By Pat

Meet my son Christopher:

There are many things in life 34 year old Christopher enjoys. His family and friends, movies, music, and playing games on his PS3 are probably high on his list. I think he has every “Guitar Hero” and “Rock Band” game ever made. But keeping busy and having a full calendar makes Christopher truly happy. He lives from one special recreation event to the next and works an 8 hour shift, 3 days a week. Christopher has been working since he was 16 and has been at his current job at WeatherTech for almost 6 years. WeatherTech are the folks who make those incredible car floor liners. Christopher takes his job very seriously and is proud of the work he does; he has several duties there but primarily packages part kits.

This is the story of how two important pieces of Christopher’s world collided, work and recreation. Last summer Christopher qualified to compete in the downstate Illinois Special Olympics for powerlifting. Anyone familiar with Special Olympics knows this three day event is a big deal. So Christopher requested the time off from work with his supervisor Ken. After the event, Ken sent me an email asking how he did in his competition. I told him he had received two silver medals and one gold medal for his division. Ken quickly responded and asked if he could share this with the rest of the staff. Of course I said yes and in fact I would have him bring in his medals the following day. When my husband picked Christopher up from work he noticed he was wearing his medals. He asked “Dude, have you been wearing these all day?” He said “No, just since 1:00.” His dad asked “what happened at 1:00?” Christopher casually said “the party.” We had come to find out that Ken had orchestrated a celebration for Christopher’s accomplishment. As Christopher put it, they “had 3 huge cakes and everybody was there, office staff-production-maintenance-transportation department. Everybody!” As a parent I am comforted to know that Christopher is supported by his “work family” and treated as a true team member.

Ann Garcia

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