Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Eating ice cream for a good cause

It isn't often that you have an opportunity to do something you really love and help raise money for a worthy cause. But, that's exactly what we did at the new Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream store in Oak Park, IL. Ben & Jerry's has partnered with the "One Action" organization to help eradicate poverty throughout the world. If you're not familiar with the "One Campaign" per their website they:

" to raise public awareness about the issues of global poverty, hunger, disease and efforts to fight such problems in developing countries."

This was the first time I've participated in this event and I have to admit that it was a lot of fun! They gave away one free scope of Ben & Jerry's ice cream and in exchange asked people to make a donation. I think that's a pretty cool idea and guess what? It worked! Despite the unseasonably freezing temperatures people were lined up down the block from the store all day long!

And since Oak Park is such a beautiful community I just had to brave the elements and the traffic to make my contribution to the cause.

Everyone received these cool "One" wrist bands for participating.

I wasn't the best History student in school but for some strange reason I can remember Ben & Jerry's history? Hmmm, must be the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough that is boosting my brain power.

These two young ladies were a few of the super friendly people who helped out with the event. No matter how cold it became nor how long the lines were everyone was really happy to be there. I've participated in countless fund raising events over the years but I don't remember one where there was so much joy and happiness.

Ah, the good stuff! Even in 40 degree weather it still warms the heart.

For those of you who are keeping up with "Operation Transformation" no worries - this was my dinner.

In addition to raising funds for the "One Action" organization this event also helped to raise funds for the Wonder Works Children museum. Another fantastic organization who is making a difference. Per their website:

"Wonder Works, a Children's Museum in Oak Park, provides a hands-on environment intended to strenghten the social, emotional, and intellectual development of children up to age ten. The 6,400 square foot museum includes exhibits, educational programming, a retail store and a children's party room."

No ice cream fund raiser would be complete without a good cup of Starbucks to complete the evening. The ice cream was dinner and the coffee was dessert. :)

This event was a lot of fun and I believe it is a new corporate partnership model for community activism. It is a "win-win" for everyone involved and the end result is that lives are transformed. I encourage you to visit Ben & Jerry's and if you're in the area to also visit and support Wonder Works. The ice cream was good. But, the hungry people who will be fed and the young minds that will be expanded beyond conventional thinking is what's really sweet!


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