Joey Higgins was loading a mail truck at the UPS facility in Memphis, Tennessee, when something on the floor caught his eye: a corner of a piece of paper containing a child's crayon drawing, poking out of a green folder.
When he started leafing through the contents of the folder, he found more drawings, awards, a blue ribbon and a school picture, all dated between 1990 and 1992 and belonging to a student named Heather Jensen, who went to Stanton Elementary
in Fenton, Missouri.
Higgins collected as many of the other pieces that fell out of the folder as he could and brought it to the attention of his supervisor, Derek Hill. They both committed to find out where the folder belonged.
"Things like that are irreplaceable," Higgins said. "It's not something where you can go get a new one. Those are people's memories. They're things that mean something to somebody. It just felt like it was the right thing to do."
On July 1, Higgins posted a message about the package to his personal Facebook page. He contacted Stanton Principal Dr. Christy Starnes, who shared his message on Stanton's social media July 6.
In less than 90 minutes, the Stanton online community had identified Heather Freeburg – nee Jensen – who now lives in California. Her parents still live literally across the street from Stanton.
"The power of social media is just amazing," Starnes said. "It's a good teachable moment for kids. It was nice to have that positivity on something that came from Facebook. It was fun to watch that unfold."
The package is scheduled to get to Freeburg's parents sometime next week.
"It feels really good to have been a part of something like this," Higgins said.