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Revolution Ice Cream changes lives for those in need

Posted at 12:05 PM, Feb 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-18 12:06:31-05

TAMPA, Fla. — Ice cream is a treat that often takes us back to our fondest childhood memories.

A local couple has found that their passion for bringing back nostalgia is creating a new life for others thousands of miles away in Haiti.

Leslie Workman and her husband, Bill, never imagined opening an ice cream store, let alone the journey it would take them to one of the poorest countries around the world.

Their first store opened in Brandon, and it was such a success, they opened another location in Tampa.

On paper, Leslie is a graphic designer. In actuality, she bares more familiarity with her last name.

"Serving is what I am called to do and I am just not afraid to say no," Workman said.

It all began a few years ago when a friend of hers asked for help packing items like baby formula and beauty products to ship to Haiti.

Never one to say no, she and her boys began to help. She realized the boxes used to deliver ice cream ingredients to her store were just as useful after for deliveries.

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The boxes, initially a vice to create income for her business, turned into a business opportunity and lifesaver for Haitians.

Baby formula and other needed products are shipped to the country using the boxes, and in some cases, Haitians use them as flooring and even makeshift beds thanks to their hefty structure.

But the baby formula is what makes a difference. Once the items arrive at the island, they're divvied up and given to mothers in need who are too malnourished to provide breast milk for their babies.

"The babies that you see and how tiny they are, but then you find out they're six months old. Four months old and they look like what would be a newborn baby here," Workman said.

Every Thursday, Workman and some friends get together and pack the boxes.

The items are donated thanks to a non-return shipping label -- they would otherwise get destroyed.

It doesn't just end with the boxes.

The tissue paper shipped with the baby formula is made into bracelets that get sold at Revolution Ice Cream, with 100% of proceeds going back to the people who made them.

Workman and her husband have since taken trips to Haiti to see the impact for themselves.

"It's so wonderful to see now the progression of this project from where the mothers have now have actually not needed the formula completely because the babies are growing, the babies are being nourished," Workman said.

This isn't the end for Workman and her family.

She and her husband are working to open an ice cream shop in Haiti and allow Haitians to run it to give them another source of financial freedom.

The feat is big, but the message is simple.

"We want to take over the world with ice cream," Workman said.