Mail carrier and dog team up to rescue cat

From USPS News Link:

Who says postal carriers and dogs can’t get along?

Dori Blackburn recently joined the Postal Service as a rural carrier in Winthrop, WA. For several days, she was approached on her route by a dog that seemed eager to befriend her.

One day, the dog was more persistent than usual. Blackburn tried to ignore the continuous barking, then realized the animal was trying to tell her something — so she followed the dog to a locked cargo trailer where she could hear a cat crying.

Blackburn went to a nearby house and explained what happened to a woman, who was relieved. The woman’s cat, Simon, had been missing for three weeks.

The woman rescued Simon from the trailer and thanked Blackburn — and the dog — for reuniting her with her missing pet. The woman then took Simon to a veterinarian, who gave him a clean bill of health.

via USPS News Link Story – Heroes’ corner.

Tennessee rural carrier aids customer in distress

Henderson, TN, Rural Carrier Randy Cunningham always delivers for his customers. Sometimes, he delivers the customers themselves.

Cunningham was on his route recently when he spotted a man collapse in front of his house. Cunningham rushed to the man’s side, picked him up, carried him inside and put him in a chair.

This was no small feat: The man is 6 feet tall and weighs 155 pounds.

It turned out the man, a stroke victim, was returning from a doctor’s appointment with his wife when he became too weak to stand. Coincidentally, the couple’s daughter is a Postal Service employee — Imlay City, MI, Postmaster Sandra Berger.

“I am deeply touched and grateful for the help [Cunningham] provided my parents,” said Berger. “My mom has mentioned over the years how helpful he has been in one way or another. I am proud to work in an organization that hires truly selfless people.”

via USPS News Link Story – Heroes’ corner.

Ohio rural carrier helps police catch burglar

Bristolville, OH, Rural Carrier Cara McIntosh

From USPS News Link:

Bristolville, OH, Rural Carrier Cara McIntosh doesn’t just move the mail. She also feels a duty to the community she serves.

McIntosh was recently on her route when she saw a man removing appliances from an unoccupied house and loading them onto a truck.

McIntosh wrote down the license number and a description of the vehicle. She then called 911 and reported the incident.

Police quickly found and arrested the suspect, who had recently been released from jail.

via USPS News Link Story – Heroes’ corner.

Maine letter carrier’s special delivery a win-win

JACKMAN — Boyd Fortier was helping his wife, a contractor for the U.S. Postal Service, deliver mail a year ago when he noticed a man having trouble walking down his icy driveway to get to his mailbox.

Fortier, who has multiple sclerosis, helps his wife on the postal route, and he felt sympathy for Leo Boudreau, 87, who struggled daily to get his mail.

Fortier’s big heart resulted in a simple act of kindness that, when considered, wasn’t really all that simple.

Fortier wanted to deliver the Boudreaus’ mail straight to their house. To do so, he and wife Joanne got a special hardship delivery waiver from the U.S. Postal Service, which is granted rarely and only on a case-by-case basis.

“He was just barely getting along on the ice and snow, and he has a bad hip,” Fortier said of Boudreau. “It’s just hard for him to get around, so I said, ‘Mr. Boudreau, I’m going to bring your mail inside for you. There’s no need for you to fall down and nobody finds you. That way, you don’t have to take the risk in the elements.’”

Read more: Jackman mail carrier’s special delivery a win-win – Central Maine.

Virginia rural carrier helps victim of neglect

Williamsburg, VA, Rural Carrier Mark Seftas has been working the same route for 10 years and knows his customers well. When he received a note in a customer’s mailbox addressed to him asking for help, he knew he had to act quickly.

The customer told Seftas she had written to her son to let him know she was out of bread and water, but the son hadn’t responded. After work, Seftas purchased a case of bottled water and bread and took them to the customer.

A short time later, Seftas received another note asking for help in contacting her son, as well as a list of other critical supplies. Seftas realized the customer needed more help than he could provide and told his supervisor, who contacted a local social services agency.

An agency representative told the Post Office the woman was a victim of neglect and would receive assistance.

“Mark is a great employee who cares so much about his customers,” said Customer Services Manager Rosemarie Whitman. “He’s efficient, punctual and good at his job. He is humble and doesn’t see anything extraordinary about what he did — he simply saw a need and filled it.”

Said Seftas: “I love my job and I’m so glad to know my customer got the help she needed.”

Read more: USPS News Link Story – Filling a need.

Iowa rural carrier rescues elderly woman after wheelchair tips over

goodnewsMarion, IA, Rural Carrier Jerry Wells was delivering mail when he heard a cry for help and found a woman lying in the bushes near her house. A wheelchair was nearby. The woman said she fell when her wheelchair tipped over. Wells lifted her into her chair and helped her into the house. After making sure she didn’t need medical care, he continued on his route. In a letter later sent to the Postmaster, the woman wrote that Wells “was most definitely a hero…I’m eternally grateful.”

Read more: USPS News Link – Heroes Corner Archive – September 2014.

Letter Carriers’ 2014 Annual Food Drive collected 73 million pounds of food

WASHINGTON, June 17, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The annual food drive of the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) collected almost 73 million pounds of food to help restock food banks, pantries and shelters around the country – an impressive result made all the more necessary by the slow-paced economy recovery and recent natural disasters.

The effort on Saturday, May 10, gathered 72.5 million pounds of food – the 11th consecutive year the NALC drive has surpassed 70 million pounds of food collected. Several local NALC branches still are compiling their figures.

This year’s results bring the total to more than 1.3 billion pounds since the national drive began in 1992. Continue reading

Greeting Card Assn and Rural Carriers Union Issue Joint Statement on Postal Reform

Washington, D.C., April 8, 2014 – The Greeting Card Association GCA and the National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association NRLCA issued the following joint statement in advance of the House Committee On Oversight & Government Reform hearing, calling for meaningful reforms to strengthen the Postal Service, and condemning proposals that would cut essential services, such as six-day delivery:

“The GCA and NRLCA strongly oppose Congress’s constant attempts to eliminate essential services such as six-day delivery” said Rafe Morrissey, GCA Vice President of Postal Affairs. “This action would only serve to place a competitive disadvantage on the Postal Service and do nothing to fix the organization’s financial problems. Additionally, the estimated savings assumed by proponents of these cuts are inflated and unrealistic, as they fail to factor in the costs of continued weekend parcel delivery. The Postal Service is in need of true reform, not shortsighted cuts that would fail to solve current budgetary problems and diminish the agency’s ability to provide universal services relied upon by millions of Americans.

“The NRLCA and its members are proud to stand alongside the Greeting Card Association in support of six day mail delivery,” said Jeanette Dwyer, President of the National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association. “Americans nationwide have come to rely on the ability to send and receive mail on Saturdays, and the success of Sunday parcel delivery shows that there is increasing demand for delivery services. As the Postal Service looks to grow and thrive in the 21st century, scaling back delivery services is a misguided step backward that sends the wrong message to the Postal Service’s customers and partners.”

Read more: GCA and NRLCA Joint Statement on Postal Reform.

Idaho rural carrier helps retrieve small girl from frozen river

From USPS News Link:

Saint Anthony, ID, Rural Carrier Vance Blanchard had just finished his route when he noticed people had gathered on the bank of a frozen river. He soon realized a 6-year-old girl had walked out on the frozen river and had fallen through the ice.

Despite the hazards of the rapidly running river and a wind chill of minus 6 degrees, Blanchard sprang into action. He found a tow rope in his car, which he used to rescue a man who had tried to walk out on the ice and had fallen through near the bank. Blanchard gave the man his coat and then threw the tow rope to the little girl.

At first, the girl put the rope around her neck, but Blanchard told her to put the rope around her arms and chest.

Firefighters arrived and pushed a ladder onto the fragile ice which they used to pull the girl from the water. Blanchard and others then pulled the ladder, with the girl and firefighter, back to shore.

Blanchard later said he thought the firefighter on the ladder was the hero. But Postmaster Corey Knapp disagreed. “I think they both were,” said Knapp. “Vance was very good at keeping the little girl calm, and he helped her get the rope on, which kept her from going into the current. He made some quick and good decisions, which saved her life for sure. She wouldn’t have lasted long in that cold water.”

Rural carrier union president says Obama budget misses the mark on USPS reform

nrlcaALEXANDRIA, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–This morning, President Obama released his Fiscal Year 2015 budget, which endorsed the Postmaster General’s proposed plan to eliminate six-day mail delivery. The following is a statement released by Jeanette Dwyer, President of the National Rural Letter Carriers’ Association:

“The Administration’s budget released today simply misses the mark when it comes to solving the current fiscal crisis plaguing the U.S. Postal Service. For decades, the Postal Service has provided consistent quality service to each and every household nationwide. Despite the Postal Service posting a profit delivering mail and packages in 2013, elected officials continue with misguided and unacceptable attempts to slash and eliminate service.

“Our Postal Service is in need of true reform, not ill-advised, counter-productive attempts to slash service. By re-working the Postal Service’s funding of its retiree health benefits, an obligation which accounts for 80% of USPS losses over recent years and is forced on no other public or private entity, lawmakers could take the easiest and most-sensible step toward getting this venerable institution back on the right page. Allowing the Postal Service to continue to innovate with same-day parcel delivery and other services will provide a great opportunity to generate needed revenue and allow the USPS to remain a competitive player in the shipping and delivery industry. We need to grow our Postal Service not shrink it.

“While many say the Postal Service should be run like a business, it has been shackled by burdensome obligations and left to drown in red ink. Misguided legislation and a dysfunctional Congress have brought the Postal Service to this point, but these problems are easily solvable.

“Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle have expressed support for the protection of six-day mail delivery. The NRLCA and its members urge President Obama and his administration to support the U.S. Postal Service and abandon its insistence on slashing and eliminating service.”