A local UPS driver is being praised for an act of kindness captured by a Moore County residence on camera.
Dot Brower was driving through the Pinecrest Plaza Shopping Center in Southern Pines on November 2 when she witnessed a heart-warming sight.
A UPS driver had stopped his truck and was running down the grassy hill beside the shopping center in the pouring rain. Brower saw the driver had run over to a disabled gentleman who had become stuck in the soggy, rain-soaked muck, in his electric mobility chair.
“I just had to take the picture,” said Brower. “I was just struck by the action of the driver as he ran to help. He not only got the man unstuck, he pushed him all the way up the driveway into the parking lot until he found a safe place to stop.”
Brower later posted the picture on Facebook along with the story of his actions, and it quickly spread throughout the Facebook community. Before long, someone recognized the driver as Aaron Oldham.
Oldham described to Sandhills Sentinel what happened that day.
“It was pouring rain, and I saw the gentleman spinning his wheels, and it was clear he was really stuck,” said Oldham. “I pulled into the plaza and ran down the hill to him. I told him I was there to help, and I was going to get him unstuck and push him somewhere safe. He thanked me, and once I got him all the way into the parking lot, I walked with him a way and we talked a bit. He actually lives on my route.”
Oldham has help the gentleman once before this. “He had gotten his chair stuck in the past, and I had helped him then too,” said Oldham. “That time, his chair was leaning to the side, and the battery had died from trying to get out, and no one stopped to help. I couldn’t leave him. Once I stopped to help him, others did too. What are you going to do? We have to help people when they need it.”
Aaron went on to say he always tries to help others and encourages everyone to do so. “Even if it is something as little as opening a door for someone. You have to help others.”
The gentleman Oldham helped is Norman Stokes who lives by Pinecrest Plaza. Stokes was very grateful to see Oldham coming down the hill that rainy day.
“I had to go to the pharmacy to get my medicine that day, and I can’t drive my chair on the roadway,” said Stokes. “It is just too dangerous. I was actually hit by a car earlier this year, so now I stick to the grassy area to get to the pharmacy in the plaza.
“It had been raining all day, and the grass was kind of muddy and soft, and my chair got stuck. I was trying to get it loose but didn’t know what I was going to do.
“The driver was such a kind man to me. He came running down the hill to me, and said he was going to get me out of there. I am so grateful for what he did. Maybe one day, they will put in a sidewalk for folks like me. It is the only way I have to get groceries and go to the pharmacy.”
Stokes went on to say that he would be looking out for the UPS truck the next time it comes through the neighborhood, so he can thank the Oldham again.
Oldham has been with UPS for 24 years and has been a driver for five years. Randy Wise is Oldham’s supervisor at UPS, and he was not surprised when he heard about what Oldham had done.
“Aaron is a just that type of person. He would stop to help anyone at any time. Rain or snow, it would not matter. He will go out of his way to help others. He is just a really good guy.”
Oldham said he hoped people who saw his kind act would stop and help if they saw someone that needed it.
“We just need a little more kindness in the world,” said Oldham.
Feature photo of Oldham helping Stokes courtesy of Dot Brower.