It’s not every day you intend to deliver the mail and end up rescuing the intended recipient instead.
But that’s what happened recently to Escalon rural mail carrier Terri Mendes, who was called in to service to help an elderly postal patron get back into her home safely.
The incident occurred along Lemon Avenue, one of the streets on the rural route that Mendes services.
The 22-year postal service veteran said as she was getting ready to deliver mail to some boxes, she heard someone calling for help. She eventually found the source of the cries, an elderly woman nearby she knows from her route, who had inadvertently gotten her cane tangled in a garbage can, had fallen and was unable to free herself. The woman was propped up and had been waving to passing motorists, Mendes said, but even those that waved back apparently thought she was just being friendly, waving to say ‘hello’ instead of to seek their help.
“She explained to me that her cane got stuck in the garbage can as she was trying to take it out,” Mendes said.
The entanglement resulted in the woman falling down, unable to extricate herself or the cane in order to attempt to get back on her feet.
Mendes said she was happy to help and glad she came along when she did.
“I walked her into the house and we chatted a bit, I wanted to make sure she was okay,” Mendes said. “It was actually a beautiful sunny day, I am glad it wasn’t raining.”
The elderly woman was none the worse for wear and very appreciative, added Mendes. They even got the garbage can put out on time.
Escalon Postmaster Ken Crandal said actions like those taken by Mendes are common for his postal carriers, who he said are truly there to serve the community, even if it sometimes takes an unusual form.
The route Mendes currently covers is primarily the southeast rural section of Escalon and she said she enjoys the work but also being part of the Escalon team.
“Ken is the most supportive postmaster, we’re very lucky and I feel we have the best post office ever,” Mendes said.