He is known as Buffalo’s “Ice Creamcycle Dude,” and donations are pouring in for James Karagiannis and his good spirited work.
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Karagiannis, 36, owns a fleet of five cycles that visit the city’s disadvantaged inner city neighborhoods, selling ice cream for just $1, or for free in exchange for a correct answer to a history or math question. “Oftentimes, for whatever reason, kids don’t have money for ice cream,” said Karagiannis. “I really don’t like saying no to a kid but I can’t pedal around and give away ice cream to everyone I want to.”
So Karagiannis came up with a plan — he created a fundraising site where people can donate and he can purchase ice cream, then give out it to kids for free who don’t have a dollar. Well, sort of for free. They must complete a task first – writing a thank you note to someone who donated. Karagiannis then mails the note back to the donator.
Karagiannis states that he was one of the kids that were always left out and knows how it feels. He added that with so much evil going on in the world, it’s nice to give back to the community and let them know that there is still good in the world.
“I truly did not think we’d raise more than $500,” Karagiannis wrote on Facebook. “I’m afraid to look at the current total, but it’s got to be over $6k and who knows where it’ll be when I wake up tomorrow morning.”
“Kids can’t fully appreciate when we just give it to them for free,” says Karagiannis. “So the kids are happy and the person who receives a post card in the mail it makes their day long after they’ve forgotten they’ve given to us.”
Word of his generosity got around, and he said it was taking a toll on the business’s finances. There was only so many free ice creams he could give away.
On the flip side, as the word spread, other customers came forward, wanting to help Karagiannis’s efforts.
“It’s all just so overwhelming right now.”