A New Hampshire postal worker is getting some viral interest for his small act of kindness -- multiple small acts, actually, one for every 2020 high school graduate on his route.
Josh Crowell, who delivers mail near Concord, said he wanted to do something special for the 2020 graduates on his route who are forced to end their high school years without important milestones like proms and graduations after the outbreak of the coronavirus.
He told CNN that he started delivering hand-written graduation notes from "your mailman Josh," each of them including a $5 gift card to Dunkin' Donuts.
Crowell said he hoped the small gesture would bring some happiness to them in a difficult time.
"Five dollars 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," the 39-year-old mail carrier told CNN.
Graduates across the country have put up yard signs to celebrate their graduation, and Crowell said he keeps a stack of gift cards in a lunchbox that he brings with him on his route. Whenever he comes across a sign, Crowell said he leaves a hand-written note with the gift card.
The mail carrier said his own youngest daughter graduated high school in 2018, and remembered how much of an accomplishment it was for her to walk across the stage and receive her diploma -- also knowing how hard it must be for the seniors this year who will never get that experience.
The mail carrier told CNN that he's given out close to 25 cards so far, and will continue handing them out. He has gotten a number of thank-you notes in return, with many thanking him for his kindness.
"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," he said.
While a number of states have grappled with school closings, New Hampshire was among the earliest in canceling the entire school year, announcing in mid-April that students would not be returning until the fall.Crowell's story has now attracted some national attention, with both local and national news outlets picking it up and many sharing it across social media. Many commended the postal worker for his small act of kindness, finding the story to be an uplifting change from the largely bad news seen amid the coronavirus crisis.