'If this is the 'It's a Boy' house... I hope all is going well with your newborn,' Dallen Harrell said into the doorbell camera.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on December 24, 2021. It has since been updated.
A UPS driver who left a kind message for a fellow parent was rewarded for his thoughtfulness. Dallen Harrell, 24, was making a delivery at a house in Roswell, Georgia, when he decided to take a minute out of his day to leave a supportive message for the family. Having previously noticed an oversized stork lawn sign announcing the birth of their son outside the house, Harrell—a new parent himself—paused for a moment after delivering their package of baby formula to leave a short word of encouragement in the home's Google Nest doorbell camera.
"If this is the 'It's a Boy' house... I hope all is going well with your newborn," he said into the camera. "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, who was recovering at home after delivering her son Chancy through a Caesarean section on November 14, received an alert about the new video and was immediately floored as she watched the 26-second clip. "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," the 36-year-old told The Washington Post.
Wanting to thank the UPS driver for going out of his way to wish her well, Kitchel posted the video on Instagram with the caption: "It is really easy to focus on what isn't going right now with staffing shortages but it was good to be reminded that there are still great people working hard every day for us! I really wish I knew his name but I hope he comes back and if he does there will be diapers waiting for him!" Since being posted on December 4, the video has been viewed over 95k times and she soon heard back from a UPS representative, who informed her that someone from the local office would call her with the driver's name.
On December 6—three days after Harrell's heartwarming gesture for Kitchel's family—the two got on a call with each other. Kitchel enthusiastically thanked the young father for his thoughtful gesture while he explained that he'd simply wanted to extend a little kindness to a family that was in the same phase of life as his own. "I just went from my heart," said Harrell, who welcomed his son, Deveraux, with his fiancee, Taqueria Robinson-Davidson, on September 16. He had been observing the house's outdoor baby-themed decorations, he said, while driving for UPS, which was a temporary job for the holiday season.
Kitchel wanted to return the kind gesture and prepared a care package with diapers, wipes, and a plush giraffe for little Deveraux. Five days after the initial delivery, Harrell returned to the house—which Kitchel shares with her husband Mack — with another package and met the whole family. "There's all this anticipation of just waiting to get to see him in person, thank him in person, and give him a hug," the mother-of-two said. Since the video of Harrell's message struck a chord with many on social media, she put up an Instagram story sharing a link to his baby registries at Target and Buy Buy Baby in case anyone wanted to help him clear his list.
Ever since, Harrell has been getting multiple packages a day—sometimes as many as 15—of baby supplies from strangers who were moved by his kind gesture. "They just have been coming in abundance—mostly from strangers," he said about the gifts. Harrell, who moonlights as a singer and goes by the stage name Lghtsknn Traumatized, said he learned something about compassion after challenging experiences in his own life: an open-heart surgery when he was 13 and his father's death five years later. His mother taught him to shake hands firmly, and look people in the eye and be kind, he said. "I'd give someone the shirt off my back, and the last change in my cup holder," Harrell explained. He and Kitchel have since become friends and plan to have a family meet-up after the holidays to introduce their baby boys.
Speaking of the heartwarming events of this month, Kitchel said the experience has been an example of how kindness can multiply and change lives. "It's free and available, and we can all do this," she said, adding that the group effort makes it all the more meaningful. "It's just been really neat to see how it's brought together a community of people," she said. Meanwhile, UPS offered Harrell a full-time, permanent job as a driver with his own route after the holidays—and he accepted it. "I can't believe it all unfolded this way," he said. "When I left the comment at the doorbell, I didn't even expect to hear from them, and so many blessings have followed behind."