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Small town throws party to thank only UPS driver for working through pandemic

Dauphin, Pennsylvania is a place that takes care of one another.

Only about 800 people live in the town that sits near the Susquehanna River, but it is a strong community.

Local resident Joe Calhoun spoke to TODAY about what makes his hometown so special.

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

A small town with a big heart

The small town doesn’t even have enough people to necessitate traffic lights.

There is only need for one UPS driver as well.

That man’s name is Chad Turns and he has been delivering packages in Dauphin for more than 10 years.

Through the years, Chad has shown he’s willing to go above and beyond to be a good neighbor on top of a reliable delivery person.

Dauphin, Pennsylvania appreciates Chad Turns

Local resident Jenny Shickley shared with TODAY just how special Chad is to his community.

“Everyone knows how special Chad is,” Shickley said. “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.”

There are numerous examples of Chad sacrificing his own time and convenience to ensure others got their packages when they needed them.

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

The pandemic makes things rough for Chad

The global pandemic has been difficult for everyone.

Some people have chosen to rise up against those challenges, however, and do whatever they can to help others. Chad Turns is one of those people.

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

The residents of Dauphin, Pennsylvania wanted to do something nice for Chad to show their appreciation. They wanted to make Chad feel happy and loved.

A special surprise is planned

Shickley set up a little “Thank you Chad” Facebook page and asked people to donate.

Originally, she had only hoped to raise about $300. Then that number creeped up to $500, and people kept contributing.

The total amount the town raised for Chad was over $1000.

It wasn’t just about the money, however. The town really wanted Chad to know how much they appreciate him.

Shickley arranged with Chad’s shift supervisor for his last stop that day to be an on-demand pickup at the town’s municipal building.

When Chad went to his final stop that day, nothing seemed out of the ordinary.

An emotional moment

As Chad pulled into the parking lot, he was greeted by a socially-distanced crowd clapping, cheering, and holding up signs. Chad was overwhelmed with emotion.

“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.”

Chad would later say that he had already felt appreciated by his community.

People would often offer him food or water along his route. What his fellow residents did for him on this day is something he will never forget, however.

“I cried,” he continued to say before adding his wife was emotional as well. “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.”

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