Meijer Team Member with Autism Receives Hundreds of Birthday Wishes

In his almost 6 years as a team member at our Plainfield, Mich. store, Joseph Coy has made quite the impression on his customers and fellow team members. Coy, who has autism, works in the store greeting customers and gathering carts.

In September, Coy celebrated his 27th birthday and went home from work with numerous cards and gifts from his co-workers. Touched by this display, Coy’s father took to social media to share his appreciation. Shortly after, his phone began to buzz with seemingly nonstop alerts as members of the community chimed in to wish their favorite cart-gatherer a happy birthday and share how they always look forward to seeing Coy on their shopping trips. The post garnered more than 4,000 likes and hundreds of comments.

Coy said he was excited to see and hear so many birthday wishes and that the customers and team members are his favorite part of the job. He enjoys helping customers to their cars because they’re so friendly and because he loves getting to work outside.

Denita Stanford, Coy’s manager who recently joined the Plainfield store, was not surprised to hear that he received such an outpouring of support for his birthday.

“He’s a little bit of a celebrity here,” Stanford said. “I noticed right away how the customers would seek out Joseph just to say hello.”

Stanford also mentioned that Joseph really cares about people’s birthdays, making this display even more special.

“I recently transferred to this store and Joseph wanted to know everything about me, especially my birthday. He said he always remembers birthdays,” she said.

Coy originally joined the Meijer team in his hometown of Avon, Ohio through a high school work study program that aims to offer students the opportunity to gain real work experience before transitioning out of school.

Meijer was recently recognized by Coy’s home state of Ohio for the sixth straight year for its ongoing commitment to providing employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities through programs like the one that brought Coy to us.

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month and we are pleased to be able to recognize outstanding team members like Coy, who are making a big impact on our customers and communities.

Check out this article on Coy’s birthday story for more details.