Who wouldn't think it would be a hoot to have a job working for your Dad's ice cream truck? The perks are bound to include free treats. But for one Ohio family, that job opportunity represents much more than a good time!
Joel Wegener, a retired science teacher, dreamed up a plan to provide gainful, meaningful employment for his two kids, and they all got much more than they imagined.
61-year-old Joel and his wife Freida are parents to ten kids. Two of those ten are Mary, 21, and Josh, 18. Mary and Josh both have Down Syndrome, so Joel set about finding something for Mary to do when she is no longer eligible to attend public schools, typically until a student turns 22.
With $6,000, Joel purchased an old ice cream truck he located online. He took it for basic repairs and gave it a catchy name. And with that, dad’s ice cream truck opened the business in time for warm weather.
Dad’s Ice Cream Truck Is A Hit
Since Joel and Freida bought the truck from another special needs family, they decided to name their ice cream business "Special Neat Treats."
Special Neat Treats sold nearly 5,000 creamy, cold sweets to residents of their hometown of Loveland! The enterprise is doing so well, they are considering expanding to the Cincinnati area and purchasing a fleet of trucks. Holy cow! That's a booming business!
It's not just the financial success of the truck that makes Joel happy. On the contrary, he is thrilled to see that both Mary and Josh are learning and practicing skills through their work. They interact with customers, smiling and communicating. And, they love the work and working with their dad. Both agreed, "Our dad is the best dad ever and we love to sell ice cream with him."
The publicity that Special Neat Treats has received has allowed the family to make connections with other parents of kids with special needs. Joel hopes their journey will inspire others to "find new and inventive ways to support their children."
Joel may be retired, but he is obviously a dad and a community member who cares deeply about helping young people achieve all that they can. Loveland's gotta love that!
"Teach them his decrees and instructions, and show them the way they are to live and how they are to behave." Exodus 18:20
WATCH: Dad’s Ice Cream Truck Touches The Community
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Featured Image Credit: Facebook/Special Neat Treats