Friday, July 22, 2016

The world really wants to help the needy

Take underprivileged kids in Buffalo, New York, for example. James Karagiannis, 36, and his team of 15 pedal freezers of ice cream and frozen novelties through poor neighborhoods on the east and south sides of town. Each treat costs $1, but what about the little boy or girl who does not have a dollar? James could not turn anyone away, so he made them answer a history or math question (with hints) before getting the treat. Everything was fine until The Buffalo News told his story.

                                                                                                      Courtesy of James Karagiannis
First, regular customers began making donations to cover the cost of free treats, but within 24 hours, two media outlets in the United Kingdom and ABC News had reached out to him. And that was just the beginning. "Media from everywhere in the world is calling," he said. A fundraising effort expected to garner $400 quickly grew to $4,500. "That's a lot of ice cream to give out," he said, so now each needy child who cannot afford a dollar must write message on a thank-you postcard which is sent to one of the many donors. It helps the children value the gift they receive, and brings a smile to donors who may have forgotten they contributed to this worthy cause. James never expected his scheme to gain worldwide notice. "It's just a little thing that I had no idea would snowball (no pun intended), and I'm proud," he said.

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