Igniting a change: Bryan Co. man with autism opens firewood business

Stephen Anderson is hoping to sell plenty of wood & change the stigma around autism
Published: Nov. 7, 2023 at 10:30 AM EST|Updated: Nov. 7, 2023 at 5:59 PM EST
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BRYAN COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - A new business is taking Bryan County by storm, “Stephen’s Firewood Shed,” and so is the young man behind it.

“Well, I can’t wait to meet him and of course I’m going to go by and see him,” said customer Freida Spivy.

That man, “my name is Stephen Anderson.”

And Stephen has been putting the work in.

“Your job is to stack the firewood back there. He bags all the firewood, and he comes out here and he sells it,” says Stephen’s mom Tara Anderson.

The new business has certainly kept him busy but it’s a job he seems to have a burning passion for.

“Every time a customer comes up, he lights up and pounces out of the house and comes here,” Tara says.

Customers like Freida.

“I stopped by because my daughter, lives in Alabama, her son has autism.”

Austim, just like Stephen.

“It’s important because they want to be accepted just like everybody else. They may not respond like everybody, they may not have great vocabulary, but it’s important they’re accepted like everyone else,” Tara says.

And if you’ve ever met Stephen, it’s doesn’t take long to realize if anything we could all stand to be a bit more like him.

“Anyone who has ever come in contact with him, you know, they just love him. They’ve always loved him. He’s always happy, he’s happy 24-7,” said Tara.

Stephen’s Firewood Shed giving him a chance to show the world what he’s capable of.

“I pick the firewood up with my muscles,” Stephen says showing off his bicep.

And send everyone home with something sure to warm them up, joy.

“It makes me smile!” Stephen says.

If you’d like to follow along with Stephen’s journey you can follow their page ‘Stephen’s Firewood Shed’ on Facebook.

They are open 24-7 located at 1475 Eldora Rd, Ellabell, GA.