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Ice cream shop gives free scoops to those who can't afford it: 'Everybody kept paying it forward'

The shop was opened to spread cheer in a neighborhood that is riddled with frequent gun violence.

Ice cream shop gives free scoops to those who can't afford it: 'Everybody kept paying it forward'
Cover Image Source: Instagram | everydaysundaedc

Kindness is a great attribute one can possess and practice on a daily basis. It makes the world a better place for everyone around them and Charles Foreman is one such person who is doing this. Nobody leaves Foreman's D.C. ice cream business without a scoop, even if they can't afford it. Foreman opened Everyday Sundae in July 2021 and has been serving everyone ever since, per Washington Post



He was laid off as a corporate chef during the pandemic. He said, "You can see a need, nobody has to tell you somebody is struggling. I feel like I have my finger on the pulse of the things that happen in the neighborhood.” Foreman, 53, has lived in Petworth for more than two decades and was motivated to "do something for the community," where gun violence has been a problem. He said that on the block where the shop is situated "there has been more than our share of situations. People can’t do good unless they see good." 



He attempted to make his business a focal point on Kennedy Street. Anytime Foreman encounters a client in need of a pick-me-up, he cheerfully provides them a delicious treat – on the house, no questions asked. One of his frequent customers witnessed him doing precisely that last May when she observed Foreman giving a free scoop to a youngster who didn't have any money. The next week, the client arrived with an envelope holding $100, enough to purchase around 28 scoops. Nicole who usually takes her two children, aged 9 and 11, to Everyday Sundae after school on Fridays, said, "He’s doing something tangible to improve the situation."



She added, "Mr. Charles is so great, and the ice cream is excellent, too." Foreman said, "I don’t think you can really explain how good it feels when somebody comes in and does something for somebody else. How often do you see that?" A spontaneous cycle of giving soon formed. "Someone else came in and gave a donation, and it kind of took off organically," he said. 

"When you see people doing their best, you want to do your best. Everything is contagious, whether you do something negative or positive," Foreman added. Several individuals have donated to the ice cream fund after Nicole's original gift. While some have offered $100 presents, others have just requested to buy the next two scoops in line, which created a day-long chain reaction. He said, "Everybody kept paying it forward. You start to see the best in people. It was really touching."



Folks have contributed hundreds of cones in total, and Foreman ensures that all donations go straight to people in the community who may not be able to purchase a scoop. He usually gives away free cones to children, but he has also given them to adults and elders who are in need. Foreman said, "That’s just part of being in the community. We’re supposed to do all we can to help each other."

A rotating menu of 50 varieties, including cappuccino crunch, dark-chocolate hazelnut fudge, cake batter, and other crowd favorites like oatmeal cookie and strawberry cheesecake, are offered by Everyday Sundae in generously sized scoops for $3.50. Foreman said his customers feel like family even though the business has only recently opened. Foreman has organized a number of additional projects in addition to the spontaneous ice cream fund, such as free movie evenings, children's book readings, and clothing drives. He said, "We’re just getting started. The little things that you do are the ripple effect on the pond. It matters." 


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