Photo of What's the Scoop? courtesy Facebook
Earlier this morning, N. Williams ice cream shop What's the Scoop? received a deluge of sometimes "threatening" messages after word spread on social media (and one virulently anti-abortion blog) about its fundraising ice cream flavor for Planned Parenthood. The recurring fundraiser — during which Scoop? donates 10 percent of proceeds to a rotating organization, plus 50 percent of proceeds if a collaborative ice cream flavor is involved — happened yesterday, with the shop offering scoops of its special "Rose City Revolution" flavor, featuring honey vanilla ice cream and rose petals.
But the online backlash extended through the evening and into this morning, and Scoop? owner Jodie Ostrovsky admits that "we're still wrapping our minds around the reactions... It was the second fundraiser we have done with Planned Parenthood, the first one went off without any reactions or comments."
Ostrovsky says the shop has received threatening phone calls in response to the fundraiser, including "very disturbing" messages left on the store's voicemail. Anti-abortion activists also directed messages toward the shop on Facebook and Twitter. But she stands firm: "Planned Parenthood is an amazing organization that does so much to help women have access to affordable healthcare," she says. "The fact that some people only focus on what is such an infinitesimal part of the service they provide is confusing to me."
But Ostrovsky says recent attention to the threats and social media onslaught has shifted responses. "Conversely, we have received a wonderful outpouring of support from our ice cream community as well as the general public. I get a little nervous when the phone rings, but the last few calls have been very positive and the tide on Facebook is beginning to shift." What's the Scoop?'s next charity event benefits Cystic Fibrosis, and Ostrovsky says there's no plan to extend the Planned Parenthood benefit in response to the outpouring of support. But "wouldn't it be wonderful if the little publicity we received over this helped them raise more money next year?"