Friday 30 September 2016

McDonald's throws party for Down's syndrome worker retiring after 32 years

Freia David is a popular member of staff at the fast food restaurant where she has worked for 32 years

Justin Carissimo

Published 01/09/2016 | 07:19

Freia David
Freia David

Freia David has worked the fries at McDonald’s for 32 years and celebrated the end of her three-decade-long career with her colleagues on Monday.

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Ms Davis, who has Down syndrome, was joined by friends and regular customers at the massive party.

“It was nice, I’m really happy,” she told CBS Boston. “I like all my friends here.”

She began her career at McDonald's in 1984 through a programme that placed adults with cognitive disabilities in community jobs.

While two of her peers didn't complete the six-month training course, Ms David soon became a mainstay of the restaurant.

Her coworkers said that she would always greet children in the lobby and meet all of her peers with hugs.

“When she sees any kids in the lobby, she started making fries and comes out and says ‘Hi sweetie,’ Rony Sandoval, the restaurant’s manager, told CBS. “She’s a lovely, lovely girl.”

Ms Davis lives at the Charles River Center in Needham, a nonprofit agency that helps nearly 1,000 adults and children with developmental disabilities. McDonald's was one of the first business partners of the agency that provides housing and helps people find jobs.

Anne-Marie Bajwa, the centre’s operating officer, said that Ms Davis is very friendly and loves dancing.

“People with disabilities can be integrated in the community and learn new skills and learn new interests so that they can give back to the community and contribute,” she told the network.

Ms Davis told WBZ-TV that while she’s going to miss working, she’s looking forward to "relaxing and taking care of herself."

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