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The Big Picture

The Generous Ben and Jerry

I was dismayed, but not surprised,  to find that I had gained 3 1/2 lbs over spring break.  I couldn't help it, though, since we went to Vermont--home of Ben and Jerry's ice cream (
We stood in a long, winding line with the rest of Burlington on Free Cone Day. With six kids and two parents at $4 a cone, well, you do the math.  It was worth it.
Two days later, we ate our way through Waterbury, home of Cabot Cheese, Lake Champlain Chocolate, and, you guessed it, Ben and Jerry's  first ice cream plant. 
As I waited for my ice cream and watched the promotional DVD in the lobby, I was impressed with the generosity of Ben and Jerry.  After over 30 years in business, the evidence is in, and they are guilty:
  • Ben and Jerry made a promise back in 1978 that, if on their first anniversary they were still in business, they would give away free cones as a way of saying thanks. Over thirty years and millions of cones later, they still say thanks with Free Cone Day.
  • Milk prices plummet in 1991, but Ben and Jerry's pays dairy farmers premium price anyway.
  • Every employee of Ben and Jerry's not only receives three free pints of ice cream a day, but a free gym membership to boot.
Donating to nonprofits, promoting fair trade, modeling community involvement, buying ingredients from local dairy farms, the list goes on and on. 
Imagine if  every company, or how about every parent, lived life that way-- practicing radical generosity in front of our kids. Not only would it change our families; it would change our world.
"And don't forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased."  Hebrews 13:16

5 Comments to The Generous Ben and Jerry:

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Debbie Riley on Tuesday, April 19, 2011 2:54 AM
. . > ___ Walk it off in BC! Love Ya!
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margie on Tuesday, April 19, 2011 8:58 AM
yes we will!

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