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ice cream for your soul

Growing up, I spent my summers in South East Asia. My family would bring poverty stricken communities toys, school supplies and after lunch, give out ice cream. When the tragic tsunami hit Thailand a few years ago, we distributed emergency funds to victims. On that trip, my Mother noticed a man with an ice cream truck sitting hopelessly without patrons. Within minutes, she bought his loot and started giving out ice cream to the locals. “Why’d you do that?” I asked. She answered simply; “Honey, people are so stressed. When they had the ice cream, they escaped for a second…they smiled.”

When in Culinary School, we started supporting multiple orphanages in Asia, one of which cares for abandoned children infected with HIV. While my parents built classroom walls and my sister gave out pencils, I assured consistent nutrition in their meals. The children would run to us excited to speak what little English they retained from our last visit. I soon realized that they forgot how to say “my name is” but kept saying “I-love-you”; not only to us, but to each other. Despite their adversities, they supported each other and made everyone feel important. And, on that day, after finishing their last lick of ice cream, I smiled. At that moment, It dawned on me that no matter who you are, you need love and at times a moment to enjoy ice cream.

I work as a Chef. I hope to have a foundation one day that funds education, nutrition and the arts for children. I want to grow with my community, establish self worth and celebrate diversity. Together we can nourish souls.


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