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Ohio father buys an ICE CREAM truck to create jobs for his two adult children with Down syndrome

A sweet doll! Ohio dad buys an ICE CREAM truck to create jobs for his two adult children with Down syndrome

  • Loveland’s Joe Wegener worried about employment for his two adult children with Down syndrome
  • He bought an ice cream truck from another special needs family in nearby Indiana
  • He operates the truck — which his wife Freida named Special Neat Treats — with his son Josh, 18, and daughter Mary Kate, 21.
  • Joe said he teaches his kids about finances and builds their social skills
  • It also shows the community how much people with different skills can do


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An Ohio father concerned about employment opportunities for his two adult children with Down syndrome took it upon himself to buy an ice cream truck so they could sell sweet treats.

Loveland’s Joe Wegener now operates the truck – which was dubbed Special treats by his wife Freida – with his son Josh, 18, and daughter Mary Kate, 21.

In addition to keeping his children employed, the pursuit allows them to learn about finance, build their social skills, and also show the community just how much people with different skills can do.

We scream!  An Ohio father worried about employment for his two adult children with Down syndrome bought an ice cream truck so they could sell sweets

We scream! An Ohio father worried about the employment opportunities for his two adult children with Down syndrome bought an ice cream truck so they could sell sweets

Sweet!  Joe Wegener now operates the truck — which his wife Freida named Special Neat Treats — with his son Josh, 18, and daughter Mary Kate, 21.

Sweet!  Joe Wegener now operates the truck — which his wife Freida named Special Neat Treats — with his son Josh, 18, and daughter Mary Kate, 21.

Sweet! Joe Wegener now operates the truck — which his wife Freida named Special Neat Treats — with his son Josh, 18, and daughter Mary Kate, 21.

Josh and Mary Kate are two of the ten children, and Joel and Freida wanted to teach them the same skills as their other children.

Mary Kate had recently completed a career program for people with disabilities and had expressed a desire to work with her father – so Josh devised a way to get her and her brother involved.

They found another special needs family in nearby Indiana that sold an ice cream truck and bought it for themselves.

In April, they were open for business, driving around Cincinnati and holding events.

Joel told WLWT that sales have “exceeded expectations,” with the SpongeBob popsicle in particular being their most popular offering.

But in addition to teaching the kids how to manage money and get a job, Joel said it’s also a great opportunity to interact with the community.

They found another special needs family in nearby Indiana that sold an ice cream truck and bought it for themselves

They found another special needs family in nearby Indiana that sold an ice cream truck and bought it for themselves

In April, they were open for business, driving around Cincinnati and holding events.

In April, they were open for business, driving around Cincinnati and holding events.

On the road: They found another special needs family in nearby Indiana that sold an ice cream truck and bought it for themselves. In April they were open for business

Pleasure!  The pursuit allows them to learn about finance, build their social skills and also show the community how much people with different skills can do

Pleasure!  The pursuit allows them to learn about finance, build their social skills and also show the community how much people with different skills can do

Pleasure! The pursuit allows them to learn about finance, build their social skills and also show the community how much people with different skills can do

“Almost every time I go out, I find a family with special needs or with a connection,” he said. “It’s just been an incredible journey.”

“It’s much more than selling ice cream,” he said. “It’s going to be an experience for everyone, but to give my kids something to do and show other parents that there might be something creative, out of the box that we can come up with for our family and for our kids to to do.’

“We come in daily contact with people who care so much about special needs, or who have their own story and to be able to sit in this truck, look out the window and see children come screaming and parents bringing their child,” he says. added to WXIX.

“Almost every time I go out, I find a family with special needs or with a connection,” he said. “It’s just been an incredible journey.”

Next, Joel hopes to buy more trucks and hire other people with different skills.

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