Dauphin, Pennsylvania is a small town of around 800 residents. It’s the kind of small town where you have zero traffic lights, and 100 percent of your fellow citizens know your name and your business. But it’s also the kind of small community that celebrates together when times are good and pulls together when times are bad . . . or when someone special needs a little recognition.

No one knows this better than Chad Turns. He doesn’t live in Dauphin, but he is the town’s sole UPS delivery driver. All of Dauphin knows him, and he them. This past year, like most Americans, Dauphinites (Dauphines? What are you guys called? LOL!) responded to the pandemic by staying home more and ordering online more.

For their UPS driver, it meant his workload close to doubled nearly overnight—and never let up.

The extra workload didn’t deter Chad Turns from giving town residents the excellent customer service that is his trademark. And after months of seeing him go the extra mile (sometimes literally), those residents put a plan in action to honor him.

“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.”

Shickley says she’s not the only one to experience the benefits of Turns’ kindness and excellent work ethic. So, with the support of other residents, she set up a Facebook page to organize a gift fundraiser for everyone’s friendly UPS man. 

Her fellow townspeople’s giving soon surpassed her expectations, reaching over $1000 when she had originally hoped for just $300.

With the help of a Dauphin resident who is also a UPS dispatcher, the town was able to surprise Chad with his gift in person. The dispatcher “arranged for Chad’s last stop to be an on-demand pickup at the municipal building. Chad thought he was going to pick up a box, [but] it was the community and kids and big signs,” says Shickley.

Instead of a box, Turns was met by a masked and socially distant crowd of grateful residents. The display and gesture, Turns says, moved him to tears.

“It was very overwhelming,” Turns said. “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.”

In a time when we are bombarded by difficult news, it’s stories like this that keep me going! What a beautiful display of thoughtfulness and appreciation for this unsung hero! The relationship between this town and their UPS driver is an example the stuff that makes life beautiful—even when the going gets tough.

Jenny Rapson

Jenny Rapson is a follower of Christ, a wife and mom of three from Ohio and a freelance writer and editor. You can find her at her blog, Mommin' It Up, or follow her on Twitter.