Warwick man fulfills lifelong dream of delivering packages for UPS

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WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — James Allenson’s obsession with all things UPS started when he was just a little boy.

His mother Shirlee Allenson tells 12 News her son, who has autism, has always loved watching the trucks leave the Warwick distribution center every morning.

“He would watch the UPS train of 300-plus cars come through and he would wave,” Shirlee said. “Now, he has to beep at every one of them.”

“I’m on my second [car] horn,” she continued with a chuckle. “He’s almost killed that one too. So, I’ve given him a bicycle horn to replace it.”

Now 21, James is fulfilling his lifelong dream of working for the shipping company as a special “holiday helper.”

He’s currently working six days a week alongside the UPS driver who’s been delivering him packages his entire life: Eric Hellested.

“I’ve been on this route for about 20 years, and I met James when he was just about 3 years old,” Hellested recalled. “He came running out of the house when we first met to get his delivery.”

Hellested said he loves working with James, especially during the holiday season.

“I pick him up in the morning in my truck,” Hellested said. “He looks forward to being picked up and I bring him back home at the end of the evening.”

“It’s been very fulfilling,” he continued. “Probably the highlight of my whole career.”

While James’ position is only temporary, Shirlee hopes he will one day work full-time for the company.

“It would be so great to see,” she said. “It’s just his life. He loves it.”

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