When the tweet lit up a screen at an Amazon customer service center in Winchester, Kentucky, no one imagined the unlikely journey it would inspire. It focused on a Connecticut kindergartner named Lucas DeCarlo, who just happens to be obsessed with Amazon Prime delivery trucks.
Austen Bandy, a single mom of two, was part of the Amazon customer service team that saw the tweet, wanted to help, but realized there was a problem: Amazon doesn’t sell toy versions of its huge Prime delivery trucks.
Austen, an Amazonian who gets joy from delivering smiles, wasn’t deterred.
“We just knew we wanted to help this family,” she said. “We sell blank semi-trucks on Amazon, so we're like, ‘Let's get a blank semi-truck and then we'll paint it or something.’”
In Trumbull, Connecticut, just before Christmas, Virginia DeCarlo was surprised to learn that not only had someone actually paid attention to her tweet, but they were acting on it.
“I got a response from Amazon, and I couldn't believe it. A couple of days before Christmas, someone emailed me and said there's a special surprise for your 5-year-old,” said Virginia.
When that package showed up, she filmed Lucas opening his gift. You can see his reaction in the video at the top of this page.
Getting the gift was incredible enough, but when Virginia and her husband, Sam, learned that a customer service agent made the truck herself, by gluing Amazon logos to a blank white truck, they couldn’t believe it.
“That was just very heartwarming that somebody would do that,” said Sam DeCarlo.
That wasn’t the end of the story.
Lucas DeCarlo’s obsession with Amazon Prime trucks is a nearly full-time job. His parents say he counts the trucks whenever he sees them on the road, his colorful Prime truck drawings fill the family house, and the 5-year-old can even recite which highways the big rigs travel on.
“He could spell Amazon Prime before he could spell cat, dog, he, she,” Virginia said. “He likes the logo, he likes to draw. He just likes it. That's what he literally says: ‘I just like it!’”
"When I grow up, I want to be an Amazon Prime truck driver," Lucas said.
Austen and the team at Amazon were so captivated by little Lucas’s enthusiasm, they wanted to go one step further. On a cold January day, while Lucas was playing with his Prime truck inside the family home, his parents told him to look out the window. That’s when he saw it. An Amazon Prime truck had arrived just for him, so he could finally see one up close. He had a chance to sit inside the cab and blow the horn, take a tour, and scream his signature “Amazon Prime!” while standing inside the empty trailer.
“It's the best day ever because I saw a Prime truck,” said Lucas.
Lucas’s mom cried tears of joy while watching her son run around the enormous blue and white truck. And it was a pretty special day for Austen as well. The customer service agent who literally made the toy that fulfilled a little boy’s dreams was able to be with the family in Connecticut when the truck arrived.
“It's been wonderful to get to see the real people behind the computer,” she said. “It's definitely something I'll never forget.”