A half-century of service excellence

Colleagues celebrate Phoenix, AZ, P&DC Distribution Clerk Francis Peters (holding framed art).

Phoenix P&DC Distribution Clerk Francis Peters was recognized on Wednesday, April 12, for 50 years of service with the USPS. Acting Phoenix, AZ, Senior Plant Manager Marty Chavez and Acting Lead Senior Manager Sunny Kuruvilla presented Peters with a diamond 50 year service pin and a letter signed by Postmaster General Megan Brennan.

In addition, Chavez presented Peters, a longtime New York Jets fan, with a framed commemorative envelope celebrating 50 years of Super Bowl history and the Jets’ victory in Super Bowl III.

Appreciative and soft-spoken, Peters thanked Chavez, Kuruvilla and fellow employees who joined them to applaud Peters’ career and enjoy a slice of cake to honor his service. Peters also recalled first being hired in 1966 as “Christmas help” at the old processing center in downtown Phoenix, as well as working parcels in the basement of Veterans Memorial Coliseum at the state fairgrounds and loading outgoing mail onto trains. Peters has worked in Phoenix mail processing facilities for his entire career.

“A career spanning a half-century is certainly indicative of a unique dedication to duty and to country,” Brennan wrote in her letter to Peters. “It is an accomplishment of which you should be proud, and one which deserves the admiration of your fellow employees and the community as well.”

Retiring retail associate receives key to the city

Former Bremerton Postmaster Harry Klienfelter, Retail Associate Marj Hendershot, and Customer Services Supervisors Melinda Hara and John Walker.

When Bremerton, WA, Retail Associate Marj Hendershot announced her retirement after 40 years of service, employees and customers made almost identical comments – the office and town would be a quieter place without her presence.

Hendershot is known affectionately for her “cackle,” a distinctive laugh born of an effervescent personality and positive attitude known throughout the local community. It’s a characteristic which lead the local newspaper, the Kitsap Sun, to feature her departure in an article entitled, “The cackle is leaving.”

“She is positively exuberant in a way no one else is,” said fellow Retail Associate Anna Gilman.

KING 5, a Seattle television station, agreed with Gilman. The station made the trip across Puget Sound to visit Hendershot and feature her, and a large number of local community members who visited her on her last day at work on March 31, in its broadcast.

As a token of appreciation for distinctive service to the community, Mayor Patty Lent presented Hendershot with a key to the city during the retirement celebration.

Inspiring the next generation

Students at the Granger Elementary school in Iowa recently received a special treat. Granger Postmaster Sara Boorman, Acting Grimes Postmaster Rob Cracraft, Post Office Operations Manager Wendy Berg, and Labor Relations Specialist Teri King visited with the second graders to speak about the Postal Service.

The postal team taught the youngers about different types of deliveries and how the team worked hard to serve the children and their families. The kids were particularly interested to hear about future employment opportunities with the Postal Service when they grew up.

To top off the special day, children had a chance to see a Long-Life Vehicle first-hand and learn more about its capabilities. They also met Teri’s dog Rain King.

Teri is a dog bite prevention specialist in addition to her other duties, and appreciated the chance to educate the children about dog behaviors and how to avoid confrontation with a dog. Kids immediately flocked to Rain and treasured the chance to meet him.

How it works

Students at the Venetucci Elementary School in Colorado Springs, CO, recently had the chance to tour the local processing and distribution center. Acting Plant Manager Karl Foster spent time with the 2nd and 3rd graders to give them the grand tour, including an interactive presentation on how to address letters and the steps involved in the processing of their letters to get them delivered.

The children watched with fascination as high-speed machines read, sorted and barcoded letters. They also watched flat sorters in operation, where parcels are sorted, and how letters are forwarded when someone moves to a new address.

At the end of the tour, students were asked if any of them would like to work at the Post Office one day. All kids unanimously and enthusiastically thrust their hands into the air in support of the future job opportunity.

Rushing to a stranger’s aid

Viroqua, WI, City Carrier Tammie Halverson.

Viroqua, WI, City Carrier Tammie Halverson was delivering on her route recently when she witnessed a resident fall to the walkway from a second-story apartment.

Halverson rushed back to her vehicle to get her phone and called 911. She then returned to the scene and saw the man moving his hands. She remained with him until help arrived.

Surprisingly, Halverson noticed several people walk past the injured man – without taking action. The passersby acted shocked when they spotted the scene, but continued on their way.

The man suffered multiple fractures in his hips, legs and arms; and is recovering. He thanked Halverson for helping him during his accident and for calling emergency responders.

Preschoolers fascinated by postal magic

Preschool students received a behind-the-scenes look at the journey of their letters recently at the Redmond, OR, Post Office. The expedition started with a simple letter drop in the lobby and quickly expanded into a mesmerizing demonstration of precision operations.

Retail Associate Jennifer Stites and Postmaster Scott Harsh began the tour with 17 students dropping their letters into the lobby drop box. Stites and Harsh then escorted the kids behind the scenes where the real postal magic happens.

Children had a chance to see the hampers that caught their mail and then watched the sortation process. They also learned how postal trucks take the mail inside containers to other cities and how carriers prepare the mail for delivery to their homes.

“We even discussed safety measures we employ at the Post Office and how they can stay safe by avoiding playing around vehicles in their neighborhood,” said Harsh.

Youngsters asked many questions during their visit, including how mail is processed, where staff keeps their dogs, and how the skylights work.

“You are a lot like Santa Clause, but every day!” said one of the students.

Freezing young girl rescued by her carrier

Blair, WI, Rural Carrier Associate Mike Ressel

Blair, WI, Rural Carrier Associate Mike Ressel was delivering his route when he spotted a very young girl outside wondering around half-dressed in the cold winter weather. He secured his vehicle and went to speak with the little girl.

She was looking for her mother who had left the night before to get groceries, leaving her daughter by herself. By the next morning, the girl’s mother still had not returned home.

Ressel put the shivering girl in his jeep, contacted the Trempealeau County police department and brought the girl to a neighbor’s house. He stayed with the girl and the family until police arrived.

He also called Blair Postmaster Andrew Stevens to be certain that he was handling the situation correctly. When police arrived, he gave a statement and then continued on with his route.

“This is a sad story, but it makes me proud as a manager to know I have employees who truly care about not only their jobs, but the customers they serve,” Stevens said. “This could have ended very differently and we are all proud of Mike’s actions.”

Curious kids

When Nevada, MO, City Carrier Krista Marshall recently received a request from a school along her route to speak to their children about the Post Office, she was eager to help.

Preschool children from St. Mary’s School gathered around Marshall as she explained the importance of safety around vehicles and how carriers deliver mail each day. The enthusiastic kids enjoyed Marshall’s presentation and demonstrated keen curiosity regarding her job, the mail and of course, the fascinating vehicle Marshall drove in the performance of her duties.

Flight of fancy

The Barn Swallow Stamped Envelope was unveiled in a First-Day Ceremony as part of the American Philatelic Society (APS) AmeriStamp Expo at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center on March 3, 2017.

Attending the unveiling were American Philatelic Society Executive Director Scott English, American Philatelic Society Leadership Fellow Sommer de Rudder, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service official Michelle Hunt, and  Reno Manager Customer Services Karen Little.

Preschool kids eager to learn about their carrier and USPS

Henderson, CO, Rural Carrier Shauna Galicia

Henderson, CO, Rural Carrier Shauna Galicia recently helped coordinate a visit to a local preschool. The kids at John W. Thimmig Elementary School displayed both awe and curiosity when Galicia showed them a rare look inside a postal vehicle and her USPS satchel. The youngsters also enjoyed talking with Galicia about her duties as a carrier.

“The Henderson Post Office is proud to have such a generous and thoughtful employee on its staff and admires this contribution to the community,” said Postmaster Crystal Gutierrez.

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