Chick-fil-A store opens on Sunday so boy with special needs can fulfill his birthday wish

Hope Schreiber
Elijah Sprague celebrated his birthday on Sunday by running the drive-thru at his favorite Chick-fil-A. (Photo: Rene Sprague)
Elijah Sprague celebrated his birthday on Sunday by running the drive-thru at his favorite Chick-fil-A. (Photo: Rene Sprague)

A 14-year-old boy who has autism got to celebrate his birthday by fulfilling one of his wishes at an Alabama Chick-fil-A.

One store in Mobile, Ala., opened its doors on Sunday, when Chick-fil-A is typically closed, for Elijah Sprague so he could help run the drive-thru.

Walt Gilstrap, the manager of the restaurant and Elijah’s uncle, along with the owner, Mr. Glen, let Elijah run the drive-thru window where he passed out cookies to about 40 cars. The participants then went inside the Chick-fil-A to finish celebrating Elijah’s day with a festive cookie cake, Mobile, Ala., news station WKRG reported.

The way people love this kid amazes me. It has truly changed the way I live my life. Loving people with your whole heart, [judgments] aside and with no anticipation of rewards. Thank you to every single person that loves our Elijah,” Rene Sprague, Elijah’s mother, wrote on Facebook.

But this isn’t Elijah’s first drive-thru window experience.

Two years ago, the young man celebrated his 12th birthday by running the drive-thru window at his local pharmacy. “It was his dream come true!” Rene Sprague wrote at the time. She did not immediately respond to Yahoo Lifestyle’s requests for comment.

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Chick-fil-A is known for closing its doors on Sunday so employees can rest and worship, an idea the founder S. Truett Cathy first established in 1946, but the restaurant has opened its doors for special occasions before.

In September 2018, following Hurricane Florence, a Chick-fil-A outside Raleigh, N.C., prepared and donated 500 sandwiches and 1,200 nuggets to rescue teams from five states and evacuees at three local shelters.

In 2016, following the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Fla., that left 49 people dead and 53 others wounded, employees at a Chick-fil-A donated food to first responders at the club and those donating blood to victims.

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