Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Tuesday 21 September |
The Feast of Saint Matthew the Apostle
home iconInspiring Stories
line break icon

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

JOEL WEGENER

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.

Tags:
Down SyndromeFamilyWork

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
ANMOL RODRIGUEZ
Domitille Farret d'Astiès
Attacked with acid as a baby, Anmol Rodriguez overcomes and inspi...
2
ARGENTINE CHILDREN
Esteban Pittaro
Argentine “Mother Teresa” was a former model and actress who embr...
3
RESURRECTION
Philip Kosloski
Your body is not a “shell” for your spirit
4
Our Lady of La Salette
Philip Kosloski
How Our Lady of La Salette can give us hope in darkness
5
PIER GIORGIO FRASSATI
Cerith Gardiner
12 Habits of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati that every young adult...
6
Visalia CHURCH
J-P Mauro
The largest Catholic parish church in the US will soon be in Cali...
7
CHAPEL OUR LADY MIRACULOUS MEDAL
Zelda Caldwell
A pilgrimage to Paris’ Chapel of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.