For people who live alone in remote areas, a visit from a delivery person might be the only social interaction they have all day. This is a fact that UPS driver Todd Holland understands better than most people.
On a recent work day on his Ashe County, North Carolina route, Todd stopped by the home of an elderly customer with whom he always exchanged pleasantries. He’d dropped off a package for the man on Friday, and the following Tuesday he brought by another delivery.
But when Todd got to the man’s house, it seemed that there was no one home. Even more troubling was the fact that Friday’s package was still sitting on the man’s front porch, untouched. Alarm bells started going off in Todd’s head as he realized that something terrible might have happened to his friend.
Following what he calls a “gut reaction,” Todd began pounding on the man’s door and calling his name. He used his mobile phone to call the man’s number, but there was no answer.
“I started beating on the door, hollering his name, calling the house again,” Todd said. “I tried the door and it was unlocked, so I opened the door and stuck my head in. That’s when I saw him, laying in the floor.”
Todd immediately called 911 and sat with the man until paramedics arrived. After the customer was taken to the hospital, Todd went a step further to help him by making sure his house and dog were taken care of.
The customer is still in the hospital in fair condition, and Todd will continue to check on him and all of the other vulnerable people he meets along his route. He hopes that other delivery people will hear this story and remember to follow their own instincts too.
“I made it a point to tell the guys at work this morning, if you deliver to people – and a lot of people that we deliver to, especially in these rural areas, us, the FedEx man and the mail man might be the only people they see during the week. I told them, if you realize and get a gut feeling that something is wrong, check it out. It probably is.”
This is great advice for all of us, not just delivery personnel. Let’s all make an effort to look in on our elderly family members and neighbors to make sure they’re okay. You never know when doing so could save someone’s life!
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