Anthony Gaskins, a UPS driver in Chesterfield County, Virginia, is a hero to the people on his route. That’s why neighbors in the Hallsely neighborhood recently came together to cheer on the essential worker. He’s made all the difference to them, as have drivers all across America!

According to WTVR, the neighbors are calling him “Santa in a different suit.”

The driver’s efforts haven’t gone unnoticed. Instead, his daily deliveries have been a highlight for people like Patty Friedman. In fact, she had been carefully keeping count of how many times he delivered packages.

From WTVR Richmond:

“Through COVID, Anthony has continued working, delivering packages at our doors, record numbers of them, over 180 times to date,” Hallsley neighbor Patty Friedman wrote in an email. “I wanted to thank him personally for how much he helped me feel welcome when I moved in during a pandemic. It was terribly lonely, and he was always the highlight of my day. Mentioning this to a few people and the response I got was all I needed to know I was not alone.”

Hundreds Line Up to Cheer the UPS driver

Friedman and her neighbors decided they wanted to show their support for Gaskins. So, on Tuesday, December 15, hundreds of people lined up on the street. Each person carried a handmade sign expressing thanks to the reliable driver.

The crowd lined the streets in more than 75 cars, waiting for him to appear on his route. When they spotted him, they started to cheer.

“A humble man, he needed to be coaxed, but eventually, slowly drove his truck down the road while children and adults held up signs, screamed his name, honked their horns, and rang bells,” wrote Friedman.

UPS driver Anthony Gaskins
Hundreds of people line the street to show support for UPS driver Anthony Gaskins, via YouTube/@Lexihanrahanphotography

As a big bonus, Gaskin’s supervisors were also waiting with a surprise gift.

Neighbors expressed their deep gratitude for their neighborhood UPS driver. In response, he was moved to tears. After he thanked them all, he got right back to work. 

Related: Artists Create HOPE Quilt to Comfort Frontline Workers, Honor Victims of COVID-19

Neighbors Express Support

Comment show just how much they all appreciated their UPS driver. All through the pandemic, the tireless driver arrived with essential packages. As he did, he made a huge impact, connecting and supporting families while they must remain apart.

“Anthony always delivers our packages with a wave and a smile,” one appreciative neighbor wrote about the UPS driver. “Sometimes, he is the only outside face we see during the day. We appreciate his hard work and dedication during the pandemic, which delivered food, supplies, and even holiday gifts to a high-risk family.”

UPS driver Anthony Gaskins
UPS driver Anthony Gaskins moved to tears by support from neighbors. Images via YouTube/@Lexihanrahanphotography

Brightening the day

“Anthony always smiles, waves, and goes above and beyond to deliver packages with care,” another neighbor wrote.

“He makes you feel like a friend when you see him. [Anthony] brightens our day whenever he drops off a package, which is frequently at our house! He stands out from ALL other delivery drivers, and we love him! Cheers to Anthony!”

Related: Artists Across the Country Share ‘Rock Art’ to Help Get Through Pandemic

UPS driver Anthony Gaskins
UPS driver Anthony Gaskins presented with gifts by his supervisors, Image via YouTube/@Lexihanrahanphotography

Keeping families connected

“Thank you, Anthony, for all you do,” a third neighbor added. “My six-year-old daughter hasn’t seen either set of grandparents in over a year. This has been very hard on everyone. Many of the packages you deliver are from them. The joy the packages bring makes it worthwhile. Thank you for always delivering them with a kind smile and a friendly wave!”

See more in the wonderful video from WTVR CBS6 below:

Delivering Vaccines and Hope

Today, UPS drivers are delivering life-saving coronavirus vaccines. For example, 37-year UPS veteran Todd Elble said he was making the most important delivery of a lifetime to the Louisville, KY area on December 20. 

Unfortunately, Elble’s father Paul died of COVID-19 at age 78 in November. Now, the UPS driver honors his father’s memory by helping save others.

From WDRB:

“When I was asked to do this, I couldn’t think of a better honor to do for my father than to do this today,” Elble said. “… I felt dad was in the truck with me today.” 

Today, UPS drivers like Gaskins and Elble are delivering hope for millions around the country. 

Meanwhile, in Indiana, UPS package handler Demeatres Ralston has been unloading boxes of vaccines going to area nursing homes.

“I’ve seen billions of packages every day, (and) we don’t see things like this,” said Ralston, who started working at UPS in 1994. “To be a part of this, to help in any way we can, is a privilege.” 

These two men delivered the first shipments of the Moderna vaccine. They both said it was an honor. In their 50+ and 30+ year careers at UPS, they said they’ve never seen anything like this.

— Katrina Helmer (@KatrinaWDRB) December 20, 2020

A big thank you to all the frontline workers delivering mail, packages, groceries, and so much more to Americans throughout the pandemic. We appreciate all you do, and you are truly heroes!

Featured image via YouTube/ CBS News/@Lexihanrahanphotography