5-year-old's birthday wish to become a Target employee for the day comes true

Posted at 3:25 PM, Aug 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-17 15:25:23-04

Most 5-year-olds love dinosaurs, cartoons and playing sports. Cooper Rickman loves Target.

"Literally the third word he ever said was 'Target,'" his mom, Hannah Rickman, told "GMA."


Cooper and his brother, Cayden, usually accompany their mom on Target runs about twice a week.

"It's his favorite place," said Rickman.

So when Cooper's fifth birthday rolled around, there was only one place the tyke wanted to celebrate.

"He said, 'I just want to work at Target. I don't want any toys. I just want to be there,'" Rickman said.


So Rickman made sure her son's fifth birthday would be a bull's-eye. She reached out to her local store in Rossford, Ohio, with Cooper's birthday wish. They were "thrilled" to help out with his request.

"They opened their doors for us to do a photo shoot there" and then some, said Rickman.

When Cooper arrived with his family on his birthday, Aug. 5, the employees greeted him with smiles, a name tag and a walkie talkie.


"He said he felt like a million bucks," his mother said. "He was so excited."


The employees pulled out all the stops for Cooper -- even decorating a special area of the store in honor of his big day, called "Cooper's Corner," complete with a bull's-eye cake.

They gave Cooper a tour of the store as he scanned products, played with toys and radioed messages to his fellow coworkers.

His family accompanied him on his adventure with custom T-shirts to celebrate, adorned with phrases like "Target is my spirit animal" and "Target made me do it."


At the end of Cooper's "shift," he used his employee discount to pick out some toys for himself.

"We just hope that someone gets as much happiness out of our story as Cooper did. He really did have a wonderful time," Rickman said.

It sounds like Cooper's birthday definitely hit the target.