Cream King Mondays benefits local charity

Did you know that every Monday at Hopewell’s infamous ice cream spot, Cream King, donates 20 percent of its proceeds and all tips to a local non-profit organization?

Well, if you haven’t noticed, Cream King Mondays is one of the steps that owner of Cream King Phil Volpe is taking to help his employees – who are mostly high school students – gain a sense of giving back to their local communities.

“It’s good to teach the kids who work for you to give back to the community,” he said. “After spending time working for a non-profit, you’ve seen the change in the last 45 years, and people’s donations have been lower. It’s gotten much more difficult to raise money as a result of the whole economic meltdown, so it’s good to teach these kids about the entire economy and the non-profit sector.”

Volpe started Cream King Mondays four and a half years ago, and hosts these charitable days every Monday from Memorial Day until Labor Day.

On July 23, Cream King Monday helped assist the Trenton-based non-profit organization Catholic Charities, Diocese of Trenton on its mission to help families in Mercer, Monmouth, Burlington and Ocean counties, with all aspects of their lives, including addiction, domestic violence and homelessness.

“Catholic Charities does great work all over New Jersey, so I’m very happy to have them on the list,” Volpe said.

Catholic Charities, Diocese of Trenton is a private, non-profit organization that deals with 54 different programs throughout all of Central New Jersey and Mercer County, and serves anyone in need regardless of their religious background, according to Communications Manager Lisa Thibault.

“We provide everything from basic needs to very specialized behavioral counseling, addiction treatment, domestic violence treatment and prevention, sheltering for domestic violence victims and children, and things like that,” she said.

Although the charity is named Catholic Charities, Thibault described how its mission is merely tied into the idea behind religion, which is why they don’t neglect people of other religions who need support.

She also explained how the organization has changed names numerous times since its inception in 1872 as St. Michael’s Orphanage, and how it reached its name of Catholic Charities, Diocese of Trenton.

“The president of the board of trustees is the Diocese of Trenton, and our mission is tied to the gospel mandate to help others,” Thibault said.

Since Volpe is well aware of Catholic Charities, Diocese of Trenton’s mission and services, he used the organization as a beneficiary last summer as well.

“Less than 10 percent of Catholic Charities’ income goes to overhead, while 90 percent goes right into the hands of the people that need it,” Thibault said. “The organization is very fiscally lean.”

Although nearly every program that Catholic Charities, Diocese of Trenton deals with is in need of assistance, Thibault explained how the proceeds from Cream King Monday fundraiser are going to benefit the Emergency & Community Services program in Mercer County, since it is in great need.

“It serves everyone in Mercer County,” she said. “This program provides vulnerable families and individuals with food, clothing, assistance with back rent/utilities, and linkage to other resources for employment and housing.”

Since the summer is a particularly tough time for families in need because children aren’t in school, Thibault explained how Catholic Charities, Diocese of Trenton is genuinely thankful for the fundraiser at Cream King, as well as Volpe’s creation of Cream King Mondays.

“It’s really nice of them to do this, and we really appreciate it,” she said.