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United Way Blog

Heroes Among Us: Celebrating Letter Carriers and Their Community Impact

Letter carriers across the United States do more than deliver your mail. All too often, they’re the first on the scene in emergencies — and act as first responders. And throughout the year, they’re involved in efforts that make a difference in our communities.

That’s why the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) recognizes Letter Carrier Heroes of the Year. Heroes like Phillip Moon and Kyle Mailman demonstrate remarkable courage, from rescuing individuals from animal attacks and potential disasters to detecting and mitigating emergencies like gas leaks.

Beyond their emergency response roles, NALC members like Earnest Twomley have sparked lasting charitable initiatives. Twomley’s holiday toy drives and the establishment of the nonprofit Better Angels of Human Nature exemplify how postal workers continuously give back to their communities, demonstrating deep commitment and care.

And over the last 31 years, letter carriers have gathered and distributed more than 2 billion pounds of food for their communities, as part of the NALC’s Stamp Out Hunger food drive. Happening on Saturday, May 11, it’s America’s largest one-day, volunteer-led food drive.

Erkeisha Terry, Director of Labor Engagement at United Way Worldwide, who served as a judge for this year's Letter Carrier Heroes of the Year awards, also brings a rich history of involvement with Stamp Out Hunger. Recalling her experiences in Michigan, Terry said, “The NALC local branch used to have a Stamp Out Hunger kickoff at Gleaners Food Bank. Some area schools would have their marching bands participate in the kick-off by marching by the food bank facility. The president of the food banks, pantries, union leaders and executives from the post office would speak. Staff from local pantries talked about how important and critical the one-day food drives were for their communities because some families relied on their pantry for food.”

United Way and the NALC have maintained a robust partnership for over 30 years. This collaboration has addressed community needs beyond immediate crises, particularly in combating hunger through the Stamp Out Hunger food drive.

Stamp Out Hunger collected 43.1 million pounds of food last year alone. The process is simple: on the second Saturday in May (May 11 this year), people leave a bag of non-perishable food items by their mailboxes, which letter carriers collect and deliver to local food banks.

The drive is a testament to the power of community and partnership, with United Way and NALC working alongside the U.S. Postal Service, National AFL CIO, the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, Kellanova, Vera Cast, CVS Health, and the National Rural Letter Carriers Association.

Help Stamp Out Hunger in your community by placing a bag of non-perishable food next to your mailbox on the morning of Saturday, May 11.


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