It's easier than ever now to order your essentials right to your front door, but they don't arrive there all on their own. The increase in online shopping means that more delivery drivers are in our neighborhoods, working hard to bring us our packages.
It's not uncommon for residents to form friendships with the local delivery people, which is what happened in Roswell, Georgia.
Dallen Harrell knew his route well
A young UPS driver named Dallen Harrell was plenty familiar with his delivery route in Roswell, Georgia.
One week he noticed a home that he sometimes delivered to had put up a new sign on their lawn. The oversized stork-themed sign announced the birth of the family's son for neighbors to see.
He was delivering formula to a house with a new baby
A few weeks later, Harrell found himself holding a package of baby formula addressed to the home with the newborn baby. He delivered the parcel as he usually would but it's what he did next that surprised the homeowners.
The family's doorbell camera captured the moment in a recording that would eventually get shared online and go viral.
The delivery driver left an encouraging message
Harrell— a new parent himself at the time— was working his UPS job to earn some extra income over the holiday season. After setting the package of baby formula down, the young man paused for a moment and looked into the Google Nest doorbell camera.
His message was unexpected but encouraging.
He's a new father himself
Harrell says to the camera, "If this is the 'It's a Boy' house... I hope all is going well with your newborn."
He then tells the family, "I had a child at around the same time you guys did, and I just hope everything is going good. God bless and happy holidays."
Jessica Kitchel was home recovering from her C-section
The message was short, sweet, and to the point, but it was enough to get the attention of Jessica Kitchel, the homeowner, and new mom. Kitchel was actually home at the time recovering from delivering her son Chancy via Caesarean section a few weeks before.
She received an alert on her phone about the new doorbell video and found herself overwhelmed with emotion as she watched the 26-second clip.
She shared the doorbell video on her Instagram
Kitchel was so moved by the heartwarming gesture that she decided to share the clip recorded by her doorbell camera on Instagram with a message.
In the caption, she explained that she didn't end up getting the delivery driver's name but is hopeful that he'll return so she can give him a thank-you gift of diapers for his own baby.
UPS saw the video and reached out
The new mom had no idea that the clip shared on her social media would go viral online. It wasn't long before she was contacted by various news outlets looking for a comment.
The door-cam video had been viewed nearly 100K times within the first week and even ended up gaining the attention of UPS. A representative from the company contacted Kitchel to put her in touch with a local office.
Kitchel and Harrell were put in contact over the phone
A local UPS representative in the Roswell area got in touch with Kitchel to connect her with the man from the video: Dallen Harrell.
Less than three days after Harrell had dropped the package of formula off, he was on the phone with the Kitchel family having an actual conversation. The new mom was able to formally thank the young dad and delivery driver for his gesture.
Harrell spoke about his own family
Harrell explained to the family that he had simply wanted to extend a little kindness to a family that he recognized was in a similar phase of life as his own.
He also offered some backstory on his own family, explaining that he had just welcomed his son, Deveraux, with his fiancee, Taqueria Robinson-Davidson.
The two arranged to meet in person
Wanting to return Harrell's kindness, Kitchel prepared a care package for Devereaux complete with diapers, wipes, and a plush giraffe.
Less than a week after the original delivery, the UPS driver returned to the house that Kitchel shares with her husband Mack to meet the whole family in person for the first time.
Commenters from around the world were moved by the gesture
Since the original doorbell video was uploaded, people around the world have commented to share how they were moved by the story and inspired to help.
Kitchel noticed an abundance of comments on her social media that were asking for information to send Harrell a gift to support his newborn baby.
Kitchel shared Harrell's baby registry online and the gifts started arriving
In response to the comments looking to help the young father, Kitchel used her Instagram page to share a link to Harrell and his fiancée's baby registries at Target and Buy Buy Baby.
People online saw an opportunity to help and they acted on it. Donations from strangers helped the young couple nearly clear their entire list of much-needed baby essentials.
Up to 15 packages a day were arriving at Harrell's house
Since Kitchel shared the baby registries online, Harrell has been steadily receiving multiple packages a day at his own home, sometimes as many as 15!
The packages contain various baby supplies, toys, and diapers, all sent by strangers who were inspired by the original video message captured on Kitchel's door-cam.
Total strangers were sending generous donations
He told Kitchel that the gifts had been "coming in abundance—mostly from strangers." But the presents are more than welcomed by the young father who works multiple jobs to provide for his family.
Harrell and Kitchel have since become good friends and plan to meet each other's entire families in the near future, mostly to introduce their baby boys.
Kitchel was motivated to share the video because she was so stunned by the kindness
Explaining why she was motivated to share the video online, Kitchel told The Washington Post, "I was just so blown away by the fact... that he took the time to stop and do it, and more so that he was so observant that he remembered this was the 'It's a Boy' house with the stork."
His small gesture ended up making a big difference.
Kindness is contagious
The entire experience has been an example of how people's kindness can become contagious and change lives.
"It's free and available, and we can all do this" Kitchel said to The Washington Post. It's clear that Harrell's life has been permanently impacted by his decision to leave a few words of encouragement on a stranger's doorbell camera.
UPS offered Harrell a full-time job
UPS offered Harrell a permanent, full-time job as a driver with his own route— a far cry from the seasonal position he was hired for.
Harrell accepted the promotion and has since voiced his surprise at the way that everything has unfolded following that fateful delivery. He's well aware of the "blessings" he has experienced as a result of the encounter.
People were moved by the story
Among the thousands of comments, people thanked the mom for sharing her encounter with Harrell and also praised their display of mutual kindness. It's clear that most people can agree that kindness will always pay off in the long run.
Even after the buzz on the story started to die down, people continued to comment asking where they could donate to Harrell's family.
The "pay it forward" system works
Other commenters were emotional over the friendly exchange.
They agreed that Harrell deserved all the blessings that were coming his way as a result of the viral doorbell video.
Being kind goes a long way
It's evident that Harrell is the kind of person who always chooses kindness, regardless of which camera or person is watching.
It's something we can all try and do a bit better!