“Who is someone that visits your house almost every day of the week and knows your name?”
Looking around the 1st-grade classroom, the kids gave a mixture of thoughtful and stumped expressions. Nearing the end of my presentation on community and helping others, I readied envelopes and notecards for our act of kindness while they thought about it.
“Anyone have an idea?” Seeing that everyone, even the teacher, was stumped, I gave them another hint. “This person doesn’t come to your front door but opens a smaller door near your sidewalk.”
“There’s a FAIRY that lives on my sidewalk!?!?!?” One young lady beamed with excitement as she considered that I had offered up evidence of fairy life near her.
“No, not a fairy, the MAILMAN!” The girl sitting next to her jumped up, excited that she had figured out a solution.
“Well, I don’t know about the fairies, but I do know that the mailman or the mail carrier comes by your house all the time. How many of you have said ‘HI’ to your mail carrier?” Noone spoke up.
“Okay,” I continued, “did you know that your mail carrier comes when it is hot, cold, rainy, dry, 6 days a week?”
“Wow, he is busy,” one 1st grader replied.
“We are going to write a thank you note to your mailman,” I started transitioning to the activity.
And, those 1st graders did go home and place those thank you notes in the mailbox.
A few weeks later, we saw ripples of gratitude for those thank you notes.
- Several mail carriers wrote back to those 1st graders!
- One mail carrier left a small version of her mail truck for her gratitude giver!
And, then we got a knock on our door.
Mail Carrier (handing over a very small package that he could have left in the mail box): Hi!
My Husband: Hi! How are you?
Mail Carrier: Doin’ good. Wanted to ask you a question. Are you the ones that helped those kids leave thank you notes in the mailboxes.
Stunned. Totally stunned. There were no identifying marks on those letters that would have led the mail carriers back to us. But, their hearts needed those notes of gratitude so much that they sought out the originator.
My Husband: Um, yeah. Is everything okay?
Mail Carrier: Yes, yes! We just wanted to thank you for helping them do that. Really cool, Man, really cool!
My Husband: You are welcome. And, thank you!
Those little thank you notes full of misspelled words, crooked letters, and interesting drawings made an impression. People need to feel loved and valued. A thank you note can go a long way in doing just that!