Throughout the pandemic, package delivery services such as UPS, FedEx and USPS have been working harder than ever before. Many people have turned to online ordering and delivery as their preferred method of shopping for virtually everything. Some thankful shoppers have found ways to show their gratitude for the hardworking delivery drivers, such as leaving snacks by the front door. However, not many customers know their identities.
Nothing could be further from the truth for the residents of one small town in southeast-central Pennsylvania. Dauphin, Pennsylvania, is a cozy little town along the Susquehanna River with fewer than 1,000 residents and zero stoplights. Citizens of Dauphin will tell you it’s a small town with a big heart. It’s safe to say that everybody in Dauphin knows everybody else, which even holds true for their sole UPS driver.
For more than 10 years, Chad Turns has been delivering packages for UPS to Dauphin residents. Turns is well-known and appreciated by the community.
“Everyone knows how special Chad is,” resident Jenny Shickley told Today. “If he thinks something might be a gift — and this happened to us — he literally didn’t deliver it when the kids were in the yard, he just drove by, and then he drove all the way back to our house after dark, because he was nervous it was a gift and didn’t want to ruin it for the kids.”
Another time, Turns had a package that required signing, but the recipient wasn’t at home.
“Chad was nervous that it was important,” Shickley shared with Today, “So he went to their parents’ house to get it signed for them.”
Throughout the pandemic, Turns has put in 60 to 80 hours every week, ensuring the families on his route receive their packages. However, his kind and thoughtful nature never changed. He’s even known for giving biscuits to the dogs along his path.
Moved to show Turns how much his customers appreciate him, Shickley and others started a “Thank You, Chad!” event on Facebook, intending to get everyone together for a big group gift.
Here’s a post from organizer Jenny Rebekah on her personal page, soliciting donations for the delivery driver.
The group quickly met and exceeded its fundraising goal, raising more than $1,000. Then, they planned to surprise their favorite driver.
With help from neighbor Adam Kerr, a UPS shift supervisor, the group set up the event. As Turns pulled his big brown truck into the parking lot of a government office building where he thought he was picking up a delivery, masked, socially distanced residents met the driver with cheers, balloons, cards, gifts and $1,000.
As you can see in this video from the Facebook event page, Turns was deeply touched by the show of affection.
“It was very overwhelming,” Turns told Today. “The idea that they even thought of me to do anything … to go above and beyond and do what they did yesterday was truly amazing to me.”
The residents on his route believed the gesture to be well-deserved.
“We just think his caring and compassionate attitude is something we wanted to reward,” Shickley told ABC News 27. “He’s one in a million.”
This story originally appeared on Simplemost. Checkout Simplemost for additional stories.