Retirees surprise mailman with showing of gratitude for pandemic service
Fri., April 22, 2022
U.S. Postal Service mail carrier Toby Best is greeted by residents and staff of the Avamere South Hill assisted living community during a surprise party to honor his service Thursday. Best has worked at the Regal Street Post Office and delivered mail to the retirement home for the last two and a half years. During the pandemic, residents looked forward to Best’s visits and wanted to thank him with a party. (COLIN MULVANY/THE SPOKESMAN-REVI)
A group of residents at Avamere South Hill gathered in the entryway Thursday morning. They chatted and shared details of their week, then the mail truck pulled up.
“Oh, here he comes,” Denise Rea exclaimed. “The mailman is coming!”
In walked Koby Best, 26, who has been delivering mail for the last two years.
The residents clapped and cheered for their favorite mail carrier, who brings their medicine, letters from loved ones, and packages, no matter the circumstances.
“I just thought it was just another day,” Best said bashfully, after the surprise.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, visitors weren’t allowed to enter the assisted living facility, except for Best.
John Derrick, president of the resident council committee, spoke to the group Thursday, saying the pandemic was another on the list of obstacles postal carriers push through to deliver the mail.
“At least we still got our mail,” Derrick said of the pandemic. “Even the junk mail, at least it’s something to read.”
Resident Don Jacobson loved the positivity the celebration brought to Avamere.
“I think it’s neat,” Jacobson said. “Say thank you to somebody, what could be nicer.”
Best was shocked by the outpouring of thanks. The pandemic was difficult for him, he said, with a massive increase in packages to be delivered while people were homebound.
Despite the increase in work, seeing people get the items they desperately needed or the medicine they count on made it all worth it, he said. He’s closest with residents of the retirement communities on his route because he gets to go inside and chat with them each day, Best said.
“I really do appreciate you,” Best said. “It’s awesome seeing your guys’ smiling faces.”
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