Young boy gets surprise early birthday visit from UPS

Suzette Lowe
Special to Jackson Newspapers
Jon Long, Sadie Long, Michelle Long, Sawyer Long, Dave Redmon and Travis Owens celebrate the almost 4-year-old’s birthday.

The highlight of Sawyer Long’s day is when he sees the UPS truck come down his driveway. Little does he know that deliveries to Sawyer’s home are the highlight of the UPS driver’s day too.

The little boy, who will turn 4 on May 20, had no idea that the truck coming down the drive on May 6 was full of early birthday presents, all with a UPS theme.

As the truck backed down towards his house, Sawyer came running outside followed by his parents Jon and Michelle and 6-year-old sister Sadie. He wanted to get to the truck so he could do his favorite thing, sit in the driver’s seat and honk the horn.

Sawyer and his friend Travis both enjoy the driver’s seat of the big UPS truck.

Travis Owens, the UPS driver on the route that takes him to Sherman, said that seeing Sawyer run towards him was a normal sight.

“Every time I’m here, he comes out to meet me,” he said with a smile. “Or maybe he’s just coming out to see the truck.”

Sawyer’s mom said her son has always been fascinated by trucks, but about eight months ago something changed.

“He became obsessed with the UPS truck,” she said. “We got him a uniform that he loves to wear. When it came time for his birthday, I asked him what he wanted the theme to be. He said ‘UPS, mom, duh’. I didn’t realize it would be so hard to come up with decorations and gifts.”

When he learned of the upcoming birthday, Owens approached his boss, Dave Redmon, about the possibility of surprising young Sawyer.

Redmon, business manager of the Parkersburg Center, did not hesitate.

“I started finding all kinds of stuff we could take him,” he said. “We went a step further though. We also got things that his sister and parents could enjoy too.”

For Sawyer, the best part of the day was not the cake, the backpacks, T-shirts, lanterns or even the tent with the UPS logo. It was the small boxes he would see as he opened the bigger packages.

“Oh, there’s another box,” he said excitedly as he looked through all the unwrapped items.

Sawyer enjoyed the bounty he received for his birthday from UPS.

Owens understood his young friend.

“It’s all about the boxes for a UPS loving kid,” he said. “I think of myself at his age. My dad was a truckdriver and I was fascinated. I just looked at things through Sawyer’s eyes and knew he’d be so excited by all of this.”

Sawyer was particularly happy with two of the items he found in the smaller boxes.

“Oh, it’s an airplane,” he said. “And that’s the truck with all the trailers.”

Sawyer’s parents were very grateful that Owens and Redmon took the time to make their son’s birthday a memorable one.

“We can’t thank you enough,” Michelle Long said. “Every time the dog barks, Sawyer runs to the window to see if it’s the UPS truck. You’ve made this so special for him.”

Jon Long had nothing but praise for UPS.

“I don’t know how you all screen your drivers,” he said. “But every single one of them has always been so good to him and all of us. You’re a class act.”

Owens said his job is all about the customers.

Sawyer waves good-bye to his favorite UPS truck.

“I like my job a lot,” he said. “But when you get to meet someone like Sawyer and his family, it makes it even better.”

For Sawyer, the very best part of the day was getting to do his favorite thing.

He joined his friend, the UPS driver, in the truck and honked the horn.