I write this in honor of my Dad's birthday. He woulld have been 85 today. Sadly he died 11 years ago this month of a very rare cancer.  

Not only was Dad a letter carrier and a member of the union, The National Association of Letter Carriers, and this was a cause near and dear to his heart.  It was Personal for him.

Leave nonperishable food without expiration dates at your mailbox and your letter carrier will pick it up Satuday.

See more below the orange squiggle.  

I participate in the annual NALC Stamp out Hunger Drive each year.  I do it in memory of Dad and also in support of the NALC, the USPS, and because people need food.

There are so many people going to bed hungry in this country everyday.  Back in the 1930s and early 1940s, Dad was one of them.   He was the child of a single parent in Louisivlle KY.  Grandma would work 50 to 60 hours a week in a cotton factory and later a tobacco factory. She would make half the salary of her male coworkers performing the same job.

Grandma's husband left the family when my grandmother was pregnant with my aunt and my dad was 18 months old. Grandma had to walk to the hospital in labor. And she was told she had only one choice of a hospital because she was poor and she could  not pay much.   The nurses treated her horribly and ignored her and basically told her to have the baby on her own. The doctor interrogated her as to why her husband was not there for the birth of his child and how she must have done something wrong for her husband to abandon her.  

Grandma was treated even worse in a courtroom when she tried to ask the judge for some child support from the father of the children and her recent ex husband.
The Judge told her..

You must be a pretty poor hen if you cannot scratch for your chickens. You must have been a bad wife if your husband left you. NO, I am not going to make him support the children you gave birth to and choose to keep. If you cannot take care of your own kids, send them to an orphanage or let relatives adopt them.
This annual NALC food drive meant a great deal to Dad and when he retired, he continued to volunteer this second Saturday of May.  He knew what it was like to go hungry and sometimes not have a place to live.  He experienced the kindness of strangers who might leave a bag of groceries on their doorstep for them.  

After serving his country in the Korean War as one of the Frozen Chosin, the Marines who also liberated Seoul not once but twice; he became a letter carrier for the Post Office.  It is because of the Post Office and especially the Union, National Association of Letter Carriers , that Dad was able to raise his kids in a middle class home.  We were very fortunate. Dad was able to give us what we needed plus a little more and he even put 2 kids through college.  He was able to pay for our undergraduate degrees in a time when college was a lot more affordable, but still.    He was so proud and so pleased when we graduated and we did not have one cent of debt, we could start fresh.

The USPS and NALC are part of who I am today because of the opportunities given to my dad.  We need to always support unions and the USPS especially when the GOP seeks to privatize them and disband unions.

Dad was a caring, loving , supportive, loyal and encouraging father who believed in his daughters. He taught us we have the potential to be anything we want to be. And we were told...

Never feel you cannot do something because you are a woman. You are as smart as any man.
He was such a generous and compassionate man , contributing to as many charites as he could. But his heart was with the kids of single parents who are struggling. He gave many anonymous gifts of money to children of single parents.

And his goal was accomplished, to be the exact opposite of his father.  He was totally devoted to his children and his wife. He was always there for us, in good times and bad. No one could lift my spirts and cheer me up like Dad.  

Donating food to this Annual Drive means a great deal to me on a personal basis. It is so much a part of who I am and my legacy.

Please give a few canned goods or nonperishables, if at all possible. Just place your food near your mailbox.  

Originally posted to wishingwell on Fri May 10, 2013 at 08:34 AM PDT.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions, Hunger in America, and Community Spotlight.

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