There's a new social media campaign aimed at thanking those who put themselves at risk to make our stay-at-home lives much more tolerable and a lot safer.

By Kristi Pahr
April 30, 2020
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The social distancing and stay at home rules during the coronavirus pandemic have left many people wondering how to get their day-to-day necessities. Navigating grocery store crowds, who may or may not respect social distancing guidelines, adds an element of fear to an otherwise normal errand.

And delivery drivers are stepping up to the challenge to make sure everyone has the things they need during the pandemic. So the #ThanksForDelivering campaign, a joint initiative between UPS and The Martin Agency, aims to highlight those frontline workers who are going above and beyond to serve their communities. The campaign encourages people to show their delivery folks how grateful they really are and the response has been amazing.

Though the campaign was developed in part by UPS, the creators explained that it's not solely for UPS drivers. “#ThanksForDelivering was very carefully chosen because the idea here was that it’s more than just UPS. It’s intended to be anyone…whether that’s medical first responders, the people working in grocery stores that make it possible for people to stay home and eat, or other service providers who are working hard and taking risks," said Todd Wandtke, UPS VP of Digital Marketing, Advertising and Brand Management, in a statement.

Courtesy Dawn Buckley

Workers from industries like UPS, the United States Postal Service (USPS), and grocery delivery services have been hard at work, putting themselves at risk to provide for their communities, especially those at risk.

Marlana Dillashaw, a South Carolina-based Shipt driver says it's more than just a job for her. "Though I am a single mom, it is more than just a job to keep my family fed and a roof over their heads. I have the privilege of running healing hands through a very tight and confused community and somehow weave kindness and love into everyday grocery shopping," she explains. "It's so much bigger than me, my job is. I feel as though the universe knew I would need these folks to get through, also. They bring such healing and energy to me as well."

From a Nerf gun covered with thank-you notes from a grateful family left on the porch so she could blow off some steam with her own kids to a mission to find an older man toilet paper and eggs–"It was just eggs and toilet paper, for him it was a lifeline"–Dillashaw has had several memorable moments with her customers since stay-at-home orders began.

"I had a member ask if I could bring her a certain bottle of wine," she says. "In our state, we cannot deliver alcohol, and I told her so. Though sad, she was kind. My gut knew this was just a person seeking a quick fix while in quarantine. So after I delivered her order, I went back on my own time, with my own money, and bought her the wine. I left it on her step. She quickly texted the following, 'You will never know what this means to me. My husband died last year and today would've been our two year anniversary. Tonight, because of you, I get to toast him and us.'"

United States Postal Service (USPS) workers are also getting some well-deserved thanks during these dangerous times. Thirty-seven year USPS veteran, Tina Weber, has been working the same route for 18 years and says her customers feel like family. " I take care of them and they take care of me," says Weber. "It’s funny when kids see me from a distance with my mask on when they’re walking with their parents, they don’t recognize me. Parents have to let the kids know 'It’s Tina!' I keep waving to them and then they smile and wave back.”

Weber says she's been taking extra precautions since the pandemic started. "I’m being extra careful. Being the Safety Ambassador for my post office, I’m making sure that I’m being safe, my fellow employees are staying safe, and keeping the 6 feet distance while out," she explains. "I make sure we have the cleaning and disinfecting items to spray our vehicles each morning. We wear masks and gloves. We wash our hands and change our gloves often during the day. We’re being extra careful to follow the CDC guidance. Just doing the best we can do."

Her customers are helping care of her as well. "They’ve been very kind and helpful. They ask me how I’m doing and make sure I’m ok.  They keep their distance when we are in the same area.  They’ve done some really nice things," she adds. "Like leaving me a mask, hand sanitizer, thank you notes. I call some of my customers who I know are home alone to check on them. And it makes me feel so cared for when they ask me how I’m doing."

Mom of four Dawn Buckley made a care package for the mail carrier in her neighborhood in St. Louis, Missouri with her kids, leaving a note, home-sewn mask, and gloves in the mailbox for him to pick up on his normal mail route. The note said, "Dear Mailman, thank you for all you do for our family. We hope you stay as safe as possible."

People taking care of people, especially those who are at-risk and those who are putting themselves at risk is what will get us through this in one piece. Be kind and remember to tell your drivers #ThanksForDelivering!

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