Kyle West aka “Mailman Kyle,” has been delivering essential goods, along with the mail, to elderly people along his route.
West has worked for the USPS for 2.5 years and has 917 deliveries on his daily route. He says that he knows each person by name.
“They’re my people. That’s my route,” says the Ohio mailman. “I do this six days a week. I know everyone, and you know their kids. Everywhere you look, there’s someone waving at you.”
West told Good Morning America that he makes many deliveries to homes where people have annual incomes lower than $30,000 a year and that many of the people he serves are elderly or disabled.
The 23-year-old figured out how he could offer support amid the pandemic one day while shopping at Walmart.
He ran into a 94-year-old man he delivers to, in the paper goods aisle. Two packs of toilet paper remained on the shelf, but the man walked away without buying anything, telling West he was unable to afford it.
West bought the man’s toilet paper and delivered it to him the next day. “I told him to stay his butt in the house, and if he needed anything I could go get it for him,” West said. “Then I came up with the idea to make notes.”
West printed up a flyer that he included with his customers’ mail. It said: “If you are at risk and need help getting essential items, let me know. I will do what I can to help.”
He signed it “Mailman Kyle” and included his phone number.
Almost every home responded to the thoughtful and unexpected offer. Most people thanked West, but about 50 people in need asked for help.
Some offered to donate items for postal workers to distribute to the elderly and other high-risk individuals.
West has been modest about the attention his story is getting.
“I don’t like cameras, and that’s not why I did it… I’m doing this because I feel like I’m part of their neighborhood. I spend more hours at the post office than I do at my own house,” he said.
But he hopes that his efforts will inspire other frontline workers to find even more ways to help their communities.
“We’re already out there exposed, so if we can keep other people from being exposed, we can do that,” West said. “Hopefully other mail carriers will step up and help their customers if they need to.”