Struggling courier gets thank-you note and US$10,000 cheque from Trump

Mr Bouvet, who met Mr Trump on Jan 19, had spent nights working and days volunteering for him.
Mr Bouvet, who met Mr Trump on Jan 19, had spent nights working and days volunteering for him.PHOTO: THE WASHINGTON POST

WASHINGTON • The evening before his inauguration as US President on Jan 20, Mr Donald Trump took time to meet a 24-year-old FedEx courier from rural Illinois.

In a tent behind the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, he praised Mr Shane Bouvet for his work as a volunteer on his election campaign, hugged him and promised him an extraordinary thank you - a US$10,000 (S$14,100) cheque.

The unusual meeting was arranged after Mr Trump said he read a profile about Mr Bouvet in The Washington Post.

The struggling single father had spent nights working and days volunteering for Mr Trump. Mr Bouvet hoped Mr Trump could bring renewal to his home town of Stonington, Illinois, and other corners hard hit by the decline in US industry.

"I get tired of seeing people hit rock bottom," Mr Bouvet said in his earlier interview.

WALKING THE WALK

He's getting things done. He's laying down the law... that's what we need. Most politicians are all talk, no action.

MR SHANE BOUVET, on Mr Trump's performance as US President so far.

"If you go to the coffee shops, the old guys talk about the old days when engines roared and things weren't built in China."

He said Mr Trump's blunt and unfiltered style, plus the fact that his bid for the presidency had been dismissed by many, appealed to an underdog like himself.

On Monday, the cheque arrived in the mail.

"Shane - You are a great guy - thanks for all of your help," a note from Mr Trump on presidential stationery read.

Mr Bouvet was in disbelief at his good fortune.

"I'm still just living in a dream," he said.

"I never thought in a million years this would happen."

He plans to use the money to pay for chemotherapy for his father who is suffering from bladder cancer.

His mother faces a long commute to get to work, which pays minimum wages, after she was laid off from another job.

So is Mr Trump living up to Mr Bouvet's hopes? So far, yes.

He said he is impressed with Mr Trump's quick moves to implement his agenda in his first week in office.

"He's getting things done," Mr Bouvet said. "He's laying down the law. I'm really blessed with that - that's what we need. Most politicians are all talk, no action."

WASHINGTON POST

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 02, 2017, with the headline 'Struggling courier gets thank-you note and US$10,000 cheque from Trump'. Print Edition | Subscribe