Surrounded by his entire team of coworkers, a young man named Derrick Taylor nervously waited to find out why he’d been called outside. All eyes were on Taylor as James Ward, Operations Clerk at the Oxford, Alabama UPS Customer Center began to address the crowd in a loud, commanding voice.
“I want to call Mr. Derrick Taylor out here,” Ward began. “Come on out here and talk to me for a sec.”
Taylor was accustomed to waking before dawn, readying himself for another day of hard work and sacrifice to provide for his family. Every morning, he walked miles to his UPS center job, and every month, his paycheck went to taking care of his parents and siblings.
Taylor didn’t have a car, and everyone at work knew it. What Taylor didn’t know was that his coworkers united and found a way to gift their hardworking cohort his very own set of wheels.
“This is a hard-working young man,” Ward declared, in front of everybody. “This young man wants to work so bad that he walks to work, and he lives way down in the southwest county.”
To the crowd’s delight, Ward lifted a set of keys out of his pocket and gave them to the unsuspecting Taylor. His coworkers had purchased a used Jeep Cherokee for the young man, given the Jeep a little tune-up, and joyfully watched as Taylor’s face became overwhelmed with emotion as he processed what was happening.
One of Taylor’s co-workers, Allie Steen, recorded the special moment and posted it online. “At UPS we take care of our own,” Steen wrote. “Derrick walked to work everyday rain or shine because he didn’t have a car.”
“We all pitched in and took care of him. I’m so proud to be a part of the group,” Steen continued. “Thanks to all the employees that contributed including management.”
Taylor could barely speak as he thanked everybody for their amazing generosity. He admitted that the gift was going to change his family’s life.
“Everyday I came here folks asked me was I able to get a car, have I saved enough money to get a car,” Taylor explained. “But I take care of a lot at my house.”
The moment was emotional for everybody. “Of course I got emotional,” Ward expressed. “Because to see someone happy, to see that you’re doing something for someone to make them happy, makes me feel good.”
“I really don’t feel like I deserve it, but a lot of people say I do,” Taylor said, whose hard work clearly had not gone unnoticed.
“I’m more than thankful and appreciative for what my co-workers have done for me,” he expressed. “They all are a blessing and I’ll never be able to thank them enough. I’ll never forget it!”