The Hallsley neighborhood in Chesterfield County, Va. loves their UPS driver Anthony Gaskin, who has been delivering packages to their neighborhood for years, and in the process become a beloved household name. With the pandemic putting more demands on Gaskin as an essential worker, the community decided to host a surprise celebration to show him just how grateful they are for all that he does. (Gaskin declined to comment, and UPS has not yet responded to Yahoo Life’s request for comment.)
“We love him because he is always friendly and kind [and] he goes out of his way to get to know his customers and help in every way,” one of the organizers, who preferred not to be named, told Yahoo Life. “He provides great service and is a blessing to UPS and a reflection of their wonderful drivers who are all working so hard.”
On Dec. 15 dozens of cheering neighbors — many holding signs — lined up on the street to greet Gaskin at the time he usually arrives to make deliveries.
“He turned the corner and both sides of the street were lined with people standing by their cars,” the organizer said. “He was awestruck by definition, but because he is very humble he needed to soak it in that it was for him.”
The event culminated with the driver being greeted by his supervisor, who presented him with a framed photograph of Gaskin and his truck along with notes of thanks from members of the neighborhood.
“He takes time to stop and say hello,” wrote one neighbor. “He makes each of us feel like he knows us! Once my family was on a walk and one of our kids was out playing with friends. He actually stopped to say hello then asked where our other child was. Not every UPS guy knows your family well enough to know that someone is missing!”
Another neighbor wrote, “We were new here in a pandemic, we were very lonely and it was hard, but every day at 5 we would see the most cheerful man up our drive or we would yell and wave if he was at a neighbor’s. He has been here taking care of us through this entire difficult period. I will always remember him for lifting us during a difficult transition.”
The celebration for Gaskin was documented by photographer Lexi Hanrahan, who lives in the neighborhood.
“He always goes the extra mile,” she said of Gaskin. “He honestly probably doesn't even realize it because that's just who he is.”
“He has worked like it was the holiday season since March,” the organizer said of Gaskin. “COVID has increased online shopping to such a degree that he has had very long days, and has come for over 180 different days during a pandemic, putting himself out there on the front line, yet always smiling. He is a class act!”
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