We All Scream For Ice Cream!

Posted: April 11, 2013 by thehomelesspage in Events, Original Stories
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,


ben and jerry sign
By Kolby Ford
congressman and baby ben jerry sign and line carpenters staff line cone day red heads
For some its the best thing ever, free ice cream! A huge line that wrapped around the block was for the 35th annual free cone day at the Ben and Jerry’s in Old Town Alexandria, VA.  Parents and their children stood patiently in the heat for tasty ice cream.  In addition to free frozen treats, people could make a donation to Carpenters Shelter.  Its one of the largest shelters in Virginia and they help over 1,000 homeless adults and children.  This is the non-profits second time participating in the event.  They raised over $3,000 last year. Steve Brown is the General Manager of the scoop shop and says that, “this is our way of giving back to our community.”

According to the Northern Virginia Affordable Housing Alliance, 13 out of every 10,000 Virginians experience homelessness.  Carpenter’s allows for emergency housing for individuals in need.  The volunteers work hard and require that when a person leaves the shelter they seek employment.  Job search assistance is also available.

Among the employees scooping,  Sheriff Dana Lawhorne was also present. “I came here today because its for a good cause and we all love ice cream! he says. Lawhorne who turned out to be an excellent scooper showed me some tricks as I tried to keep up with the Ben and Jerry’s assembly line.  The crew continued to shovel out there famous flavors as fast as possible to satisfy hungry guests.  Around 3 pm, the after school rush started and the parlor was filled with excitement.  The staff were pros at getting customers in and out quickly.  “Its going to be really crazy, exciting, and a lot of work but its for a good cause, says Nicole Normile. This was her third time working on the occasion. “Its always good to give back,” says Mr. Davis who is a father of three.  His children had just came from school when they decided to join the party.

The people at Carpenters Shelter have been striving to end homelessness in their area since 1988. It was established after Father Tony Casey of Blessed Sacrament opened the basement of his church as a warm place to sleep for two homeless men.  The generosity is contagious and it shown by every one who is a part of the cause.  Vice Mayor, Allison Silberberg says that she loves Carpenter’s Shelter. “I am honored to be a guest scooper today, its very meaningful to serve even it its a small part it really adds up, anybody can make a difference.” Another VIP volunteer was Congressman Jim Moran who had just left a meeting on Capitol Hill to attend. He says that there are four reasons why he came.  “I love what Carpenter’s shelter is doing, I like seeing people smile, Ben Cohen is a good friend of mine, and I want people to be as overweight as me.”

Other guests include David Speck who serves on the board of Carpenters Shelter.  It was the former councilmen’s third year lending a hand. This was Deputy Valarie Wright’s first time  but it wont be her last. “I had a blast today, I would definitely do this again, hats off to all the ice cream scoopers!”

According to their website, the shelter has housed 76 children and 90% of their visitors who go through the housing program do not return to homelessness. “We are very community oriented,” says Courtney Bishop, the constituent Relationship Officer. The shelter goes beyond just offering a safe place to sleep.  Programs include, homeless services assessment center (H.A.S.C) and financial planning assistance.

The non profit has two more upcoming events. On April 13, they will be having an online auction to raise money for the shelter and there annual cook-off will be held on the 28th.  For more information visit http://www.carpentersshelter.org/.

ladies family employee scooping congressman and mayor davis family two little girlssheriff and mayor speck and kid inside ben jerrys employee scooping behind the counteremployees valarie and davidme and the gang


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