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When Gregory Reece got the nomination for ‘Living Snoqualmie Hero of the Week Award,’ it was no surprise for those who’ve been on the receiving end of his kindness. Reece embodies the award; he selflessly gives back to our community and always goes above and beyond the call of duty. After all, rarely is someone so committed to their job and community that after being hit by an SUV, they’re back on the job 36 hours later.
Few of us think about the people who sort through our online-purchased items and birthday cards before they magically arrive at our doorstep. These employees practically have the same level of mystery as Santa’s elves – we know they’re there but rarely are they mentioned in the distribution cycle.
Perhaps you haven’t officially met Mr. Reece in person. Still, I guarantee you’ve seen him at some point, driving a USPS truck around the community while putting in an extra level of care when delivering our packages. Regardless as to whether you’re on his mail route or not, I have very little doubt that his above and beyond attitude has touched and impacted all of our lives at some point. After all, a drop of kindness creates a ripple.
Even if his name doesn’t ring a bell, be rest assured that if you’re on his route, he most certainly knows you. For example, when interviewing him, he immediately recognized my last name, knew where I live, and could recall details about my life from his years delivering packages to my family. His ability to remember minute details about those he services is rival to none, just like his commitment to helping the community.
Nominated by a resident along his mail route, Jacki Jones, his devotion is known by all who have witnessed his distinctive extra level of care.
A rural mail carrier, he has been with the USPS for four years, being on his route on the Ridge for two of them. Reece says he sorts and delivers an average of about 3000 pieces of mail and between 150-350 packages of various sizes 5 or 6 days a week to about 560 homes and seven businesses on Snoqualmie Ridge.
He has mail running through his veins; his grandfather was a mail carrier on the Eastside for about 30 years, and one of his aunts delivered mail out of a station wagon in Kitsap County. Reece’s roots run deep in the community; as he lived on the Ridge for over a decade, until his recent move to Kittitas County. In addition, all seven of his children went through the SVSD.
When I asked why this profession spoke to him, he selflessly replied, “I took on this job for many reasons. I felt like I needed to do something to serve the community, I saw a lot of people complaining about the mail service here, so I decided to join the post office.”
Never just doing his job – He transcends expectations and requirements. Whether it be sending out Christmas cards to every house on his route, voluntarily replacing mailbox locks, or creating communication channels for the community to reach out to him with their concerns, he goes above and beyond in every way possible. He even responds to issues via email and Facebook messenger, sometimes within minutes.
Some people may see only street addresses and front porches. He sees homes, that each have their own story. He notices the wife putting her husband, who used a wheelchair, into a van, the family with the special needs child, or the recently divorced single mom.
He does more than deliver mail, he is a fundamental part of our lives; getting up every morning to make other people’s lives easier. He’s helping people shelter in place and delivering more time for people to do what they love.
I, for one, know that the next time a box arrives on my doorstep, I’ll spend a moment thinking about the role that Gregory Reece put into its safe arrival, thanking him for his superhero level dedication to every person he services.