A FedEx delivery man went above and beyond the line of duty when he found out a girl on his route was celebrating her 6th birthday in quarantine.
Jodan Price delivered packages to Liz Paternoster's house in Fishers, Indiana, on April 30 and discovered her daughter Emma was turning 6.
"It just stayed on my mind," Price told "Good Morning America." He remembered the birthday parties his two sons had at school with their friends at that age.
"She wasn't going to get any of that" because of quarantine and the coronavirus pandemic. So the FedEx driver of 36 years was determined to make her day special.
"I just thought it was so important that she have at least something for her birthday," the 61-year-old driver said.
I just thought it was so important that she have at least something for her birthday.
Price stopped on his lunch break to buy cupcake sundaes at Dairy Queen and surprised Emma's family with the gift at their doorstep.
"It was one of the first times I’ve ever done that. Something just came over me," he said of the gift.
The family was in disbelief by Price's act of kindness. He bought enough cupcakes for Emma, her 3-year-old sister Reagan and her parents.
He went out of his way and got these cupcakes because he felt so bad that my daughter couldn't be with her friends.
"We did not know him until that day, which makes it all the more special," Paternoster told "GMA." "He went out of his way and got these cupcakes because he felt so bad that my daughter couldn't be with her friends."
The mother was so touched by his gesture that she tweeted photos of Price, wearing a mask, on their doorstep, waving to Emma with the cupcakes in her hands.
The tweet read: "Ok @FedEx our driver deserves a bonus! He realized it was our daughter's birthday & went to @DairyQueen to get her ice cream cupcakes. He said "I just wanted to do this because if we weren't in this situation, she'd be celebrating with friends." I'm not crying. You're crying!"
This is my Dad!!!! 😭 https://t.co/q0GH9JF4yP— Austin Price (@ShotsUpPrice14) May 4, 2020
She hoped the photos would get FedEx's attention, but it went viral after one of Price's sons saw it and now has over 700,000 likes. Price had no idea about Paternoster's tweet until his son showed him.
"I don’t do social media, I was kind of amazed," he laughed.
Paternoster was shocked but has an idea of why the internet loved the interaction: “This just goes to show how important it is to be kind to one another."
The mom of two noted that because of social distancing, their interaction with the driver was "a tad awkward" only because they couldn't hug him, but they were able to find out Price's full name through tweet replies to make thank you cards and signs for him.
"The big hero, the angel is Mr. Price."
On Tuesday, Price stopped by to check in on the family and thank them for the tweet before diligently continuing his route.
UPDATE: Mr. Price stopped by and we got to thank him. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did. Our hearts are full and we feel so blessed to have the best @FedEx delivery man in the world! ❤️🤗❤️🙌 pic.twitter.com/JFw2s2Wfdt— Mrs. Paternoster (@Mrs_ConCon1787) May 5, 2020
Price has been working at FedEx for 36 years and says of the best parts of his job is "meeting all the people on my routes, watching them grow up."
"I felt really good about doing something. I always feel like the kids on whatever route I'm on are my kids," he told "GMA."
“They are working so hard to make sure people are getting what they need,” said the mom, adding that she hopes everyone follows Price's example, who is a "superstar in kindness." She and her daughters are continuing to make cards to hang on their doorway for "Mr. Price."
And despite the times of coronavirus and uncertainty, the FedEx driver promises his smile will never falter while he continues to deliver packages and joy on his neighborhood routes.
"I just hope people share kindness to anyone they see. When I go to a home, I never know what's going on so I just try to be an inspiration," he said.