Home delivery has exploded since the pandemic. You can have everything from food and groceries to pet supplies and other miscellaneous items delivered to your door. It is a wonderful convenience to have pretty much anything delivered in a few hours to a few days. It is also easy to get caught up in this luxury and forget about the most important part of the whole process - the delivery people who make it all happen.
Some of the most hard-working people are our delivery drivers. They work long, hard days, making sure we get everything we need. Just the other evening, I witnessed a UPS truck driving around at seven-thirty at night. Now, that is dedication, and when the holidays ramp up, it will get even crazie1. Beverages and Snacksr for these folks.
In addition, there have been stories all over about delivery drivers going above and beyond to help in different situations. I've read stories about drivers helping people who have broken down on the side of the road. Drivers that have rushed the family dog to the vet after getting bit by a snake. These people deserve much more recognition than we give them credit for sometimes. Let's start thinking about how we can bless these drivers on their daily routes this holiday season. Here are some ideas.
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1. Beverages and Snacks
Leave a basket of snacks and bottled water outside on your front porch. Think bottled plain or flavored water or bottled iced tea over soda. Snacks like trail mix, popcorn, fruit, and whole-grain crackers are good choices. This way, drivers can get an energy boost without the sugar crash.
Some great options would be packs of apple slices w/peanut butter (you should put these on ice to keep them cool), bags of popcorn, whole grain crackers like Triscuits, or even KIND bars. Different fruits are also a great option. You may also want to add some low-sugar or sugar-free options in case a driver has diabetes.
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2. Warm Them Up
If you are home and can meet your driver, why not warm them up with a pair of hot hands hand warmers or toe warmers? This is a great idea for places with frigid temperatures and tons of snow. (I'm from Pennsylvania, so I know all about it.) They can use these warmers in gloves and shoes and stay warm for up to 8 hours. This is a great way to help keep your driver toasty warm. In addition, keep some to-go cups with lids and a small crock pot of hot cocoa or soup ready and offer them something warm to go.
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3. Self-Care Bags
Make self-care bags and put in things like a heat wrap for the neck, shoulders, or back (think Therma Care Heat wraps), a travel-size tylenol, antibiotic ointment and band-aids, travel tissues, cough drops, disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer, chapstick, unscented hand cream (for both males or females), no-fog lens wipes, a small bottle of water, and a snack.
Go to the dollar store, buy some festive bags to put your goodies in, and add a personal note of appreciation for all their hard work year-round. Long days can lead to aching backs, oncoming colds, and knicks and cuts. These bags will be appreciated when they either don't have essentials on hand or run out of the things they need.
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4. Homemade Goodies
Who doesn't love homemade goodies around the holidays? Take an afternoon and bake up some cookies and bars. Other options include cake pops, brownies, truffles, and homemade granola bars. You can also make savory snacks like homemade fruit leather, flavored crackers, or flavored pretzels. The options are endless for scrumptious holiday goodies to suit all different cravings.
One thing to consider is allergies, so if you make anything with nuts, I would clearly label them. You may also want to make some sugar-free options for drivers who may have diabetes and label those accordingly as well.
Go to the dollar store and either get some treat bags or decorative food wrapping to put it all in. Add a tag with something positive on it like, "You are doing a great job," or "We appreciate you," or "Thank you for all you do."
5. Show Your Appreciation
Get a greeting card, write something nice, and leave it for your delivery person. Happy with their service? Call the company and let them know. If you can greet them at the door, ask their name so you can tell the company who it was.
Another way to show your appreciation is to give a shout-out on social media or leave a glowing review on the company website, mentioning your driver specifically. Compliment them if you see them at your door. They hear more complaints and gripes over the holiday season than at any other time of the year.
6. Make it Personal
If you are lucky enough to see your driver regularly on their route, get to know them a little. Ask questions and see what they like. Then, get them a little gift, like a gift card, to their favorite store or restaurant, a book they have been wanting to read, or their favorite candy. Choosing a personal gift will make them feel more valued and appreciated.
You could also donate to their favorite charity or help them personally. If they are struggling, get them a gas card or grocery card, or find some other way you can help impact their life.
One of the best ways to bless your driver is to pray for them as they leave your home. Pray for safe travels for the rest of their route and on their way home. Ask the Lord to watch over them, open their hearts, eyes, and minds if they don't know him, and bless them in whatever way they need.
Better yet, if you know your driver personally and know they are a believer, pray with them before they go about their day. Another option would be to hand them a greeting card with a heartfelt prayer for them written in it.
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8. Be Patient on the Road
As the holidays ramp up, we will see even more of these trucks on the road. We need to be patient and extra cautious while sharing the road with them. Remember that big trucks can't accelerate fast like smaller cars and trucks. So, instead of laying on the horn, give them a minute or two to ramp up speed.
Be cautious. Delivery drivers have to keep moving and may not always be looking at where they are going. When driving around trucks, give them plenty of space and always be on the lookout for drivers racing across the street to their trucks.
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9. Leave a Tip
It's customary to leave a tip when you order groceries or food delivery, leaving drivers to rely on the tips they make. However, delivery drivers don't get this luxury. Therefore, giving them a tip is a great way to brighten their day.
One way to do this is to have them knock when they leave your package, and you can hand them the tip yourself. You can also ask them how to leave them a tip electronically through their company, which is safer, more convenient, and more sanitary.
10. Write Them a Letter
The art of letter writing may seem like the Dark Ages, but a personal letter still holds a lot of meaning. Sit down and write your driver a letter about how much you appreciate their service. Get some special stationery to make it have more meaning.
Make sure you add personal touches, like how they handle your packages with care or how they always greet your dog with a treat. How they look first to make sure your indoor cat isn't near the door and can dash outside, or how they always greet your youngest child who is home with you. Sit and think about the little things they do to make deliveries extra special and enjoyable and point them out. Let them know if you plan on reaching out to their company about their exceptional service. They will appreciate your kindness more than you know.
Delivery drivers work long hours, rain or shine, in both decent and treacherous conditions to make our lives easier and more convenient. It is our responsibility to be courteous and show them some respect. This holiday season, let's take some time to show them the appreciation they deserve. It will brighten their days and do our hearts good.
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Originally published Thursday, 19 October 2023.