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Inspiring Stories
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Meet the father giving his kids with Down syndrome a great start in life


Special Neat Treats | Facebook | Fair Use

Cerith Gardiner - published on 07/29/21

The devoted dad of 10 is giving his children some serious life skills.

When Joel Wegener’s daughter Mary Kate told him that her dream was to work with him, the devoted dad of 10 did his best to make it happen. With his two adult children who have Down syndrome, Wegener founded “Special Neat Treats” in the spring of 2021.

The siblings and their dad are doing the rounds of their neighborhood bringing much-needed cheer and ice cream to their community. And in fact, the desserts are such a success the family have sold nearly 5,000 ice cream treats to date.

While the ice cream van is bringing in money, it’s so much more than a money-making venture:

“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,” shared Wegener in an interview as reported by the Le Jeune Foundation.

And their efforts are far-reaching. Not only are they giving their community a chance to lend their support, the Wegeners are also inspiring other families in their community who may be facing similar challenges with their children.

For Josh and Mary-Kate, they’re delighted to work alongside their dad. He’s taught them the essentials of customer service, as well as giving them the opportunity to gain some independence in the comfort of a family business.

The family is now looking to expand the business by adding more trucks to their fleet, and spreading even more awareness and delicious sweet treats.

Down SyndromeFamilyWork
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