Thursday, January 1, 2015

Grocery bagger's positive spirit lifts community

by Heather Whitley from USA Today and News 10 ABC:
Kevin Hawkins has been bagging groceries for the past 20 years. His boss says he has hardly missed a day of work and is always in a good mood. His personality is so infectious, customers often wait in line just so they can have Hawkins as their bagger.
Hawkins has Down syndrome and credits his dad for teaching him how to be a good employee.
"[My dad] told me to listen to everybody, I mean everybody. He taught me the right things," he says.
Hawkins' dad passed away about ten years ago. But ever since that day, he has worked hard to live a life his father would be proud of.
When he's not brightening spirits at the grocery checkout line, Hawkins can be found volunteering at the local police department alongside Officer Matt Barnes. Every Wednesday, Hawkins helps select which song they'll listen to before they start work. It's a weekly ritual they've been enjoying together for nearly two decades. Watch the video above to see Kevin moonwalk across the office while listening to Michael Jackson.
The two have formed close friendship that has helped fill the void left after Hawkins' father died.
"By having this type of relationship you form a pretty close bond and I have kind of taken Kevin as a family member. It's a special relationship," Barnes says.

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