PARK SLOPE – All Terri Zimmerman wanted for her husband’s birthday was a cake from Häagen-Dazs. For as long as she could remember, he’s gotten an ice cream cake from there every May 1st. She didn’t want this pandemic and his long hours working in the hospital to change that. And, thanks to a beautiful act of kindness, that was possible.
Dr. Mark Zimmerman is a pulmonologist working in the Intensive Care Units of Overlook, Morristown, and Chilton Hospitals in New Jersey. He is a frontline hero helping the fight against the coronavirus. Around May 1st, Zimmerman decided it was time to order her husband’s cake. But it turned out, all of the Häagen-Dazs locations in New Jersey were closed.
She went on the company’s website and found that the Park Slope location (located at 109 7th Avenue) was open. She called and asked if they would ship the ice cream cake she wanted with dry ice. They did not do that. She told the woman on the phone her husband’s story. The woman, 19-year-old Farrell Sefer, told her not to worry; she’d drive the cake to her on her own time because she appreciated the work her husband was doing.
“I was in complete disbelief, being that she did not know me or my husband,” Zimmerman told Bklyner. “I agreed, thinking I would give her a nice big tip.”
Then when Sefer took the order, she told her that the manager, Danny Lifavi, said the cake is on the shop as a thank you for her husband’s work.
Sefer has been working at the Park Slope Häagen-Dazs for four years, and is currently an undergraduate student at SUNY New Paltz. She told Bklyner that when she heard Zimmerman talk about her husband, she knew she wanted to give back. So she asked her manager if she could deliver to New Jersey, and he told her if she was going it on her own time, then that was fine. And so she did.
“I was with my mom; she didn’t want me to go alone,” Sefer said. “My first instinct was to deliver the cake because she didn’t want to leave her house. I am lucky enough to have a car. And I was like, ‘I’m going to drive there.'”
“It was just something that I could do for what’s going on right now,” Sefer said. “It was just an act of kindness for somebody who’s going through the worse of it. That’s just how my parents raised me; to do acts of kindness without thinking about it and going the extra mile for people.”
She wrote a note on the box for the Zimmerman’s and didn’t realize how much it would mean to them.
“I can’t express what this act of kindness and generosity means to me. Here I am just wanting to make my husband happy who has to work on his birthday, and who has been working such long and hard hours during this pandemic,” Zimmerman said. “I never thought it would turn into two unbelievable acts of kindness and generosity, well above the call of duty.”
“I want to say thank you to Farrell and Danny, and tell all of Park Slope that you are all very lucky to have this business as part of your neighborhood,” she continued. “Now please go support this neighborhood business and get some ice cream and also make yourselves a little happier in this very difficult period of time.”