Hot Chocolate Needed…Stat!

Here at the Ronald McDonald House, sometimes there are big emergencies and sometimes there are small emergencies. We like the small emergencies better.

By Rick Shepherd, Communications Manager

A few weeks ago, a kitchen host volunteer at our House since 2019, Cynthia Franzman, was doing some routine chores in our commercial kitchen area when she was approached by one of our young house guests asking, “Where’s the hot chocolate?” Looking around the coffee & hot beverage station, she noticed our young hot chocolate connoisseur was correct. There was no hot chocolate in sight! That might have been the end of it, but Cynthia was now on a mission to find hot chocolate to resolve this crisis quickly!

She searched everywhere in our large House. She checked in the cupboards below the coffee station. Nope. She checked in the pantry area just off the main kitchen. Nothing. Then she went downstairs to check our main storage area in the basement and still came up empty-handed. After a thorough search of the kitchen, she eventually was able to find just one packet of instant hot chocolate in an obscure location and returned to the dining room to give it to the inquiring guest.

Cynthia holding the package of hot chocolate bombs she donated.

Mission accomplished? Not for Cynthia! No child should go hot chocolate-less in our House, she thought as she imagined the next child who would be asking for hot chocolate on a cold winter’s day! That’s when she decided she needed to get her daughter Katie and go hot chocolate shopping! While they were at it, they picked up some big boxes of Pop Tarts too, because what else goes great with hot chocolate?! As for hot chocolate cases, Cynthia and Katie ended up purchasing nearly a hundred boxes of instant hot chocolate to donate to the House!

Now, you might think that was the end of the story. Not entirely. Yesterday, when Cynthia came to her regularly scheduled shift, she brought with her… hot chocolate bombs! Just add them to steaming hot water or milk and you have hot chocolate!

“Really,” Volunteer Manager Meika Hilles says, “we shouldn’t be surprised.” Some weeks ago, when Cynthia noticed our supply of bananas had run dry, Cynthia was back with a bunch to donate. “That’s the way it is here,” Hilles says. “Our volunteers consider this as their own house. They make sure our guest families feel like it’s their home too.”