Mississippi Mud: A flavor that unites a community during disaster

When a catastrophe hit the Mississippi River in 1933, the Quad Cities suffered great loss to their community. With extensive damage to the area, the community came together to help those in need during this tragic event. 


Whitey’s Ice Cream shop has been a part of the Quad Cities community since 1933. With locations in Moline, Rock Island, and Davenport, people from all around come to eat the delicious flavors it has to offer. Becoming a true fan favorite in the community, Whitey’s strives to create and sustain an endless bond by caring for the needs of the Quad City area.           

Whitey’s decided to take action during The Great Flood of 1933 to help ease the burden of damages that were created by making a new ice cream flavor and donating the proceeds to the Red Cross.

Aptly named, the “Mississippi Mud” ice cream flavor was born: a coffee flavored ice cream base swirled with Oreo cookies and a fudge rumble. Even in the midst of disaster, people came together for something good that ultimately benefitted those affected by a disaster.

Decades later in 2019, when the Mississippi River flooded the Quad Cities area again, the Mississippi Mud ice cream fundraiser was back in full force. With endless damages to the city of Davenport, Whitey’s and the Red Cross were able to support those in need.

“Being able to have something that everyone can get behind while enjoying a dip of ice cream is a good thing,” Annika Tunberg, vice president of Whitey’s Ice Cream said. “It’s just a way that people can do something or feel connected to the situation and give back even in the slightest way.”

The Red Cross is grateful to Whitey’s for uniting the community and contributing to disaster relief. When disasters hit the area, it is so powerful to see the help that comes and the impactful way people want to help. And Whitey’s provides another opportunity to help in times of need.

“Being a part of this fundraiser has been so special, it has given both of us the opportunity to help the community in a creative way,” said Trish Burnett, Executive Director of the American Red Cross Serving the Quad Cities and West Central Illinois.

This fundraiser raised awareness and money for the American Red Cross while allowing the public to get behind something greater. 

“Over a few weeks’ time we were able to donate all profits from the sale of the flavor to the Red Cross,” Tunberg said, “We were able to raise $45,000.”

As the amazing relationship between The Red Cross and Whitey’s Ice Cream continues, so will the Mississippi Mud flavor. This fundraiser has made such a positive impact on the Quad Cities community and will continue for disaster relief when needed. Though this is a fundraiser for disasters and those in need, it will continue to be a way for the community to come together as one. Read more about the flavor’s origins here.

Written by Communications Intern Julie Piz

We’re Opening Shelters Due to Local Flooding

You might have thought this weekend’s storm story would be about Ike. Turns out, lots of local folks are being flooded out of their homes as steady, heavy rains douse Chicagoland. As of this afternoon, the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago has opened two shelters to help people displaced by local floods. These shelters are available to anyone who has been displaced by the flooding are are located at: the DesPlaines Park District, 515 E. Thacker and St. Stevens Lutheran Church, 14700 S. Kildare in Midlothian.

We’re mobilizing our local mass care volunteers–the people who know how logistics work in a Red Cross shelter. They’re going to feed people. They’re going to set up cots and blankets. These volunteers will be ready with comfort kits (a toothbrush, soap and other little things that help people feel better during a tough time). People who stay at the shelter will get hot coffee and filling food and a safe place to spend the night. When the flooding subsides and they can return home, the Red Cross will make sure they know how to clean up their homes safely.


For free guides on how to clean up safely after a flood, visit the Greater Chicago Red Cross web site.

It’s Easy to Help Victims Affected by Recent Flooding

It is great to hear that many of the local Red Cross chapters across the country are helping their fellow Americans by traveling to volunteer in the areas affected by the recent floods. Due to the current disasters, The Red Cross expects to be spending $15 million in damage. This will be the biggest flooding operation the Red Cross has aided with in 15 years. While not all of us can pick up and go to help the victims in the Midwest, there are many other ways you can provide much needed assistance to those devastated by the floods.

The Disaster Relief Fund is a great way to help those whose lives have been forever altered. Donating to this fund will enable the Red Cross to provide shelter, food, counseling, and other assistance to victims of disaster. You can have your donation go to a certain disaster, you just have to specify at the time of your donation where you want it to go.

The devastating impact may spread to more than 500,000 people in Wisconsin and Iowa down the river. I cannot believe that we are still only two weeks into hurricane season and this much damage has already been done. The Red Cross is continuing to help the victims whose lives have been forever changed because of the floods. Please take the necessary precautions to protect your families and loved ones before a disaster strikes. You can check out the RedCross.org for more tips on how to get yourself ready!