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Children with Down syndrome sell ice cream. Exploitation or a noble initiative?

Children with Down syndrome sell ice cream. Exploitation or a noble initiative?

Image source: © Facebook, Special Neat Treats
Anna RusakAnna Rusak,27.06.2023 15:00

A father decided to help his children with Down syndrome, so he bought an ice cream truck for them to work in. What does he want to prove to other people and does this business really make sense?

Although Father's Day is well behind us, that doesn't mean we can't praise wonderful parents. One of them is Joe Wegener from Ohio.

The man decided to help his two adult children with Down syndrome find work. Rest assured, he did not send them out to pick strawberries at three in the morning (like some parents would do). Wegener had a much better idea.

He bought an ice cream truck for his children

Joe Wegener and his wife Freida are raising two adult children with Down syndrome - Josh and Mary Kate. When the girl graduated from a career programme designed for people with disabilities, she told her father she would like to work with him. This is how Special Neat Treats came about.

It's an ice cream truck that Joe bought to teach his children about finance. Josh and Mary Kate work in this mobile ice cream truck, learning not only the value of money but also social skills. By employing children with Down syndrome, the father also wanted to show that people with disabilities can actually do a lot of things and should not be restricted.

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They sell ice cream and give hope

Wondering how they are doing? In an interview with WLWT, Joe admitted that sales have exceeded his expectations. However, the project is not just about selling ice cream, but integrating the whole community. That's why his ice cream parlour travels all the time to reach as many people as possible.

Joe also said that during his journey he met many clients who were struggling with various limitations due to their condition. He believes that such an encounter with his children and their project can help them to move beyond the stereotypical perceptions of different illnesses or disabilities.

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"It’s much more than selling ice cream," Joe Wegener said. "It’s about an experience for everybody, but to give my kids something to do and show other parents maybe there is something creative, out of the box that we can come up for our family and for our kids to do."

"Almost every time I go out, I find a family with special needs or with some connection," Mr Wegener added. "It's just been an unbelievable journey."

The father plans to buy more ice cream trucks so that his project can reach as many places as possible. His work and the involvement of children with Down syndrome is very well received by internet users. They admire his commitment and say that he is an inspiration to them.

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Source: Daily Mail

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