Retiring UPS driver, Teamsters Local 688 member, receives touching sendoff from Sunset Hills community

By SHERI GASSAWAY
Assistant Editor

HEARTWARMING SENDOFF – A Sunset Hills community got together to throw a heartwarming sendoff to Ricky McWoods (behind banner), a 42-year employee of UPS and Teamsters Local 688 member, who was set to retire the next day. – KSDK-TV screenshot

Sunset Hills – April 12 was just like any other day for Teamsters Local 688 member Ricky McWoods. The UPS driver received a call for a package pickup in Sunset Hills – a neighborhood that’s been a part of his route for more than 12 years.

Little did he know then, that call for a pickup was actually a surprise retirement party for him hosted by an army of Sunset Hills neighbors complete with signs, banners and a cake to wish him well in his retirement.

‘TOTAL SHOCK’
“I was in total shock,” McWoods told the Labor Tribune. “I had no idea they were going to do that. It was amazing. A lot of people who saw the story on Channel 5 said that it brought tears to their eyes.”

McWoods, a 42-year UPS Circle of Honor driver, and his Sunset Hill’s extended family were featured on KSDK-TV’s Making a Difference report by Mike Bush. The station was there as the surprised delivery driver showed up to pick up the lone package.

Scott Barrett, a Local 688 business representative who trained under McWoods back in the 1990s, was also there for the celebration.

GREAT MENTOR – Scott Barrett (left), a Local 688 business representative who trained under Ricky McWoods (right) back in the 1990s, was at the celebration to honor his friend. He said McWoods has an outgoing personality, is always willing to help and is a great mentor. – Teamsters Local 688 photo

‘FANTASTIC’
“I wouldn’t have missed it for the world,” Barrett said. “Ricky is fantastic. He has an outgoing personality, he’s always willing to help and he’s a great mentor. You just don’t typically run across a driver like that anymore.”

Whether it’s a smile and a wave or bringing treats to the neighborhood’s pooches, McWoods has found a way to create a connection while doing what’s considered a very impersonal job.

‘ABOVE AND BEYOND’
“He goes above and beyond,” Stephanie Wieland told KSDK. “I’ve never met anyone who cares and really loves their job like he does, and we’re really going to miss him.”

And it’s not just the adults who will miss his friendly face in the brown uniform.

‘ALWAYS TALKS TO US’
“Whenever he comes to the door, he talks to us,” a young boy told the station. “He always talks to us about our sports.”

His departure will also have an effect on the neighborhood’s four-legged friends.

“Our dog – I don’t know what she’s going to do because every brown truck she sees she starts drooling,” said another neighbor. “He never forgets to leave treats for the dogs.”

McWoods called the surprise party “emotional.”

‘FAMILY TO ME’
“I guess as UPS drivers, we think all we do is deliver goods and services, but these people have let me know that I’m a lot more than just a UPS driver,” McWoods told KSDK. “They are family to me.” 

McWoods said he plans to take advantage of his retirement by joining a cycling club and traveling to visit his son, who plays soccer in England, and his daughter in New York.


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