Since the store’s opening in August 2020, Handel’s Long Beach has always wanted to give back to the community.
Prior to his position, Greg Flaherty, current owner of Handel’s Long Beach, pioneered relationships with Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and Philadelphia. He then took that spirit locally and reached out to the Cherese Mari Laulhere Child Life Program at MemorialCare Miller Children's & Women's Hospital Long Beach.
The Child Life Program was developed to bring a more positive hospital experience to children of all ages and to normalize the intimidating environment of a medical setting. The Program has child life specialists who are dedicated to helping children adjust to their hospital stay and promote the continuity of daily childhood activities.
In November 2020, Handel’s Long Beach and the Child Life Program began giving free ice cream cakes and special certificates to any child hospitalized on their birthday. As long as Handel’s Long Beach received 48-hour notice, they committed that every child would receive a cake on their special day.
“Cakes are one of the best parts of a birthday celebration for kids, so this is a big treat for them,” says Rita Goshert, Director of the Child Life Program at Miller Children’s & Women’s. “It can make a scary experience more fun by bringing a smile to our patients’ faces.”
Every few months, Greg also stops by the hospital and drops off ice cream for the employees. In March, he set up a table on the hospital’s patio and provided ice cream sandwiches to physicians during a special Doctors Day celebration.
In the month of May, Handel’s Long Beach and the Child Life Program partnered once again for a Round-It-Up campaign, where customers were asked if they would like to round-up their total cost to benefit the Child Life Program.
Throughout the month, nearly 65 percent of customers rounded up their orders. The campaign successfully ended with a total of $4,500 raised. All proceeds will allow the Child Life Program to purchase new supplies, toys and games for future patients.
“Customer service is the pillar of our organization,” says Greg. “Even if it’s nothing big, giving back in any way possible will always mean something.”
Handel’s goal is to continue to participate in future events, such as Round-It-Up Campaigns for the month of May where they will round up to support the Child Life Program and in the month of November, where they will round up to support veterans.