Jericho teen gets special delivery from UPS

Published: Oct. 30, 2020 at 2:27 PM EDT
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JERICHO, Vt. (WCAX) - When a UPS delivery person found out that a teen in Jericho has been dressing as a UPS driver for Halloween, he wanted to make sure he had the right gear to complete the package.

Of all the places for a revelation, Kipp Youngman’s came driving a UPS truck. But when you think about it, being in that small space for thousands of hours during a 28-year career gives someone plenty of time to think. “It’s just an extension of my life. It’s not even a job. It never has been,” Youngman said. But he hasn’t had to go it alone during that time. He’s developed relationships with complete strangers. “This day and age, we’re at the same people’s house three or four times a week.”

One of those houses is where 14-year-old Max Finn lives. Finn is autistic and rarely speaks. Even getting him to smile on camera is pretty hard. “When Max was first diagnosed, we were pretty sad, because we didn’t know what it meant. We were worried about loss of potential and things he wouldn’t be able to do in life. And then we realized how much we’ve gained in our life from him, because he makes us more attuned and attentive to other people that we never recognized before,” said Wendy Radcliff, Finn’s mom.

Like Youngman, two things Finn loves are routines and big trucks, so you can imagine how he feels when Youngman comes around for that late afternoon delivery. “Max’s room is on the front of the house and so we can hear the truck coming up the road,” Radcliff said.

“Wendy usually greets me at the door and Max is not too far behind,” Youngman said.

For several Halloweens now, Finn has dressed up as a UPS driver. Like many who have autism, comfort is a big issue for him, so his mom makes his costumes. When Youngman heard about this, he wanted to find a way to get Finn his own UPS uniform. “He wants to be a UPS man, so I mean, wow, why not just encourage him,” Youngman said.

It’s against company policy for UPS employees to give uniforms to non-UPS employees, but that didn’t stop Youngman from trying to make Finn’s day. He brought other swag straight from headquarters including a UPS vest, winter hat and gloves, and his very own truck.

Even the most expensive packages Youngman has delivered in nearly three decades never received such a priceless reaction, including that rare smile. “What Kipp has done for me is kind of renew that belief that there are small acts of kindness that people can do that really make a difference,” Radcliff said. “His kindness and his thoughtfulness for my son means a lot to me and my family.”

“Everybody has a purpose. Max has a purpose. Everybody has a purpose, and I guess I’m finding out my purpose right now looking at you, which I’ve been wondering for a while,” Youngman said.

Forget special delivery, as far as Kipp Youngman’s concerned, this was a divine delivery.

Radcliff credits Max’s team at Camel’s Hump Middle School and the Howard Center with Max’s development. Youngman has worked at three different UPS centers in Vermont out of the six in the state. He’s currently based in Williston.

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