U.S. Postal Worker Leaves Gift Cards for 2020 Grads on Route

Students throw their mortarboards in the air during their graduation photograph at the University of Birmingham degree congregations on July 14, 2009 in Birmingham, England
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A U.S. postal service worker from New Hampshire who saw many graduating high school seniors could not have a traditional graduation ceremony because of the coronavirus left $5 Dunkin’ Donuts gift cards in their mailboxes.

“$5 isn’t much, but it’s something so that the kids can get out of the house and go get a donut and an iced coffee,” Josh Crowell, 39, told CNN.

The postal worker also leaves a hand-written note congratulating the 2020 graduate, signing it off with “your mailman Josh.”

Crowell, whose delivery route is near Concord, New Hampshire, has dispensed at least 25 gift cards. But he keeps more in a lunchbox that he takes with him on his route in case he sees more 2020 graduation signs.

Crowell, an essential worker, says he buys the gift cards using his own money.

“I’m not very well-off myself, but I look at it as, if I put a smile on somebody’s face, then I will do it,” he said.

He started working for the post office in November 2019, and his routes usually run through Concord, Loudon, and Bow. Various seniors who have received his gifts have responded with thank you notes for his kindness and continued work as an essential worker during the coronavirus pandemic, Crowell said.

“This year has not been easy for most, but I think being able to make someone’s day is important. Thank you for being an essential worker, it means a lot,” one of the notes read.

Crowell is the father of two daughters, so he knows how important it is for these students to partake in commencement ceremonies as a rite of passage.

“She had some issues in school learning-wise, so she struggled,” Crowell said. “To know that she was able to graduate and walk across the stage and get her diploma was very meaningful for her and for me. To know that the students for 2020 are not going to be able to do that is hard and sad.”

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