Developmental Services of Franklin County (DSFC) recently presented a Tin Man award to St. Clair McDonald’s and one of the restaurant’s customers who advocated for an individual with a disability working in the community.

In early March, an employee with a disability clocked out and sat in the play area to wait for his ride.

During that time, he was confronted and insulted by a customer without provocation.

Janet Stuesse, a customer, stood up to the man and defended the employee.

“He is like family to us, and I like him being around my kids,” Stuesse said.

She had gotten to know the employee over time, as a group of moms get together weekly to let their kids play.

The man continued to be rude, but then left.

Stuesse then went over to console the employee, which was witnessed by the other customers.

Her actions were shared on Facebook, on a page called “People Making St. Clair Succeed.”

More than 250 co-workers, family, community members, and others commented in support of the employee, his kindness and great work ethic.

Developmental Services of Franklin County thanked McDonald’s staff and Stuesse for intervening on their employee’s behalf.

“Because of your advocacy and example to your community, others will hopefully be willing to do the same,” said Dennis Kramme, Developmental Services of Franklin County, Inc. grants and special events coordinator.

DSFC also thanked McDonald’s for being a model employer in the community and working with those who may need some extra consideration while learning their job.

“It shows that we all have something to offer when given the opportunity,” Kramme said.