CLEVELAND — Going to the Post Office and buying stamps may seem like a simple task, but the United States Postal Service has an alternative for older Ohioans who need a little help getting around.
The Post Office on Wheels makes stops across the region, helping elderly residents save money on travel and give them peace of mind. The service is committed to community and makes sure important packages are delivered without a scratch.
Back in 1999, Post Office on Wheels started rolling through the streets of Ohio. At the time, there were only about ten stops. Now, there are up to 130.
“We go from the inner city all the way out to Avon, Avon Lake, Lorain,” said Glen Fort, a window clerk for the USPS. “This is definitely our district's way of giving back to the community.”
For the last 15 years, Fort has been behind the wheel of the program, making connections across Northeast Ohio. He often goes out of the way for the smallest of tasks.
“If I'm not on time, I get a call. ‘You're two minutes late,’” Fort said.
The program prioritizes older Ohioans. The unit visits nursing homes, senior living facilities and rec centers servicing those who could use the extra help.
“We have so many seniors that don't drive and we have so many seniors that even if they do drive, who wants to get in their car when it's snowing or whatever,” said Allison Courimilia, a marketing and leasing manager for Westwood Place Senior Living.
Residents of local senior living facilities say they’re thankful to have the convenient alternative.
“A lot of people here appreciate it simply because they use it. And that speaks for itself,” said Bill Lytle, a resident at Generations Senior Living. “It's just a real convenience.”
At one point, there were at least 50 mobile stamp vans in commission across the United States. Now, the Postal Service is down to just a few.
“I look at these people as my mom and my dad and what they would need and what they would like to have. And it's very satisfying and fulfilling,” Fort said.
If you have a parent or loved one who would like to get this service in their community, you can call 216-443-4732.
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