"I figured if I'm already there, it won't hurt me to bring what they need," mailman Kyle West said of his kind gesture

By Joelle Goldstein
April 24, 2020 04:12 PM
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An Ohio mailman is taking his essential job to the next level by delivering supplies to the elderly amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Kyle West has become more than just a mailman to hundreds of customers after he started to deliver supplies and groceries, in addition to their mail, on his daily route, ABC affiliate WCPO reported.

The essential worker first came up with the idea when an elderly man on his White Oak Meadows route approached him and asked if he would be able to do him a favor.

“My favorite guy came out and asked me if I could please help him get toilet paper,” West recalled to the outlet. “From then I realized that some people just can’t do it themselves.”

People ages 65 and older are at a higher risk of severe illness from coronavirus, as are people with underlying medical conditions — including heart conditions, obesity, diabetes, liver disease and chronic kidney disease — according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

West, who told WCPO that a “majority” of his route were elderly people, then decided to send notes to all of his customers that read: “If you are at risk & need help getting essentials, let me know. I will do what I can to help.”

The short note was signed with his moniker, “Mailman Kyle,” and also included his phone number so people could reach him.

“We deliver a lot of essential items to people every day as far as medication and just ways of communication for people to talk to their families,” he explained to WCPO. “Seeing a lot of my customers putting on suits to just go get stamps I figured if I’m already there, it won’t hurt me to bring what they need.”

Of the nearly 400 notes he sent out, West said he’s received responses from “almost every person” — something that he was genuinely surprised by.

“The turnout has been a lot more than I have expected,” he told WCPO, noting that many have asked for essential items, like milk and toilet paper, while others have simply enjoyed his conversation because its the only in-person interaction they get.

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But that conversation has also been equally valued by West, as well as other mail carriers, he noted.

“It’s hard for us, not being able to talk to our customers, because that’s one of the big parts of our day is being able to see all of our favorite people,” he explained to WCPO.

Though he’s going out of his way to run errands, West said he does not want anything in return from his customers. Instead, he just hopes that people will abide by the social distancing mandates to keep him and other mail carriers safe.

As of Friday afternoon, there have been at least 883,009 cases and 45,268 deaths attributed to coronavirus in the United States, according to the New York Times. In Ohio, at least 15,169 cases and 690 deaths have been reported, according to the Times.

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