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Mailman delivers essential items to quarantined neighbors: ‘I’m doing this to keep people inside’

An Ohio postal worker is bringing essential items to customers under quarantine to stop the coronavirus in his community.

Two weeks ago, Kyle West, a carrier for the United States Postal Service, was asked an unusual favor by an elderly man on his route: To buy him toilet paper. Worried about the man’s health, West went to the store after work, delivering the item to his home the next day.

However, West was also concerned about the rest of the neighborhood. “I called my mom at work and dictated a note for my customers,” the 23-year-old tells Yahoo Lifestyle. It read: “If you are at risk and need help getting essential items, let me know. I will do what I can to help.”

West included his phone number and signed it, “Sincerely, Mailman Kyle.”

He printed 400 copies of the note and over the following days, left it inside mailboxes on his route, particularly ones belonging to elderly or disabled people. In turn, neighbors leave West a shopping list and money in their mailbox.

A mailman in Ohio left notes for his customers, offering to buy them essential items. (Photo: Courtesy of Kyle West)

A mailman in Ohio left notes for his customers, offering to buy them essential items. (Photo: Courtesy of Kyle West)

Some items, like a 12-pack of paper towels and 45 rolls of toilet paper, were donated to the post office and West distributes them as needed. Another time, he picked up a bottle of milk and two bars of soap at the store for a customer.

“About 50 people have requested hand sanitizer, stamps and soap,” West tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “I do the best I can for non-essential items.” The majority have left West thank-you notes and he carries paper goods in his truck for urgent orders.

“I’m doing this to keep people inside,” West tells Yahoo Lifestyle of Ohio’s stay-at-home order. One of his customers even decided to write a similar note and left it in people’s mailboxes.

West doesn’t mind the extra duties. “I see these people every day,” he says. “They’re not burdening me.”

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