Monday, February 11 marks John’s 23rd birthday. If you know John, you know he loves celebrating his birthday. One day is not enough, so he celebrates all month: a bowling party yesterday, an office party today, a family party tonight, and still to come are a second family party with his brothers and then a sleep over with Andrew and Liam.
John is my son, my buddy, my partner and my inspiration. He is the co-founder and Chief Happiness Officer of John’s Crazy Socks. He sets the tone and direction for our business. He leads a life full of gratitude and doing for others and that makes for a full life. He is the perfect leader for an organization with a mission to spread happiness.
He takes seriously his role of leader and loves standing up for people with Down syndrome and all people with differing abilities. As he likes to say, “I have Down syndrome, but Down syndrome never holds me back.” Indeed, John lives a fully engaged life and demonstrates every day what a person with differing abilities can do. He testified before Congress, stood at midcourt of Madison Square Garden and made national television appearances all with the poise and style, yet his greatest impact may come from the simple and loving way he leads his life from day to day. I watch John and know to never underestimate him or anyone else with differing abilities.
John loves his job and his business. He's the hardest working person in the company and thrives on working. He makes videos, writes notes, gives tours, responds to Facebook and Instagram comments, does interviews, designs socks (and now greeting cards), pulls sock orders, makes home deliveries, gives speeches and more. He puts in long hours, travels often, works sometimes seven days a week and always has a smile. If you meet him, he will shake your hand, thank you, and give you his business card. He will give you a hug as he’s always quick with a hug. And if you want a photo, he’s always ready with a smile.
Come to our office and you will see that John is always making sure that his colleagues are okay and thanks people for the work they do. When the County Executive gave John a proclamation, John immediately turned around and gave it to his fellow Sock Wranglers and told them they made it possible.
John loves competing in the Special Olympics and because the Special Olympics means so much to him, he is always giving back to the Special Olympics. Just watch his zeal in doing a polar plunge to raise donations for the Special Olympics.
If you know John, you know he lives to make other people happy. Together, we cooked up some birthday specials to make people happy:
I am a fortunate man. I have three sons and watching them come into adulthood and find their paths has been the most rewarding part of my life. To share the journey of building this business with John has given me joy beyond words. Many of you have shared that journey with us. I hope you’ve enjoyed the ride. And wait until we see what the future brings.
John and I thank you. You have made this possible. Your support allows us to create jobs, to give back and to show what's possible. Without you, there is no John's Crazy Socks.
Join me in celebrating John's birthday. He turns 23 today and says he's just getting started. And for a birthday gift, let us give to you, let us say thank you and pass on a smile from John. Let us spread some happiness.