When you think about pillars of your community, who makes the list? I’m sure that you’d put on it business owners, heads of charitable organizations, leaders of religious congregations, and perhaps a few politicians.
But the city of Marietta, Georgia, had someone else to add to just such a list. They included a mailman named Floyd Martin.
According to WTSP, mail delivery was one of Martin’s first jobs. After graduating high school in 1975, he began work at a bank, but decided to take the postal service test.
When USPS offered him double the pay of his then-current position, he jumped on the opportunity. He has been delivering letters and packages ever since.
However, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that he always viewed his job as more than simply moving mail from one place to another. He added a personal touch to his interactions with residents.
Martin shared treats with animals and handed out lollipops to kids. He’d scoop up newspapers and drop them at front doorsteps so that the elderly wouldn’t have to shuffle out to pick them up.
He connected with numerous people for nearly 35 years as he circled his 500-house route. And when he announced his retirement, the community decided to reward his dedication.
So when Jennifer Brett, a senior reporter for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, decided to document his last day, she captured something amazing. Numerous residents decorated their mailboxes and put gifts in them for Martin.
People came out to hug him and bring him gifts. They even threw a giant block party in his honor and invited all 500 households along his route. Over 300 people showed up to support their beloved mailman and wish him well in his retirement.
THREAD: Floyd Martin retires after nearly 35 years as a mailman tomorrow. I went with him on his route today. pic.twitter.com/qZhUVY7Sz8
— Jennifer Brett (@Jennifer__Brett) May 22, 2019
“His presence and smile are such an integral part of our 28 years here,” said resident Trish Nicolas. Amanda Seals, whose grandmother lives on Martin’s route, stated, “Dementia has set in, and she doesn’t see well anymore, but she still knows Floyd.”
That wasn’t even the biggest way they honored him. Many of the neighborhood residents knew that Martin had always wanted to go to Hawaii.
So Amanda Dian Seals started a GoFundMe campaign to help him realize his dream.
“When the neighborhood that Mailman Floyd Martin has served for decades learned that he was retiring, there was a full-fledged effort to make sure he knew how much everyone loved him and that to say that he would be missed would prove to be a complete understatement,” Seals wrote on the page.
“Thanks to social media and a neighborhood friend who is also a reporter, his story has gone viral, and even those who do not know Floyd want to honor him for his 35 years in public service. This GoFundMe account will help him achieve his dream of going to Hawaii on a well deserved vacation.”
The campaign asked for $5,000. Over the space of four days, it raised $32,822.
Even more amazing was that Delta Airlines learned of the campaign and reached out to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution to help. “Mr. Martin, you’ve touched many lives, helping connect those on your mail route to their families and friends through the letters you delivered,” the airlines said in a statement.
“We too are all about connections; on behalf of Delta employees, enjoy your trip to Hawaii—we can’t think of a better way to kick off your retirement. Cheers.”
A gobsmacked Martin warmly expressed his gratitude. “Thank you for caring about me,” he said.
“We’ve gone through good times and bad times together. You were there when I needed you, even if you didn’t know it.”
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, he asked his community for one last thing as his celebration came to a close: “Continue to take care of each other, and smile when you think of me.”
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.