BUFFALO, N.Y. – Donations are pouring in an ice cream man with a passion for helping others.
James Karagiannis is known as the Ice Creamcycle Dude in Buffalo, New York. He sells ice cream and frozen treats for just $1 on hot summer days, but says sometimes his job is tough.
“One of the hardest parts about being an ice cream dude is seeing the disappointment on a kids [sic] face when all of their friends buy ice cream but they’re left out because they don’t have a dollar,” Karagiannis wrote on his Facebook page.
He said he gives out a lot of free ice cream to kids, but he asks for one small thing in return.
“I usually make the kids answer a math problem, or pick up litter or something,” wrote Karagiannis on his Facebook page. “I don’t like the idea of just giving something away to a kid without at least trying to teach a lesson.”
Recently, Karagiannis was featured in The Buffalo News for his innovative approach to community service. The story quickly went viral, and soon donations started to pour in from around the country. So far he has raised more than $4,500.
Now, Karagiannis is asking kids to write thank you notes to the generous strangers who donate money as a way of earning the ice cream.
“The kids can’t fully appreciate when we just give it to them for free,” Karagiannis told WIVB. “So the kids are happy and the person who receives a post card in the mail makes it their day long after they’ve forgotten they gave us a few bucks.”