At Bailey’s Carpet Barn in Lexington, KY, the sound of a delivery truck pulling into the parking lot sends five-year-old Alex Cassell rushing to the window to see if it’s his favorite Mohawk driver.
Over the course of several years, Local Driver Stephanie Russell built a special friendship with Alex who is the great-grandson of Bill Bailey, founder of Bailey’s Carpet Barn. Alex has autism which can make social interactions difficult for him, but he connected with Stephanie and her Mohawk truck.
“When I first met him, he couldn’t pronounce my name,” Stephanie said. “Because I was in a big truck, he would call me ‘Stephie Big Truck’ when he talked about me.”
Alex’s mother, Faye, explained that Stephanie always spent a little extra time talking to Alex and honking the truck horn for him.
Earlier this year, Stephanie moved to a different route, and Delivery Driver Jonathan Chastain began training Delivery Driver Jon Way on a route that included Bailey’s Carpet Barn. Jonathan quickly learned about Alex’s love of Mohawk trucks and that he desperately wanted one of his own. In fact, he wanted a Mohawk truck so badly, that his parents bought a toy truck so Alex could add Mohawk stickers to make it “better.” Jonathan promised that when he came back in May, he would have a Mohawk truck for Alex.
Jon’s next delivery was scheduled just days before Alex’s birthday, so Jonathan partnered with the Driver Recruiting Team and Hard Surface Territory Manager Diane Smith to deliver an entire surprise birthday party along with the new truck.
In addition to balloons and a Mohawk birthday cake, Alex spent the day with Jonathan, who sat in the floor playing with him, even taking the time to craft miniature rolls of carpet and vinyl that Alex could haul in his new Mohawk toy trailer. Alex even got his own official Mohawk Driver uniform shirt to officially make him part of the team.
“It’s not every day you meet a kid like Alex who loves what we do and is so excited to see us,” Jonathan said. “This is a story of happiness, and I’m so glad I got to be a part of it.”
Just when Alex thought the surprises had ended, Jon arrived in a real Mohawk truck. Alex explored the empty trailer, sat in the driver seat and even honked the horn.
“None of this would’ve been possible without an incredible amount of teamwork and collaboration between Jonathan, Jon, Diane and our team,” Nathan Pursley, Logistics Recruiting Manager said. “We know how important our drivers are and that they are the face of the Company to many of our customers. This was such a great opportunity to really make an impact on someone and see how special those connections can be.”
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