RECTOR, Ark. (KAIT) - At first glance, Jesse George looks like any other UPS driver.
But, here in Rector, he’s a superhero without a cape.
“He gives hope,” Joshua Benson said. “He really does.”
“He is the definition of kindness,” Tara Hester, teacher at Rector Elementary said. “As soon as he pulls up, he’s always honking and waving.”
Both Benson and Hester nominated George for the Gr8 Acts of Kindness.
This day, a big surprise awaits George.
This school is where George has bought children’s books at the annual book fair and dropped off Christmas presents because there might not be something under the tree for a child.
The school and the community are about to show Jesse George just how much he’s appreciated.
"We got him here by asking him to come here to show his truck that the Kindergarten class was studying the letter, “U,” Hester explained.
"You came to Rector Elementary for the letter, “U,” I said to George as he walked up the sidewalk to Rector Elementary. “But, we are all here for Y-O-U. Your effect on this community is profound. You don’t just deliver packages. You’ve inspired a town to be better, to do better. You deliver joy and love.”
The town recently suffered the loss of a young man, a good friend of Joshua Benson.
“You know that you are loved in a town where the UPS man is going to come to your funeral,” Benson said. “And the whole town sticks together for Jesse. He does the same thing for us.”
He bought gift cards for new shoes for one mother’s girls.
She wrote to us.
“I opened them once I had gotten inside and each envelope had a gift card to Shoe Carnival!” she said.
George knows needs.
He came to Jonesboro in 1981 to play basketball for Arkansas State.
But, scholarship money wasn’t available--so he took a job working at the Safeway Bakery, then Sears and ending up at UPS in 1985.
“In 35 years, you do a lot of routes,” George said.
And touch a lot of lives.
“He delivers packages; but words, he delivers from his heart,” Benson said. “That is one thing that is just amazing about Jesse.”
When George is not behind the wheel of his truck, he’s posting positive messages of encouragement on social media.
His Twitter handle reveals much about how he thinks.
“The true reason I have JRG. Those are my initials. But, one day while I was sitting and I was writing. God gave me the true reason I have the “JRGjustdoit.” It’s just receive grace. Just do it! Because it’s so simple. And that’s what it’s all about. Us receiving his Grace and then sharing it with others.”
“You shared through social media. You said not all heroes wear capes. In fact, this hero drives the UPS truck,” I tell George as the crowd looks on. “And shares joy every where you go and that is why you are the next winner in the Gr8 Acts of Kindness.”
“Thank you,” George said, as he wiped his eyes and adjusted his mask.
“Four hundred. Five, six, seven, eight. $408!” I counted the Gr8 Acts of Kindness money from First Community Bank and KAIT into George’s hand.
“We appreciate the things that you do,” David Daniel from First Community Bank said as he presented George with a keepsake over-sized check. “First Community Bank, where community comes first. We appreciate you very much!”
“The city of Rector and I, the mayor of Rector, would like to congratulate Jesse George on becoming the next recipient of the Gr8 Acts of Kindness for Region 8,” Teresa Roofe said in a taped message. She was unable to be at the surprise.
“It was amazing to see the look on his face,” Benson said. “All these masks, but you could tell everyone was smiling.”
And these smiles aren’t the only smiles George brings.
The father of four children also is part of the United Way of Northeast Arkansas' annual Day of Caring events.
Just like the kindness he shares at Christmas... it’s a “package deal” and always on the down low.
“He always want it to be anonymous,” Hester said. " He doesn’t want the recognition for it. He literally does it to be kind and to show kindness to others."
“He would do everything he could to make the world better,” Benson said.
If you know someone like Jesse George, nominate them for the Gr8 Acts of Kindness.
George was nominated numerous times by people all over Clay County.
It’s easy to do.
Just got to kait8.com. Click on the Community page and go to Gr8 Acts of Kindness.