Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Post Office 2010

I have to tell it every year: The Christmas Event Post Office Experience. I'll remind you that they don't have a special drop-off door for you, if you happen to have 60 or 100 flat-rate boxes. Noooo, they make you get in line behind the guy buying a book of stamps. And (ahem) in front of the guy that just wants to buy one stamp.

We've also learned, over the years, that communicating with warning the post office is just good manners. We called ahead! Unfortunately, when Diane and I showed up Monday morning, the post office was a bit of a ghost town, as far as employees go. Customers lined up out the door, and 1 lone clerk. I suspected a flu, a post-office plague; they have never been unprepared for us!

We weren't about to hold up the line, so we took off. I called the Urbana Post Office and made a 4:00 "appointment." We were told to bring it on; there would be 3 clerks in attendance.

Donna! Yay, we got Donna! Donna appeared here in 2007, she is downright almost famous now!

We got there at 4:00, and Donna was *supposed* to get off work at 4:30. She knew what she was getting herself into, and announced that she'd stayed until she got through with our order. Go Donna! Go Troops! Go, USA!

Standing behind Donna is the Postmaster, Kathy. Kathy came out to give me money. Her very own money, along with an envelope full of other donations, one of which was from my very own cousin, Tammy. I have to tell you, it's really great to walk in and do business with a business that gives YOU money.

We were there at the end of the day, a cold sucky Monday. People were on their way home from work.  I imagined them anxious to get home and fix dinner, and getting stuck behind us, hogging an entire employee to ourselves. 

Everyone was just so incredibly nice. One veteran thanked us; he'd served 2 tours in Iraq, and he knew firsthand what care packages mean. 

Another lady stopped to tell me she'd been at the Veteran's Day Program, and we laughed at how we'd both cried.

I talked to a "new" military Mom. Her 20-year-old daughter had deployed 2 weeks ago. I asked her how she was holding up, and she said she had 2 other kids and a business to run...aka distractions. Still, certain songs and christmas decorations took her breath away. Not knowing how she'd take a bear hug from a strange stranger, I resisted, and gave her my business card. I hope she knew that I know, too. I know.

A friend I went to high school with crossed the room and handed me a check for $50. She'd been meaning to send, she said...and still donated, after getting stuck behind us!

The chocolate didn't hurt our position any. Diane was appointed Baker du Jour, and she brought homemade cookies to appease the crowd.

Our grand total for the day was $732.05, and I walked out with $165.00 in my pocket, donated by employees and people standing in line around me.
When I meet or correspond with a new soldier, a deployed soldier, I always tell them to ask for what they need. I ask them to take a look around and take note if anyone else needs anything. Because, I tell them, "people just hand me money to take care of you."

I can see why it's hard for them to fathom.

It's so fairy-tale-y, isn't it?

I can hardly believe it myself.

Go home, Donna. Thanks for staying late.
I'll be back tomorrow.


  1. It was super fun..Donna was amazing!! It was so cute when she'd take a bite of cookie, crumbs falling,but she never slowed down, or stopped working..very efficient,and funny too..not to mention the automatic doors...whew~~~~~~~~~~~ God willing..same time next year!!

  2. Angela Page11:13 AM

    I wish there was a bulk email for ALL military units. I wish they could see how so many people say, "OH, for our troops? Here, have some money." I wish they all could know how giving and caring people are when it comes to their service because in all reality, they are serving us. How could we not serve them?

  3. You post the story and every year I get all blubbery at my desk.

    And I better stop typing because I'm getting blubbery again.

  4. Donna is the BEST! I used to go to the Urbana PO frequently when I worked for City-U. Another fantastic lady there is Charlotte (not sure if she's still there or not). But honestly, they don't get much better than Donna. You, Lori, do so much for so many! God Bless You!

  5. Fairy-taley indeed !

    Such an awesome update Lori. Love ya!

  6. Anonymous11:52 AM

    To Susan A: Charlotte retired a couple of years ago. I knew I was spending too much time in the post office, mailing packages to soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq, when I was invited to Charlotte's retirement day. Donna is a treasure to behold, she truly is. I have received nothing but generosity and kindness at the Urbana PO. Lori, thanks for sharing Donnna's photo and for your shipping update. It's always fun and games, isn't it?

  7. These posts always cheer me up. Y'all rock.


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