Man with Down syndrome honored for working 27 years at McDonald’s
The Majic Message
People with Down syndrome contribute a lot to our society. They are caring, compassionate and very sweet. In our minds, they are angels on earth that love doing the same things as anyone else. Because they are just like anyone else, only a little more kind. One thing that gets overlooked, is their ability to contribute in the job market. They are fantastic workers that add value in anything they do. Just look at Chris Campbell – Chris is celebrating 27 beautiful years working for the same McDonalds. On March 15th, they honored Chris for several hours and highlighted Campbell’s lengthy employment. People with Down syndrome have so many amazing abilities, but perhaps one of their greatest strengths is something that’s hard to come by – loyalty. Enjoy he story.
Thursday March 21st marks World Down Syndrome Day, but several days earlier in a Georgia McDonald’s, a smaller celebration was raising awareness about the abilities of a long-time employee who has Down syndrome.
On March 15, Chris Campbell celebrated the beginning of his 27th year of employment at the fast-food restaurant, surrounded by his crew members, friends and family. The celebration lasted several hours and highlighted Campbell’s lengthy employment, a McDonald’s spokesperson told USA TODAY on Wednesday.
Dozens of people attended and Campbell was presented with both a trophy and certificate in honor of the occasion. The McDonald’s location also donated a portion of its earnings during the celebration to a Down syndrome charity, the spokesperson said.
Among those in attendance was Sheryl Arno, executive director of the Down Syndrome Association of Atlanta. She told USA TODAY that Campbell’s achievement is especially notable because of past cultural attitudes toward people with Down syndrome.
Nearly three decades ago, “it was pretty unheard of” for a person with Down syndrome to have a job. Many people with Down syndrome faced institutional life, she said.
But Barbara Campbell, Chris’ mother, told local TV station WXIA that her son has enjoyed working at the restaurant and he has found a support team on the job.
The celebration came about after the McDonald’s location changed ownership, and the new operator was impressed with Chris’ story, Arno said. Not knowing if Chris would choose to retire before another landmark anniversary, the owner decided to act now.
The National Down Syndrome Society says that while many people with Down syndrome are able and willing to work, they are often not given the opportunity.
“The key to successful employment is to match individuals with Down syndrome with needed skills, tasks and workplace culture – just like any other employment match,” the organization writes in an online presentation. “Like in any population, job seekers with Down syndrome have a range of abilities and personalities.”
Thursday’s celebration of World Down Syndrome Day marks the eighth year the awareness day has been recognized by the United Nations, the campaign’s website says.
The day aims to globally “raise awareness of what Down syndrome is, what it means to have Down syndrome, and how people with Down syndrome play a vital role in our lives and communities.”
By USA Today