Fayetteville girl sells hot cocoa to warm soldiers' holidays

Posted December 18, 2012 10:19 p.m. EST
Updated December 18, 2012 11:29 p.m. EST

— At 11, Lacey Henry has endured more than most people do in a lifetime.

Her two little brothers are battling cancer. Her father is stationed in Virginia with the Army. She and her family spend countless nights at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill.

Yet the Fayetteville girl is always thinking of others, especially during the holiday season. When she thinks about soldiers, like her father, she reflects on the sacrifices they make to accomplish their missions.

Lacey has a mission of her own: Remember every single soldier with what she calls Operation Single Soldier.

"I know soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, they're probably overwhelmed with presents," she said Tuesday. "But the soldiers at Fort Bragg, they're probably forgotten about."

So, Lacey started selling hot chocolate to Fayetteville residents. She's using the money to make gift bags, filled with trinkets and sweets, for the Fort Bragg soldiers working Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

"I wouldn't want to have to work on Christmas, especially standing out in the cold all day," she said.

She and her family have relied on help from the community during cancer treatments for Lacey's brothers – 6-year-old Collin, who is undergoing chemotherapy for leukemia and 8-year-old Patrick, who is in remission after stage 2 liver cancer.

Now, she's giving back.

"She's a great kid. She's got a good heart. She's always doing something nice," said Lacey's mother, Kathleen Henry. "She's always thinking of someone else."