FOREST CITY, N.C. — If you ask 5-year-old James Walker, he is a UPS driver. He has a uniform and now, his very own shiny, tiny UPS truck.
His mother, Lauren Walker, said James and the driver on their route, Kellie Martin, have formed an undeniable bond.
The friendship started about a year ago and has grown with every package delivered to the Walkers' Forest City, North Carolina, home, she said. Now, her son insists he's going to be a UPS driver when he grows up so can "travel the world delivering packages."
"James wanted to be Santa Claus," Lauren Walker said. "He didn't decide he wanted to be a UPS driver until March of this past year when he apparently, in his head, decided he couldn't be Santa until his hair turned gray. And if he's a UPS driver, he gets to see Kellie multiple times a year, and Santa you only see once."
She said the minute she told Martin about James’ dreams to be a driver when he grew up, “Kellie just became super intentional about helping us foster that dream. She was so good about pushing and encouraging that dream.”
Martin submitted James for UPS's Wishes Delivered campaign, which delivers mini-UPS trucks to deserving children and organizations around the world, as a surprise for his fifth birthday.
His mom said that "he has put a million miles" on the truck since he received it.
"I can't tell you how many times I have pushed the little truck back home because it has run out of battery," Walker said with a laugh. "He delivers packages all day."
Martin said pulling up to the boy's home is "like Christmas every day to see his face light up."
"He just blesses my heart when I pull up into that yard," she said. "There's a lot of long, tough days, but you run across someone like James and you realize this why you do what you do."
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