Local boy sells hot chocolate for a good cause

Published 5:23 pm Friday, December 7, 2012

A GOOD ROLE MODEL to his young cousin and helper, six-year-old Jewell Anvar, Ryan Adams, raises money for charity each Christmas by selling hot chocolate and assorted baked goods and candy.

When Ryan Adams was eight years old he saw some of his enterprising friends doing odd jobs during the Christmas season to make money so they could buy themselves Xboxes and games.

He decided to sell some hot chocolate in front of his home and make a little money for himself. He was successful in raising $150, but his plans changed abruptly when he learned through his church, Bainbridge Church of God, of a lady whose house had burned and her family had lost everything.

Young Ryan donated that money, plus his old PlayStation to the family. It gave him such a good feeling that he decided to do it all again the following year, and the year after that. He is still doing it. And each year the amount grows. Last year he exceeded his goal by making and donating $1200.

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Saturday, December 15, will be Ryan’s fifth year to sell hot chocolate, candies and baked goods for charity, and he has a new, more visible location this year. He will set up his stand in the parking lot in front of Belk and Golden Corral on Shotwell Street.

Ryan gets a lot of help from his family, especially his young cousin, Jewell Anvar, who has been with him from the start.

This year he is getting some corporate help, as well. When his mother, Shaie Bowen, posted on her Facebook that Ryan would be selling again this year, she was very surprised to get a call from Tad Kelley, a local representative for Community Coffee, offering to donate all the hot chocolate. WalMart has donated $100, and Pepsi is donating the concession stand.

This year, with all the extra help, Ryan has set a goal of $2000.

It was explained that all of the money raised is distributed through gift cards or gasoline cards, dependent upon the situation.

“We try to make sure the right people get it,” said Ryan’s mother. “Suggestions come from the community and we do our best to investigate to be sure help goes to those who are doing their best to make it, but have a hard time due to circumstances beyond their control.”

An example given was a family last year whose child was ill and the family had to make frequent trips back and forth to Atlanta for medical reasons. Gasoline cards helped with their expenses. Donations also went to a family in need identified by the Salvation Army.

Ryan, now 13, is an 8th grader at Bainbridge Middle School. His father is Bryan Adams.

His mother said she is very proud of her son. “He warms my heart every year. There are so many unanswered prayers out there. We just want to help God answer some of them.”