If you ask 5-year-old James Walker, he is a UPS driver. He has a uniform and now, his very own shiny, tiny UPS truck.
His mother, Lauren Walker, said James and the driver on their route, Kellie Martin, have formed an undeniable bond.
“She never ever makes it to the door. He greets her in the driveway,” Lauren Walker told ABC News. “We live in a rural area so he hears her truck coming, and he’s waving at her in the drive waiting to greet her at the door to her truck every time.”
The friendship started about a year ago and has grown with every package delivered to the Walkers’ Forest City, North Carolina, home, she said. Now, her son insists he’s going to be a UPS driver when he grows up so can “travel the world delivering packages.”
“James wanted to be Santa Claus,” Lauren Walker said. “He didn’t decide he wanted to be a UPS driver until March of this past year when he apparently, in his head, decided he couldn’t be Santa until his hair turned gray. And if he’s a UPS driver, he gets to see Kellie multiple times a year, and Santa you only see once.”
She said the minute she told Martin about James’ dreams to be a driver when he grew up, “Kellie just became super intentional about helping us foster that dream. She was so good about pushing and encouraging that dream.”
Martin submitted James for UPS’s Wishes Delivered campaign, which delivers mini-UPS trucks to deserving children and organizations around the world, as a surprise for his fifth birthday.
“Best truck ever. It has headlights!” James Walker told ABC News.
His mom said that “he has put a million miles” on the truck since he received it.
“I can’t tell you how many times I have pushed the little truck back home because it has run out of battery,” Walker said with a laugh. “He delivers packages all day.”
Martin said pulling up to the boy’s home is “like Christmas every day to see his face light up.”
“He just blesses my heart when I pull up into that yard,” she said. “There’s a lot of long, tough days, but you run across someone like James and you realize this why you do what you do.”
“He’s so in love with the truck and the job, I’m just along for the ride,” Martin added. “I’m just the driver that’s fortunate enough to be on the route that James lives on. Like I always say — I’m just driving the truck until James can come along and take my job.”