The boy and his basketball

His name is Antonio, a 12 year old boy, born and raised in Brazil. He is the sweetest guy, loved by a legion of friends, surrounded by playful cousins, and who always filled each his many family member’s hearts with pride and joy.

Moving to Ontario, last July, was probably the most exciting and challenging thing that he had gone through in his life so far. He always felt very fortunate to be able to move by choice, with his parents and older brother, especially when seeing so many different stories on the news everyday. On the other hand, having to leave behind everything and everyone who was a reference for him was, for sure, one of the toughest tests he had faced to this day.

As Antonio unpacked his bag and got familiar with the new house and the few pieces of furniture in it, he couldn’t help but wonder what the new life would be like: school, friends, rhythm, culture, food… so much to take in.

They landed in the high summer, and waiting until September to finally go to school and meet his new friends seemed like an eternity for him. Being the good sport he is, Antonio relied on his older brother, and on the basketball that he had gotten as a farewell gift from one of his favourite friends, to produce great moments of summertime fun and try to make the calendar move faster.

But one day, while doing the dishes,  his mother heard a very loud noise… when she looked through the window, there it was: a UPS truck. Her heart nearly stopped, but she soon saw her two boys well and in perfect shape. It was the basketball who had taken the hit. The driver profusely apologized to the boys, who came back into the house in tears.

The basketball was so much more than a simple toy. It almost represented Antonio’s link to his loved ones who were now miles and miles away. Antonio’s mother had to activate all of her “super-mother powers” to turn the situation around, which she did, of course, covering him with the most pure love there can be.

Surprisingly, about an hour later, she heard the door bell. When she got to the door, she saw the driver humbly getting into the UPS truck, and before she could say anything, he drove away.

On her porch there was a box and a note that read “Sorry about your ball. Here is a new one”, signed “Terry – UPS Driver”.

With such a simple gesture, generated from a person’s sense of humanity and proactivity, UPS had just made Antonio the happiest boy in Ontario!

When I heard about this story, I couldn’t help but posting it here.

To me, this is a fantastic example of how simple gestures can mean so much, how companies who allow for human beings to treat other human beings with kindness can always turn adversity into opportunities.

Rest assured, this family will always rave about this story and have no doubt… they will mention UPS’s brand every single time. Way to go, UPS!

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