AUBURN — You don’t always see them, but you know they’re out there.

While the coronavirus has put many out of work, for those who make a living delivering packages, it’s gone the other way, with a heavy increase of orders being shipped.

Over the past few weeks, many UPS locations set up “Thank You” days at their facilities to show appreciation for their workers. Damon Currier, a manager at the Auburn center, wanted to show his appreciation, as well.

“I loved the idea of thanking the drivers for what they are doing every day,” he said. “As the dispatch supervisor for the Auburn facility, I knew that I was mentally exhausted. The drivers must be mentally and physically exhausted.”

Several hundred people lined Flightline Drive in Auburn, across from the UPS hub early Friday morning as drivers drove off to deliver packages. With increased demands, long hours and dangerous conditions, management arranged this surprise greeting by contacting families of the drivers and asked them to help recognize their efforts during this pandemic. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Currier himself was working long days — 12 hours at a stretch — so to make this happen, he needed help. With that in mind, he enlisted the assistance Angie Merrill, a part-time supervisor at the Auburn facility.  Merrill loved the idea and found other part-time supervisors who wanted to help, as well.

They started their effort by enlisting the help of the delivery crews’ loved ones.

“We decided to invite family and friends to come to the Auburn facility on Friday morning after the drivers have gone into the building for work,” Currier said. “The families would park in an empty field across from the building with an OK from the Auburn-Lewiston airport that owns the property, where families would line the street as the drivers come out of the building to start their delivery routes.”

The way Currier sees it, the effort is not a boost only for those who deliver packages. It helps their families to become part of the process, which may be important in a time when the delivery crews have to be away from home so much.

“These families are seeing their UPS driver come home at 9, 10 or even 11 o’clock at night after work, exhausted,” Currier said. “Many of these families have kids that don’t see their UPS mom or mad because they come home after they have gone to bed. All the stress of the coronavirus is affecting everyone in one way or another and this was a chance to let them know how much everyone appreciates their efforts.”

By the numbers last week:

Average delivery volume: 26,500 packages per day, up 62% from last year.

Drivers: 104 per day, up from 86 last year.

Stops per day: 14,100, up 71% from last year.

Stops each driver per day: 149, up from 109 last year.

Daily stops each driver: 40 more than last year.

Average stops per hour, 14 to 15 per driver.

Several hundred people lined Flightline Drive in Auburn, across from the UPS hub, Friday morning as drivers drove off to deliver packages. With increased demands, long hours and dangerous conditions, management arranged this surprise greeting by contacting families of the drivers and asked them to help recognize their efforts during this pandemic. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Several hundred people lined Flightline Drive in Auburn, across from the UPS hub early Friday morning as drivers drove off to deliver packages. With increased demands, long hours and dangerous conditions, management arranged this surprise greeting by contacting families of the drivers and asked them to help recognize their efforts during this pandemic. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Several hundred people lined Flightline Drive in Auburn, across from the UPS hub early Friday morning as drivers drove off to deliver packages. With increased demands, long hours and dangerous conditions, management arranged this surprise greeting by contacting families of the drivers and asked them to help recognize their efforts during this pandemic. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Several hundred people lined Flightline Drive in Auburn, across from the UPS hub early Friday morning as drivers drove off to deliver packages. With increased demands, long hours and dangerous conditions, management arranged this surprise greeting by contacting families of the drivers and asked them to help recognize their efforts during this pandemic. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Several hundred people lined Flightline Drive in Auburn, across from the UPS hub early Friday morning as drivers drove off to deliver packages. With increased demands, long hours and dangerous conditions, management arranged this surprise greeting by contacting families of the drivers and asked them to help recognize their efforts during this pandemic. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Several hundred people lined Flightline Drive in Auburn, across from the UPS hub early Friday morning as drivers drove off to deliver packages. With increased demands, long hours and dangerous conditions, management arranged this surprise greeting by contacting families of the drivers and asked them to help recognize their efforts during this pandemic. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Several hundred people lined Flightline Drive in Auburn, across from the UPS hub early Friday morning as drivers drove off to deliver packages. With increased demands, long hours and dangerous conditions, management arranged this surprise greeting by contacting families of the drivers and asked them to help recognize their efforts during this pandemic. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Sarah Fournier and her son Gavin wave to a UPS driver as he and several dozen other drivers exited the Auburn hub Friday morning. Her husband and stepfather are both drivers. Several hundred people lined Flightline Drive in Auburn, across from the UPS hub early Friday morning as drivers drove off to deliver packages. With increased demands, long hours and dangerous conditions, management arranged this surprise greeting by contacting families of the drivers and asked them to help recognize their efforts during this pandemic. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

UPS drivers exit the Auburn hub at the beginning of their day on Friday morning. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Several hundred people lined Flightline Drive in Auburn, across from the UPS hub early Friday morning as drivers drove off to deliver packages. With increased demands, long hours and dangerous conditions, management arranged this surprise greeting by contacting families of the drivers and asked them to help recognize their efforts during this pandemic. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

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