Random Acts of of Ice Cream for Our Neighborhood Heroes

Many thanks to Hudsonville Ice Cream for sponsoring this post.

We were inspired by Hudsonville Ice Cream’s Random Acts of Ice Cream which thanks essential workers all across the country with their Random Acts of Ice Cream. Instead of shipping ice cream to all our neighbors, we decided to give them a sweet summer moment with a special ice cream stand! We safely handed out scoops of ice cream to the special people in our neighborhood in honor of our heroes – essential workers who live nearby, and all the amazing dads in our neighborhood, since Father’s Day was right around the corner (and who is a bigger hero than Dad?!). We know everyone can use a pick-me-up at a time like this, and we made this moment possible with Hudsonville Ice Cream.

We have doctors, nurses, grocery store workers, and other essential workers all living on our block, so we checked with them for their availability first to ensure that they would all be able to join our celebration. Once we confirmed a date, we texted our other neighbors to let them know that we would be handing out free scoops that evening.  While this event was our way of paying homage to essential workers and dads, we had plenty for everyone to enjoy.

Our medical worker neighbors enjoying a special treat

I wanted to make a cute stand without spending a ton of money on decorations, so I cut out a banner that spelled “ice cream” and strung the letters together with thin ribbon and put it across the front of a 6-foot table with a plastic tablecloth I already had on hand. Just do a quick internet search for free ice cream decor and you’ll be surprised with all the options! I also found some cute ice cream cone cutouts in various colors that were the perfect size to cut out and string together as a second banner. I hand wrote “Thank You Heroes” across the cones and hung the banner across my front porch railing. I used disposable bowls and spoons I had on hand and picked up some cute ice cream themed napkins. The decorations were inexpensive but cute and perfect for the occasion!

All set up and almost ready to scoop!

As for the ice cream itself, we had four of Hudsonville Ice Cream’s delicious flavors to choose from: Mackinac Island Fudge, Deer Traxx, Mint Chocolate Chip, and Superscoop. I tend to go a bit over the top with theme parties and would ordinarily have had a whole toppings bar with different sundae sauces and toppings in cute containers with themed labels, but I decided to keep things simple for health and safety reasons. I wrote out each flavor on an ice cream cone cutout and taped them to the table, and neighbors could choose between a bowl, a sugar cone, or a cake cone, and my son and I scooped for them. Luckily Hudsonville’s ice cream is so delicious on its own that no one missed the toppings!

The delicious flavor options from Hudsonville

We took other precautions to ensure safety as well. I wore gloves while scooping and changed them frequently. I kept my hair back, and my son and I wore masks while serving and chatting with neighbors as well. Everyone was very respectful of social distancing and spaced out on the sidewalk so that each separate family to come up and order one at a time. Some families chatted on the sidewalk after, and some headed to their own yards; everyone was safely spaced out. One neighbor told me that this was their first time in any sort of social situation since quarantine started and that it felt great to be out socializing with neighbors while still staying safe.

Safely serving up scoops to our neighbors

My three-year-old son had so much fun helping me scoop! He kept his mask on the whole time and stood by to supervise (and ensure that he got second, third, and fourth helpings; someone has to sample each flavor, right?). It felt great to give back to the community in a meaningful way and to recognize those in our neighborhood working hard to keep us all healthy and provided for. Instilling appreciation for others in my son as he grows up is very important to me, and this was the perfect opportunity to get him involved.

We loved Hudsonville’s idea of recognizing essential workers and they’ve made it so that you can nominate someone who deserves recognition, and if selected, they will have ice cream shipped straight to them, courtesy of Hudsonville Ice Cream! Fill out an application on their Random Acts of Ice Cream website; winners are selected weekly. Or if you want to host an ice cream party like ours, you can find local Hudsonville ice cream distributors on their scoop locator, and use this Sweetest Summer Ever coupon for $2 off!

So much fun giving back (and eating tons of ice cream)!
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Stephanie Dougherty
Stephanie is a Columbus native, having grown up in Dublin. She attended Ohio University where she met her husband over a friendly game of flip cup. She has been working for the same talent acquisition outsourcing and consulting company since graduating college, going on 14 years and is currently the Director of Implementation. After a three-year stint in Tampa, she and her husband decided to settle back in Ohio in 2008, and Stephanie won the Columbus vs. Cleveland debate (her husband says she's not tough enough for Cleveland anyway.) After almost eight years of marriage and three years of fertility struggles, they had their son, Dexter, in April 2017 thanks to IVF. They currently live in Grandview Heights after living in the Short North for almost 10 years. They love exploring the city as a family and are frequent COTA bus riders. Stephanie is determined to stay hip to all the new restaurants and places around town even after becoming a mom. Their family goes out to eat way too much, but she still loves cooking, especially recipes that use cauliflower as a substitute (is there anything it can't become!?) She is obsessed with bargain hunting but still manages to spend way too much money. You can follow along on their family's adventures on Instagram at @thecbuskid. Stephanie also has a dog, Athena, but she doesn't have her own Instagram because all she does is sleep and steal food right out of their hands.