Globally. I understood what it meant in theory, but in practice I couldn’t imagine what it looked like. But after the kids set up that little cocoa stand last February, I now know exactly what it looks like—it looks like neighbors gathering together over mugs of hot cocoa on a cold winter’s day .

And this is where I now turn to you. The internet has made us a global village. You are reading this from wherever you are. And while we are not traditional neighbors, we can still act together. Now, we may not be able to change the world—that’s far too lofty and grand a goal. But what we can do is make a positive change for a single village, family, child. What we’re doing is small, yet the impact from doing something small can save a life.

And we aren’t in this alone. We have some friends to help us…

joyababy’s Joya Logue, mommypants’ Cheryl Rosenberg, Charlotte’s Fancy’s Molly de Aguiar, Minime Baby Gear’s Jamie Bird, Nilsen Life’s Kirsten Nilsen, Little Miss Heirlooms and Babiekins Magazine’s Priscila Barros, Sophie and Lili’s Jennifer Vallez, momfluential’s Ciaran Blumenfeld and more friends are rallying together to make sure the people of Haiti and around the world are provided access to one of the most basic human needs—access to safe drinking water, and they need our help.



What can you do? We’ve tried to make it easy and offer a variety of ways you and your family can help. Here are some ideas to get you started:

1. Commit to a date to host a cocoa stand or cocoa party. It doesn’t have to be big and it’s a fantastic way to introduce kids to charity. We’re running this through January so it is a great way to avoid post-Christmas blues AND it’s something the kids will get excited about!

2. Set up your own fundraising page on’s site, start a campaign and join our group Hot Cocoa for Water. If you have a blog, grab the graphic above to display on your site.

3. Buy products that support charity: water. In addition to the charity: water store where you can find fantastic gifts, you can also shop joyababy and Sophie & Lili who are both donating 10% of their sales from now through January to charity: water as part of the Hot Cocoa for Water drive. And my mom, sister and I are joining Joya and Jen by donating 10% of the sales from our toy company, Ellie Bellie Kids, to charity: water.

4. Spread the word through blogs, Twitter, Facebook, pick up the phone and call a friend. The more people we have donating $5, $10, hosting cocoa stands/parties, and raising money the more we’ll be able to help charity: water bring safe drinking water to children and their families.

5. Swing by the virtual Classic Play! Cocoa Stand and donate directly. If you donate to our virtual stand, I’ll send you a little gift.

And keep stopping by because now through January, Classic Play! will feature stories, ideas, recipes, crafts and whatever else we can think of as we develop the Hot Water for Cocoa campaign. We’ll do our best to provide you with ideas and tips to make hosting your own stand or party successful (and FUN!). If you have any questions, pictures or stories from your cocoa stand/party, please share them. We’ll post them here and on the charity: water Hot Cocoa for Water page.

Now, before I leave you, I want to tell you one more way you can help. My friend Sarah, is also raising money for safe drinking water through the Living Waters International’s Advent Challenge. You can donate to Living Waters International by visiting Sarah’s blog, Funny Things are Everywhere.


Looking for more ideas and inspiration on ways you can help? Check out our Check out our first cocoa stand in our Giving Issue.

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14 Responses to “Hot Cocoa for Water”

  1. Andrea 9PARENTise) Says:

    December 14th, 2010 at 6:04 pm

    LOVE IT! Will definitely be doing this with the kids for sure! Thanks for sharing!

    Jennifer Cooper Reply:

    YAY! Andrea, let me know when you’re thinking of doing it. I’ll send you a little something for the girls :)

    Andrea Reply:

    You are too sweet. Working on it w/ the kids. Trying to figure out if I can do something with their pre-school – selling hot cocoa to the kids and parents as they walk into school. One thing to mention is that a lot of organizations will give you paid time off if you do volunteer work – so you can take time off to do good and not miss a pay day!

  2. willow Says:

    December 15th, 2010 at 1:15 am

    love it! I will do this with my preschool class that I teach.

    Jennifer Cooper Reply:

    Willow, that’s WONDERFUL!

  3. Jamie Says:

    December 15th, 2010 at 3:51 am

    We are excited! I cannot wait to roll up my sleeves and figure out how we can make a difference!

    Jennifer Cooper Reply:

    Jamie, I’m so excited to have you on board!

  4. Jen Says:

    December 16th, 2010 at 10:51 am

    The Brothers Trimm will be posting about this today and have just bought a few virtual hot cocoa’s xx

    Jennifer Cooper Reply:

    Thank you Jen!!! xo

  5. Hot Cocoa for Water Update Says:

    December 21st, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    [...] of your own? Let us know! We’d love to help you spread the word! Check out the original post here for more info (including a list of those who’ve already joined the campaign and companies, [...]

  6. Helloooo 2011! Says:

    January 3rd, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    [...] editor of Babiekins Magazine and owner of Little Miss Heirlooms. She wrote a lovely post about the Hot Cocoa for Water campaign. She’s committed to helping spread the message about the need for safe drinking water [...]

  7. Cooking with Robot: Cocoa Says:

    January 17th, 2011 at 5:59 pm

    [...] Robot has taken his cooking show on the road! This week, visit him over at Mini Munchers, where you’ll get a chance to check out his newly remodeled kitchen and get his recipe for the best hot cocoa in the galaxy. It’s perfect for a cocoa party. [...]

  8. The Cold Couldn’t Stop Us Says:

    January 28th, 2011 at 7:22 pm

    [...] month, I put out the call to host cocoa stands, both real and virtual, to raise money for charity: water. Charity: water is a non-profit [...]

  9. Hot Cocoa = Clean Drinking Water Says:

    September 7th, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    [...] you remember this winter when we wrote about the Hot Cocoa for Water campaign to raise money for Charity Water? Well, my amazing friend Angie and her family took up the [...]

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