Monday, Dec. 19 is the busiest day of the year for the U.S. Postal Service, which expects to process more than 611 million pieces of mail that day. While families across the country look forward to the daily trip to the mailbox this time of year, there may be no place where that’s more true than in the southern part of Bunnell, Florida.
For almost 60 years, residents in the South Bunnell community had not had mail delivered to their homes. When the Postal Service began charging for the post office boxes they had been using for free, it became an even greater challenge for some residents to afford mail service.
Around that time, homeowners in South Bunnell also found out that homeowners in North Bunnell were being provided delivery service, despite their close proximity to the post office. That’s when residents began joining together to bring home mail delivery to the community.
“We didn’t know we could apply to get mail service,” said homeowner Daisy Mae Henry. “We were never told we could get it.”
Henry was one of the first to receive mail and encourage other homeowners to apply, but the one thing many of them needed were mailboxes. Flagler Habitat for Humanity learned about this and stepped in to help residents overcome that critical hurdle.
Through Habitat’s Neighborhood Revitalization program, dedicated to transforming neighborhoods and enhancing the quality of life in communities through local partnerships, Lowe’s provided a $70,000 grant and support of its Lowe’s Heroes volunteers to install the mailboxes and make other community improvements. Lowe’s has been a national partner of Habitat for Humanity since 2003.
“Lowe’s stepped in to help install mailboxes, and that was like a miracle. It was a blessing.”— Daisy Mae Henry, South Bunnell homeowner
“(Flagler Habitat for Humanity Executive Director) Lindsay (Elliott) called me one day and said, ‘We have some partners and we’ll get the mailboxes installed.’ Lowe’s stepped in to help install mailboxes and that was like a miracle. It was a blessing,” Henry said.
A team of volunteers from Lowe’s store in Palm Coast helped install more than 120 mailboxes. Later, they returned to post house numbers.
After nearly 60 years, homeowners in South Bunnell who wanted mail delivery are finally receiving it, along with their share of season’s greetings.
“Mail is now being delivered beautifully in South Bunnell,” said Elliott of Flagler Habitat. “The residents are thrilled and love the opportunity to walk to the end of their driveway to retrieve their mail.”
The partnership of many people and organizations within the community helped make mail delivery a reality. Funds from Lowe’s neighborhood revitalization grant will continue to transform the community with a walking path and pavilion project at the Carver Community Center, a centrally located gathering space in Bunnell.