White Dog and The White Dog Army
Wonderful World Wednesday
White Dog and the White Dog Army know the importance of believing in yourself when it comes to creating a wonderful world. To have the unshakable confidence and faith in yourself needed to make a dream come true is difficult for most but it is a necessary ingredient if you are to change the world...or yourself.
This is our Michael’s final semester in the Transition Program in the public school system. In May he will graduate; he knows he is faced with more decisions than he has ever had to make in his life. And while we are advisers and will help, the decisions must be his. Michael is well aware of the incredible low percentage of people with autism who are ever given opportunities in the workplace; he knows that he fights fear and stereotyping just walking into a job interview. Although help and advocacy exist, they are not always available and do little to ease the social aspects. Is college a path he should try? Again, he knows his limitations in reading and math, but loves working with computers. How does he even think about college when he fears his math skills will block him from his interests? But if he set his mind to it?
This is a time of questioning and doubt on Michael’s part. The White Dog Army constantly tell him to listen to his heart and a path will be found if he works and believes hard enough. But he doubts and in those moments he defeats himself.
When we saw the story about Tim Harris, we knew we had to share. Not only is this young man from our own backyard; he exudes a confidence that all of us, not just Michael, could take a lesson from…BELIEVE!
Tim’s Place: The Restaurant that Serves Breakfast with a Side of Hugs
Tim Harris, a young man with Down's syndrome, hasn't let his disability stop him from opening a restaurant in New Mexico.
By Kathryn Hawkins. Posted on April 05 2013 Gimundo.com Good news…served daily
Tim’s Place, a restaurant in Albuquerque, New Mexico, serves up traditional diner favorites such as blueberry pancakes, bacon ‘n eggs, and cheeseburgers—all with a side of hugs.
Dubbed the “world’s friendliest restaurant,” Tim’s Place has served more than 32,400 hugs to hungry customers. The restaurant’s owner, Tim Harris, has made it his mission to hug every visitor who comes in.
Harris, who has Down’s syndrome, has never let his disability get in his way. Since age 14, he’s vowed to own a restaurant. He worked as a restaurant host in high school, and then graduated from Eastern New Mexico University with certificates in Food Service and Office Skills. After that, with his family’s help and support, Harris’ childhood dream became a reality.
Alongside the Mexican and traditional American staples, Tim’s Place’s menu offers “calorie-free” and “guilt-free” hugs, guaranteed to “improve your lease on life.”
“I love giving all the customers a hug because I want them to feel comfortable and connected and being around friends,” Harris told Albuquerque The Magazine.
Customers seem to love it too: Many of the regulars have been going every week ever since the restaurant opened.
To his family’s knowledge, Harris is the only restauranteur in the United States with Down’s syndrome. But they’re hoping he won’t be the last. Harris wants to help show other people with disabilities what’s possible.