STERLING, Pa (WNEP) — A young boy from Wayne County with Down syndrome got a special surprise for his birthday this year.
Some kids want a dinosaur theme or a superhero theme for their birthday party, but Jake Hart wanted to keep it simple, with an Arby’s theme.
He had no idea that the restaurant that serves his favorite roast beef sandwich would go above and beyond to make his birthday wish come true.
Jake, age 12, from Sterling, is obsessed with Arby’s.
“It’s always two, sometimes three, regular roast beef sandwiches with Sprite. That’s it. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. When he sees an Arby’s, that’s where we’re going,” said Jake’s mother Kimberly.
When Kimberly, was planning his birthday party, she called Arby’s to ask if she could buy some cups.
“She called me back a few days later and said, ‘could you come in Saturday at 11? We have something a little special for him that we’d like to do,’ and when we walked in, it was mind-blowing.”
The restaurant planned Jake a surprise birthday party, complete with balloons, cake, and of course, roast beef sandwiches.
“Happy as could be, just laughing. The employees all sang Happy Birthday to him and he just kept yelling, ‘that’s me! that’s me!’ every time they were singing to him. He was hugging everybody when we left.”
Jake even got to be an honorary employee and make milkshakes in the kitchen.
“There’s no words to explain what they have done for him in making his day,” Kimberly said.
Jake’s day wasn’t the only one made. The Arby’s employees say they had just as much fun as Jake did
“It was exciting,” said general manager Paula Plisko. “Jake was so wonderful. He’s a great kid. I loved meeting him.”
“It’s not every day that you get to make a difference in somebody’s life. It’s very rewarding, not only for them but for us as well,” said Penny Barker, Arby’s area supervisor.
The company’s corporate office even sent an Arby’s swag basket to Jake’s home.
“You hear so many bad things going on in the world, and you don’t see things like this every day, where people really just go out of their way to just make someone feel better,” Kimberly added.
Jake was so excited about his new title as honorary employee that he ditched his original plan of dressing up as a Steelers football player for Halloween and instead wore his Arby’s uniform to school. His mom says they’ve been to the Arby’s in Scranton three times since his birthday party last weekend.
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