For three years, Handel’s Ice Cream has partnered with MemorialCare Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach. The iconic ice cream shop has been serving up ice cream, cake, and smiles to both patients and staff.
Coming from a background of establishing corporate partnerships with children’s hospitals and helping several NBA teams’ partner with children’s hospitals in their city, Greg Flaherty, owner, Handel’s Ice Cream Long Beach, wanted a more community-integrated approach to the partnerships. In late Fall 2020, Greg reached out to Miller Children’s & Women’s and started by providing ice cream sandwiches to the staff of the hospital to brighten up their holiday season. The partnership flourished instantly, and Handel’s become more involved with the patient.
Being an ice cream shop, Handel’s knows exactly what kids want. Whenever a patient finishes their treatment, they receive a voucher for one free item of their choice at Handel’s to congratulate them for such a big achievement. When a patient has a birthday in the hospital, Handel’s is notified and donates a personalized cake for the child so they can still celebrate while in the hospital. Handel’s wants to help make a difference for the kids who are receiving treatment and make it less scary.
“We know that staying at a hospital can be a bit of an overwhelming experience for kids,” says Flaherty. “The things that we give to these patients are pretty easy for us to offer, and I’m glad that we can help make kids happy and further connect with the community with this partnership.”
In May of 2022, Flaherty hosted a fundraiser for Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital, asking every customer if they wanted to round up their total in order to support Miller Children’s & Women’s. Many people participated and Handel’s matched a majority of the donations, totaling $3000. This year, Handel’s will be doing another “Round it Up Event” for Miller Children’s & Women’s in June.
“The partnership that we have gets the patients and families very excited,” says Rita Goshert, director, Cherese Mari Laulhere Child Life Program, MemorialCare Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach. “The cakes that they donate for patients’ birthdays are an amazing addition to the birthday celebrations we do here. They try to be very involved in the hospital and I think they help give our patients hope.”