A Pennsylvania town showed one man just how much he’s appreciated.

Everyone wants to feel seen and appreciated in life. Knowing and feeling your purpose can be essential to our overall well-being and our mental health, which is why it’s so important to show people that you appreciate them and care.

One small town in Pennsylvania did exactly that one year when they saw just how hard their local UPS driver was working for them and how he went above and beyond to ensure they had the best experience possible.

An Exemplary Employee

surprise for UPS driver

Dauphin, Pennsylvania, is the type of town you might picture in a Hallmark Christmas movie. There are no traffic lights, and everyone looks out for one another. As of 2021, the population was less than 800 people, making it a tight-knit community.

“Blink and you’ll miss it,” resident Joe Calhoun told Today. “But there is something so special here. It’s a small town with a big heart.”

UPS driver Chad Turns doesn’t live in Dauphin, but the town is part of his delivery route. Over the years, the driver has endeared himself to the residents with his thoughtfulness and kindness. He carries dog treats for the local pups, for example.

“The whole town has had personal experience with Chad,” Adam Shickley told CNN about Turns. “He once thought a package was a gift, and there was a picture on the front. My kids were playing outside, so he waited until his shift was done and came back to make sure they didn’t see it.”

“On Facebook, another friend mentioned there was a package that needed signing and they weren’t home,” Jenny Shickley added to Today. “Chad was nervous that it was important, so he went to their parents’ house to get it signed for them.”

Rough Times for Drivers

UPS driver crying

In 2020, when the pandemic hit, and stay-at-home orders were in place, Turns was still out there making his deliveries. In fact, because so many people were ordering things to their homes, he was busier than ever. That didn’t stop his sunny disposition, but it did make his job a lot harder.

The residents noticed and began commenting on how great Turns was doing on the town’s Facebook page.

“He’s been working 60-80 hour weeks for a year,” Jenny Shickley told Today. “He’s been working Christmas-style hours for 365 days.”

Eventually, Shickley was inspired to do something to show Turns how much he meant to all of them. So she organized a “Thank You, Chad” event through social media and rallied everyone to contribute to a group gift.

“The funny thing is I meant to set it up for $300, but it set to $500,” she shared. “It hit $500 within two days, and the total wound up being a little over $1,000.”

An Epic Surprise

Organizers worked with UPS dispatch to surprise Turns. One day, the company arranged for Turns’ last stop to be an on-demand pickup at the municipal building. The driver thought he was heading out to pick up a box, but when he arrived, community members were standing there holding signs.

“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 was truly amazing to me.”

Turns added that he always feels the town’s generosity and noted people often offer him water or cookies as he goes about his route. But this particular act of kindness was a true gift that made him tear up.

“I cried,” he said, adding that his wife also teared up. “I always call her when I leave work, and she asks me how my day was. It was a tearjerker. It was very touching and humbling.”

“Chad is a great UPSer and has been delivering to Dauphin residents for more than a decade,” UPS spokesperson Jackie Fajt told CNN in a statement. “Celebrations like this really highlight the bond our drivers have with their customer base. We appreciate that UPS drivers like Chad are being recognized for how they are moving our world forward.”

Spreading Kindness

So often, we forget about the people in our lives who help make our daily routines easier. The people who make our coffee at the drive-through. Those who deliver our parcels or pick up our trash. The teachers who help to educate our children.

This story reminds us that by taking time to thank people, even through small gestures, we can help to make them feel seen and appreciated. Whether that’s offering someone a glass of water, giving them a thank you card, or organizing something bigger, like this town did, every action matters.

After all, acts of kindness can make the world a happier place for us all.