We complain about USPS, UPS, and FedEx for various reasons, but when you think about it, each service is quite remarkable.
They get letters and packages for millions of people from point A to point B via planes, trains, ships, and trucks. Of course, with so much mail being processed on a daily basis, some items are bound to get lost in the shuffle.
Sometimes those lost packages never find their owners. Other times they end up in the hands of people like Randy Holst, the co-owner of a UPS store in Golden Valley, Minnesota, who spent years looking for one package’s owner.
In 2012 a package was mailed via UPS to the incorrect address.
For several years a very special package was in limbo as UPS made several attempts to deliver it. Eventually the package ended up at Holst’s Golden Valley UPS store.
“When it came back to us, we tried to find the sender of the package, that number had been disconnected,” Holst told KARE 11 in 2017.
Holst attempted to contact the sender, but was unsuccessful.
After having no success finding the package’s sender, Holst opened the box to examine its contents. He was in awe when he discovered what had been lost in the mail.
Inside was a framed military funeral flag, various military memorabilia, family photos, and other assorted items, which Holst told the Star Tribune he couldn’t imagine anyone wanting to throw out.
Once he opened the box he was more determined than ever to find the package’s owner.
Although Holst didn’t have much to go on besides a name that appeared on many items within the package, he contacted the Veteran’s Administration, but the agency was unable to assist him.
He then took to Facebook and contacted dozens of people who shared a similar name to the one he found.
For years the mystery box sat in his store without an owner.
Finally, after years of searching, Holst spoke to a man who confirmed the contents of the package were his father’s who had passed away in 1988.
“It was just such an overwhelming feeling,” Holst told the Star Tribune.
The same day that Holst spoke with the man, Tim Burchell, Holst sent the rightful owner in Georgia his package.
Eventually someone answered one of his messages and confirmed being the intended recipient.
When Burchell received the package he was in shock.
“I was just flabbergasted. My mouth hit the floor,” he said to KARE 11.
Not only was Burchell unaware that his stepsister had sent the package back in 2012, but the box contained some items he had never seen before.
“Just a ton of stuff was inside it. Things I’d never saw before,” he remembered. “One letter was from Ronald Reagan for service in the Navy and the other was from Richard Nixon for service too.”
The package arrived at Burchell’s front door four years late.
Despite the package arriving incredibly late, Burchell was grateful to have the box of memories in his possession and he was especially thankful for the man who made sure he received them.
“He’s what everybody should be,” Burchell told the Star Tribune. “I want to make sure he gets the credit he deserves. One little touch of kindness is contagious.”