At the DC Ice Cream Shop, a chain of donations so everyone can get a scoop

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At Charles Foreman’s DC Ice Cream Shop, no one leaves without a scoop, even if they can’t afford it.

“You can see a need; nobody has to tell you someone’s struggling,” said Foreman, who opened Everyday Sundae in July 2021 after being laid off during the pandemic as a business manager. “I feel like I have my finger on the stuff that’s going on in the neighborhood.”

As a resident of Petworth for more than two decades, Foreman, 53, was determined to “do something for the community,” where gun violence is a troubling issue.

“Specifically on this block, there have been more than our share of situations,” he said, referring to crime. “People can’t do good if they don’t see good.”

He tried to make his shop a bright spot on Kennedy Street.

“You have to start somewhere,” he said.

Whenever Foreman meets a customer who could use a pick-me-up, he says, he happily offers them a sweet treat — on the house, no questions asked.

Last May, a regular customer caught him doing just that. She saw Foreman serving a free spoon to a child who had no money. The following week, the customer showed up with an envelope containing $100 – enough to buy about 28 balls.

“He’s doing something tangible to improve the situation,” said Nicole, who asked The Washington Post to use only her first name to protect her privacy.

This restaurant is run by grandmothers. Customers applaud them every night.

On Fridays, especially in the warmer months, Nicole usually takes her two children, ages 9 and 11, to Everyday Sundae after school for a cone.

“Mr. Charles is so great, and the ice cream is great too,” she said, adding that the store has been a “really good agent of change” in the neighborhood.

Foreman was touched by his client’s kind gesture and decided to share it on social media.

“I don’t think you can really explain how good it is when someone comes along and does something for someone else,” Foreman said. “How often do you see this?”

Soon a spontaneous chain of donations began to form. Shortly after I shared the story, “someone else came along and donated, and it kind of took off organically.”

“When you see people doing their best, you want to do their best,” said Foreman, who has two sons, ages 16 and 24. “Everything is contagious, whether you do something negative or positive.”

Since Nicole’s initial donation, several others have contributed to the ice cream fund. While some offered $100 freebies, others simply asked to buy the next two scoops online – which has already sparked a daylong streak of people doing the same, he said. .

“Everyone kept paying it,” Foreman said. “You start to see the best in people. It was really touching. »

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In total, people gave hundreds of cones, and Foreman makes sure all contributions go directly to people in the neighborhood who might not be able to afford a scoop. He regularly gives free cones to children, he said, but he’s also handed them out to adults and seniors who might be going through a tough time.

“It’s part of being in the community,” Foreman said. “We are supposed to do everything we can to help each other.”

Everyday Sundae serves generously sized scoops for $3.50 and features a rotation of 50 flavors, including cappuccino crunch, dark chocolate hazelnut fudge, cake batter and other fan favorites like oatmeal cookies and strawberry cheesecake.

Even though the store has only been open for a short time, Foreman said its customers feel like family.

“These things build strength between all of us,” he said.

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In addition to the impromptu ice cream fund, Foreman also held various other initiatives, including free movie nights and storybook readings for children, as well as clothing drives.

“We’re just getting started,” he said.

“The little things you do have a ripple effect on the pond,” Foreman added. “It matters.”

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