In 2011, when Sam Kanji was 13, a very kind UPS man named Tim Phillips changed his life for the better. Sam, who is on the autism spectrum, is a huge fan of the delivery service and when Tim found out, he gave Sam a tailor-made UPS uniform that he has treasured ever since. His act of kindness touched many through a story published in the Boston Globe, “What Brown Does for Sam.”
Three years later, Sam still loves UPS — and he still wears the uniform on Halloween! — the parts that still fit, at least. He's working hard in school so he can get his dipolma and perhaps one day become a UPS man.
Here’s an update from Sam’s mom, Ilyse:
"Whenever people share the story on Facebook, I always say thanks for expanding the circle of kindness. Tim did a simple act of kindness that had tremendous affect on Sam — and our family — and really our whole community after the article was published.
Yes, Sam still LOVES UPS and we are always thrilled when we see Tim driving around our small town of Westborough (population 18,000). Tim became somewhat of a local hero when the Globe story came out, particularly at places like Sam's elementary school where he delivered packages. Many people stopped Tim to shake his hand and say thanks after they saw Tim and Sam's photo and read the story.
Sam always remembers to send "Mr. Phillips" an email on Tim's birthday — in case we don't see him around town on that day! (and also remembers to wish the other local UPS guys happy birthday on their special days.)
Sam's love for UPS has been positive in that it's given him a goal to work towards. He works hard in school because he'd like to earn a diploma so he can become a UPS man. Sam recently passed the test to receive his drivers' permit — after putting in a lot of hours studying — because, of course, you need a drivers' license to drive a UPS truck. Getting a drivers' permit is a major accomplishment!
Sam has long outgrown the UPS pants, but the shirt, hat and socks still fit. Now he only brings them out at Halloween — but he does look forward to wearing them each Halloween. Sam has a "script" of questions that he uses to talk to others. One of his favorite questions is 'What do you want to be when you grow up?' If someone asks him, he immediately responds 'a UPS man.'"
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