REACHING 18 PARKS & SCHOOLS IN BALTIMORE CITY IN 18 DAYS

After launching the free ice cream campaign at the epicenter of violence (the junction of W. North Ave and Pennsylvania Ave) The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Baltimore’s ice cream truck has now moved! We are going to all 18 parks (and adjacent schools) in the Baltimore city over the next 18-days. Why? To spread the message of #LoveForAllHatredForNone

“While, we may not be able to fix all the problems in our city, as people of faith, we must do our part and spread some love. That’s what it’s all about.” said Faheem Younus, Baltimore President of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA.”,

So far, we have given well over 1000 free ice creams at Hilton Elementary, Brooklyn Park, Liberty Elementary, Curtis Bay Park,

Mansoor Shams, a former US marine leading the #LoveForAll via #FreeIceCream project, said, “We’re not just giving away a free ice cream. We are also spreading love, making friends, healing wounds. I am so thrilled to be a part of this effort.”

We live by our motto, #LoveForAllHatredForNone. Besides a free ice-cream, our volunteers will be present on site, daily, to extend their personal greetings of love and friendship to the community members.

We invite everyone to visit us, share an ice cream and experience the joy of spreading the selfless idea of #LoveForAllHatredForNone.

Media Coverage
ABC2 News 
Baltimore Sun on March 12th 2015

Schedule:

Our #FreeIceCream truck will be at the following locations from 4:30 pm to 7:30 pm daily.
Hanlon Park – Monday, May 11
Farring Bay Brook Park – Tuesday, May 12
Carroll Park – Wednesday, May 13
Federal Hill Park – Thursday, May 14
Reedbird Park – Friday, May 15
Druid Hill Park – Saturday, May 16
Wyman Park – Sunday May 18
Middle Branch Park – Monday May 19
Chinquapin Run Park – Tuesday May 20

Clybourn Arboretum – Wednesday May 21
Gwynn Falls Leakin Park – Thursday May 22
Fort Armistead Park – Friday May 23
Riverside Park – Saturday May 24
Patterson Park – Sunday May 25
Canton Waterfront Park – Monday May 26
Clifton Park – Tuesday May 27
Herring Run Park – Wednesday May 28

Worldwide Support

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Help us!

Thank you to our supporters locally and internationally! Instead of donating money, we would appreciate if you could help us in the following ways:

1. Print “(Name of your US city or country) supports #LoveForAll = #FreeIceCream” on a white card or paper, hold it in front of you, take a picture and Tweet it using the same hashtags. We are asking our supporters to send us pictures from the corners of the earth.
2. Like us on Facebook. Search “Islam in Baltimore” on Facebook.
3. Tweet about the campaign in your own words.
4. Not a social media fan? No problem. Just leave a comment on our website http://islaminbaltimore.org/2015/05/12/reaching-18-parks-schools-in-baltimore-city-in-18-days/
5. Visit us in Baltimore and taste the joy of handing a free ice cream to a kid, firsthand!

Contact:
To find our more about future locations of our truck, or ask any other questions, contact as at:
Twitter –  @BaltimoreIslam
Facebook – Islam in Baltimore
Email – Mansoor_Shams13@yahoo.com

Daily Blog: 

Day 1

After spending 3 days at the corner of North and Pennsylvania, we were back at it again following a 2 day break. With a fresh new plan to distribute #FreeIceCreams in all 18 Baltimore City parks over the next 18 days, we started this mission by visiting Hanlon Park today. Excited to hear the sounds of children playing, and anticipating their excitement at hearing the sounds of our ice cream truck, we arrived at 4:30pm. Alas, all we heard was crickets.We needed a new plan, stat. We scoured the area looking for a congregation of children. But no luck. We were bursting at the seams, full of #FreeIceCream and #LoveForAll yearning to be doled out. Then we drove by Hilton Elementary School. Jackpot!

We parked our cars in a hurry and rushed out to put our banners up on the ice cream truck. The kids gathered around. It was showtime! We were back at it, and boy did it feel good. But after awhile we started to ask, where do we go next?

A school bus full of kids came by and told us they were on their way to Liberty Elementary School. And then, so were we. We got back in our cars and rushed to Liberty Elementary, ice cream tunes blaring on the ice cream truck.

Here, we met a widow whose husband passed away while studying Islam. Seeing our shirts and banner, she was now interested in studying Islam and promised to visit our mosque to offer Jumu`ahthis Friday. Subhaanallaah!

So although we got off to a bit of a slow start today, we ended with a bang, having given out a total of 190 free ice creams and slushies. Alhamdulillaah.

Day 2

We got to Farring Bay Brook Park at 4:30pm, but we needed to find kids. So we went right down the street to Curtis Bay Park where we found a plethora of ice cream hungry children. As soon as we pulled up, they lined up. We served #FreeIceCream to child after child after child. They didn’t let up and gave us no time to catch our breath – just what we wanted.

When we finished there, we headed on to Brooklyn Park where, again, the kids came wave after wave, giving us no time to even think about what was happening. Alhamdulillaah – this was the day we’ve been waiting for.

After we finished up there, we were still hungry for more. So we roamed the streets a little bit until we saw some kids. We stopped right in front of them and, once again, kids poured in from every direction, seemingly coming out of nowhere. Today, the lines were just not ending. We could feel we were going to break some records today.

And breaking records we did. By the grace of Allah, by our closing time of 7:30pm, we had given away a total of 260 free ice creams and slushies today. It was the most tiring day yet, but we went home grateful, content, and wondering how we could ever top a day like this.

Day 3

Remember yesterday? Remember how we said we went home wondering how we could top it? Well, today happened. And today we sure did top yesterday.

We arrived at Carroll Park quite early today to scope out the area and figure out which parts had the most kids. As soon as we got there, we ran into two very nice ladies who offered to round up all the kids in the neighbourhood. We knew it was going to be a good day.

We first stayed within Carroll Park and gave out free ice creams to a couple of soccer teams there. Then the two ladies had arranged for all the kids to wait for us in front of a Boys and Girls Club. So we headed straight there where the lines of children were relentless. Despite the intensity of the rush, the kids were so well-behaved, well-mannered, and polite. It was a pleasure. It was love.

We finished an entire hour earlier today then yesterday, yet our count matched the 260 we established the day before. Alhamdulillaah. Every day just keeps getting better.

Day 4

We got off to a slow start today at Federal Hill. We were there for about half an hour but could only attract about 12 children. The park was filled, but no one seemed to care much. Our ice cream truck driver, Hassan, said he knew a neighborhood close by teeming with children. So we hopped in our cars and headed straight there.

This is where our adventure really begins. Playgrounds emptied out for us. We felt like celebrities. Child after child after child after child. No matter how many days we’ve been doing this, it never gets old – their smiles, laughter, happiness, and surprise at a free ice cream. We kept going until just about sunset and covered three entire blocks worth of children. In the process, we set a whopping record of having given away 400 free ice creams and slushies. Will we ever be able to top this? Only time will tell, but we’ve sure surprised ourselves in the past.

Day 5

Today was another slow start. Because of rush hour traffic, being unfamiliar with the area, and some miscommunicated GPS coordinates, we didn’t all get together at our location until about 6pm.

At 6pm, we gathered at Reedbird Park and gave out a handful of free ice creams to all the children present there. We were short on time, so as soon as we were done we rushed out to the adjacent neighborhood and gave out some more free ice creams there. As soon as we finished up there, we drove past a football practice that was just concluding. We decided to lay in wait. Then we got blitzed. By a football team, at that.

And before we knew it, they were done. And so were we. Despite the late start, we made a successful day of it and gave out 100 free ice creams and slushies, with each one feeling just as special as ever. The number isn’t really all that important anyways, it never was to begin with. As long as our hearts are in it, we feel like we’re on top of the world.

Day 6

Today we were at Druid Hill Park near the Clover Dale basketball court. We got there at 4pm and immediately started giving away free ice creams. We gave away a little less than 100, but had some high profile guests – Nick & Marilyn Mosby and their two adorable daughters.

They arrived a little past 5pm to lend their support to our Love for All Free Ice Cream campaign, and it meant a lot to have them there with us today.

Day 7

We arrived at Roosevelt Park at 4:30pm and immediately got to work. We scoured the entire park for children and made sure each and every single one of them knew about the free ice creams and slushies we were giving away. They were ecstatic. They came in waves. Within an hour we exhausted every child in the park, and it started to rain heavily.

So, we hopped in our cars and decided to make use of this time and move to another location. We drove to a spot a couple of minutes away closer to Mondawmin Mall where we, once again, distributed loads of free ice cream and slushies to children, along with a few adults (after all, our slogan is love for all, not just love for children). We closed up shop at 6:30pm and, all in all, it was another successful day where we served over 200 free ice creams and slushies.

Day 8

We gathered at Wyman Park at 4:30pm and immediately started giving away free ice creams. There were very few kids at the park itself, so we moved around quite a bit in the neighbourhood surrounding the park to try to cover as many kids as possible. We were so close to yesterday’s location that we ended up serving many of the same kids today as we did yesterday, and it was a pleasure to see and recognize so many of the same kids again. As always, it was heartwarming to continue to see the gratitude the city keeps showing us day after day. All in all, we gave away approximately 125 free ice creams today.

Day 9

Today’s destination was Middle Branch Park. It was the third time we were going to be hitting a park in this very area, and the kids knew us so well that they gathered around the ice cream truck before we could even get to our destination. So at 4pm, before even reaching the park, we started giving away free ice creams and slushies.

After we were finally able to make it to Middle Branch Park, we realized this park had no reachable kids. We waited there awhile and explored the park on foot looking for children, but to no avail. So we decided to keep cruising the streets looking for children. We finally found a spot we could call home for the day and set up shop there, very close to the park itself, and gave away almost 200 free ice creams and slushies.

Again, since this was our 3rd foray into this very area, many of the kids were already familiar with us and had had our free ice creams before as well. So this time, when they saw us, instead of shock and surprise, they looked at us with joy and happiness. With love. And that felt amazing on a whole nother level.

Day 10

We all met at 4pm today right beside a basketball court in Chinquapin Park. Bingo! These guys were thirsty, and here we were to offer them free ice creams and slushies. As soon as we finished serving them, we drove around the park to find another congregation of kids and stopped at a playground in another area of the park. We stayed here awhile until we were sure we had covered all the kids here.

We had earlier done some reconnaissance and found another playground nearby, so now we headed there. This playground was teeming with children; our hands were going to be full, but nothing we couldn’t handle. Till the very last minute, they were coming in waves and we ended up serving approximately 125 free ice creams and slushies.

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