Cleveland and Detroit are separated by one of the Great Lakes – Lake Erie to be precise. But we're not really talking about separated cities here, we're talking about Bobby Cleveland Jr. and his Detroit friends and neighbors.
[Bobby] was thrilled beyond compare. He loved the gifts James brought him, and he couldn't believe his eyes." – Margo, UPS customer.
Bobby is a 6-year-old boy who lives in suburban Dearborn, Mich. He has cystic fibrosis. He can't come in contact with other people; only his parents.
Despite having limited access to the outside world, Bobby has a special connection with his UPS driver, James Cannon. The two friends do all their talking through the sunroom window of his parents' home.
Bobby's parents, Robert Sr. and Margo, receive multiple medical supply shipments each week to their home. During one of the many chats Bobby had with Cannon through the window, Bobby one day said, "We get all these boxes, but none of them are ever for me!"
The name on the label
That's when Cannon decided to step up and make a difference. The 15-year driver, along with UPS Cicotte Center Manager Esrom Shaw, coordinated a "special delivery" for Bobby and his parents.
"Everyone loves Bobby," Cannon says. "He's there at his window every day to greet me with a smile and a friendly 'hello.' He's a wonderful kid and he loves UPS."
Recently, one normal day quickly turned out to be one Bobby won't soon forget. This time, there were brown boxes addressed to him and him alone.
"He was thrilled beyond compare," says Margo. "He loved the gifts James brought him, and he couldn't believe his eyes."
Not exactly outside the box
Bobby received a UPS package car squeeze toy and a UPS airplane. He promptly dubbed his new package car toy "The Happy Honker Jr."
According to Margo, "Bobby's father refers to Cannon's real package car as 'The Happy Honker.' A play on how UPS drivers use their lights, horn, and signals to get people's attention.
"We couldn't be happier with James," she says. "He, like many other UPS drivers we've known over the years, is a class act with a kind heart. It says a lot about UPS and its people."
Thinking "outside the box" by, oddly enough, delivering a box, Cannon brightened Bobby Jr.'s sunroom on an otherwise cold and dreary Michigan day with a simple gesture of kindness and friendship.