GREENWOOD, Mo. — The UPS slogan was once “What Can Brown Do For You?” But over the past week, the family of 53-year-old Rob Long has been finding out what the community can do for a UPS driver.
Nikki Cross is used to seeing Long in the truck next to her every morning at UPS’s Lenexa hub.
“He’s just friendly, always waving, always smiling, always happy,” Cross said.
But for the past three months, Long has been out of work and in treatment for the CADM form of Interstitial Lung Disease.
“His lungs are essentially shrinking, so there’s not a lot of capacity to breathe,” his wife Jacque Long said.
With the family making regular trips to Denver to try to slow the potentially deadly scarring, Cross decided to start a GoFundMe page for Rob the UPS Driver. But more surprising than donors more than doubling their $5,000 fundraising goal in just a matter of days, were the messages of support.
“I was sitting in my truck crying reading these posts that other people had written,” Cross said.
Heather McCarty owns a Greenwood business where Long delivers regularly.
“It’s pretty amazing to see someone come every day who has such a huge smile on his face, who really enjoys his job and takes the time to get to know every single person by name, our kids names, about our dogs, our personal lives. He was just really invested in every family that he came across,” McCarty said.
So this past weekend she decided to host a lemonade stand at her home and invited people to sign the UPS shaped logo with messages for their delivery driver. They sold $1,000 worth of lemonade in the tiny community in one afternoon.
“I told someone his smile is so infectious I feel like it’s spread through our community,” McCarty said.
“It just keeps coming, and we are humbled by all the support and love that we’ve gotten,” Long said.
All for the driver who some may see as just the man delivering packages, but for others whose mere presence is a gift all its own.
“It’s just how one person who smiles and waves at you can make a difference. It is very heart warming,” Cross said.