Newport Beach ice cream shop pays it forward to first responders, community during coronavirus crisis

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- With most people staying home and practicing physical distancing, Veteran-owned Atomic Creamery and University High School club Girl Up have teamed up to show appreciation to frontline workers and the community with their "Pay it Forward" delivery program.

"[It] kind of brings us together and gives us a little time out with what's going on," said Josh Leasure with Atomic Creamery, one of few businesses running at Fashion Island Mall in Newport Beach during the coronavirus pandemic.

To help struggling businesses stay open, the ice cream parlor was quickly approached by the UHS club to kickstart the repaying idea with little scoops of happiness.

"Ice cream raises spirits. Ice cream raises moral, and we want spread a little joy," Allison Yue, co-president of the UHS Girl Up chapter, said.

"I did my research on the Girl Up organization. And it's very intentional, it's very focused, it's very supportive of women," Atomic Creamery founder Kari Leasure said. "As a woman-owned business as well, I didn't want to disappoint them."

For every three pints purchased, the shop will donate a pint of ice cream to health care and emergency professionals.

"[Yue's] idea compounds on our everyday mission here at our store," Kari said. "We provide to first responders and military in uniform free ice cream on a daily basis. So, this is just an added bonus to that."

"We see what happens with first responders, we know the work. We know what they have to deal with," Josh said. "And paying it forward to them - it's something that...[is] a little thing, but it's big in our hearts," he continued.

Yue said she's helping pay it forward with what she can to frontline emergency workers: "Those are the people that need to have the most support because they're the ones that are really supporting our community."

To learn more on how to send pints as gifts, head to Atomic Creamery's website.
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