Susan Wallace’s 4-year-old daughter, Juliette, only asked for one gift this year — a Santa necklace straight from the jolly old man himself.
Coming in a special package all the way from the North Pole, though, the delivery ended up getting delayed in the mail. Wallace began to worry, turning to her mail carrier, Charles, who she said has been delivering the family’s mail for at least 13 years now.
She waved down his truck as he was out delivering mail one day and told him about the gift for her daughter and the delay. He assured her that if he was able to get his hands on the package, he would get it back to her in time for Christmas morning.
“And so I gave him the tracking number, and he pulled it off,” Wallace said.
Charles showed up just in time on Christmas Eve, a huge smile on his face. He gave the pink, polka-dotted package to Wallace just after it arrived at the post office in Cumming.
“I know for a fact that package would not have made it to me in time if he had not been on high alert looking for it,” Wallace said.
The family has always loved Charles, knowing that he’ll come visit every day not just to deliver their mail, but to spend a few moments with them before heading off on the rest of his route. Ever since they could walk on their own, Wallace’s three kids, now 13, 8 and 4, all run out to greet him each afternoon.
Wallace feels it’s important to always show the people in their lives how much they mean to them and how much they appreciate what they do. No matter if they are a mail carrier, grocery store clerk or any other person that helps out in a small way, she said she wants them to know how thankful she is for them, and wants to pass that sentiment on to her kids.
That’s also why, after all of the Christmas festivities were over, Wallace ended up taking over her husband’s Facebook account to post to one of the local groups and explain what Charles did for her and her daughter.
Seeing the post, other Forsyth County residents started to reflect on how much they appreciate and love their own mail carriers.
One resident, Arlinda Porter, has known her family’s mail carrier, Bill, since they first built their home on his route 17 years ago. He had stopped by to introduce himself, meeting them and what Porter described as their “obnoxious dog,” Buzz, who they said is incredibly sweet, but unfortunately does not like delivery trucks.
Despite Buzz’s high energy, Porter said Bill has always been incredibly patient and kind with him, and he always handles all of their packages with care, dropping them off in dry spots when he knows it’s going to rain or where it will be safe.
“It’s just those personal touches that are so appreciated … the biggest highlight with [Bill] is how he just tries to make a connection with the customers on his route,” Porter said.
Other residents commented on the post, showing their own appreciation for all of their mail carriers who they know had to work difficult and long hours during the pandemic and especially this holiday season.
Wallace said she was delighted to see so many in the comments showing that appreciation, spreading some positivity instead of displeasure as packages have been delayed during a busy year.
“I think we, as adults, need to remember that everyone who works in our community truly has a heroic role to play,” Wallace said. “Whether it's someone bagging groceries, taking an order at a restaurant or delivering a little package, each person is integral in making Cumming the extraordinary place it is.
“I am grateful for Mr. Charles and all those like him who go above and beyond in their workplace so that my family feels loved no matter where we are — even, and perhaps especially, at our mailbox,” Wallace said.
Ashlyn Yule contributed to this story.