by Triad Moms on Main Guest Blogger JAY CALLAHAN
From 2015-2019, I drove around a white Volkswagen minivan and tried to give back to the community of Greater Winston-Salem in a little way through the Man Van. Then, in 2019, we sold the minivan and, more importantly, our third child, Cooper, was born.
Through Cooper’s first couple of years, he was definitely a COVID baby. Because of this, we tried to brighten people’s days with pictures and stories about him on social media. He even won Winston-Salem Journal’s Cutest Baby of the Year in 2020!
Cooper Makes Deliveries
Over the past several months, I got the Man Van itch to start giving back to the community. I have Cooper with me on Tuesday mornings. So, we didn’t tell Mom and went on Amazon and bought Cooper a new mail truck. Cooper and I thought this could be our new form of “giving back” transportation.
As part of the Man Van project and also in my Reagan High School soccer coaching position, I have done some work with Senior Services and Meals on Wheels. Cooper and I have now done several different routes with his mail truck delivering meals.
Brightening Others’ Days
Cooper gets excited about going each Tuesday morning to “deliver food.” My delivery job details include lifting the mail truck in and out of my trunk, which is a great upper body workout. I also drive to each house and get the cooler and the Cooper out of the car (I do a lot of lifting). Cooper does the rest. He gets the meals, drinks and desserts out of the cooler and bags them. He takes the bag to the mail truck, comes back and gets his stuffed animal “Lambie” and takes him for each ride.
Next, Cooper drives up the driveways and pulls right up to the door. Then, he gets out and slowly takes the bags up the steps to the door. He knocks and sometimes tries to reach the doorbell, which usually is too high for him. He hands off the food by himself as well. Most of the people we deliver to come outside on their porches and watch Cooper drive off. Each route, I hear them say at least once or twice that “this made my day or week,” and “this is the cutest thing ever.” Some of the residents are in wheelchairs, and their loved ones ask us to wait for them to get outside to watch Cooper.
Cooper has received a tip, which I tried to give back, that he wanted to immediately take to TJ Maxx for a toy. He has also taken several photos by the request of the elderly residents. I also usually take Cooper out for his own treat (vanilla ice cream) after his Tuesday route.
How Can You Help Cooper’s Efforts?
Our goal is to keep doing these Tuesday morning weekly routes. We would like to expand at some point to nursing homes to deliver treats. Also, we’d like to make deliveries to houses where the resident might be injured, sick or had a recent misfortunate circumstance.
Cooper and I would love any donations moving forward including treats, blankets, etc. We also really love ideas of places to deliver and/or items to deliver. If anyone has a loved one who is in need of a delivery to lift them up, please let us know. We can be reached by emailing email@example.com. We are excited about growing these mail deliveries and hopefully sharing Cooper with more people to help brighten their days.