By LUIS ANDRES HENAO, AssociatedPress 4 days ago
When Chip Matthews heard the mail truck arriving on his sixthbirthday, he rushed out — not knowing that he’d come back with a treasure. Outsidethe house, which was decorated with birthday balloons, mail carrier TawannaPurter held a pile of boxes. One of them was marked with Chip’s name and a greetingfor his special day, Nov. 5.“So, when he came running out the door, I said: ‘Youmust be Chip!’ And he was like, yes. I said, ‘Today’s your birthday?’ And hestarted smiling,” Purter said.“ So, I said, ’Let me see if I can find yousomething for your birthday.’” She checked her pocket and surprised him with agift: a dollar bill and four quarters. This is the kind of thing Purter does —“I help out anybody, I don’t care,” she said — surprising people with gas orgrocery money when they need it, paying forward the kindnesses of others whohelped her out when she struggled to keep a job. On this day, the 42-year-oldletter carrier made one little boy very happy.
“He was ecstatic,” said his mom, Bonnie Matthews. “He camerunning back in the house just waving his money, so excited that he got somebirthday money from somewhere extra special and unexpected.”
Chip is saving up to buy aSpider-Man action figure. His mom said the kind gesture gave the Opelika,Alabama, family hope after the long months of pandemic isolation, during whichshe lost her job as a school counselor.“.”A photo of a smiling Chip and Purternext to the mail truck has been shared widely on social media. Purter said shewas just trying to give back, because people are often nice to her 8-year-old son,Joshua, and sometimes give him a buck or two to brighten his day. On a recent day, Chip heard the mail truckand rushed out again, this time to deliver an envelope with a thank-you cardfor his favorite mail carrier. They smiled again and posed for another photo.“