Mail carriers are now helping the elderly with more than just their mail following the launch of a program by Chunghwa Post Co last year.
The drive requires mailmen to maintain regular contact or make regular visits to elderly men and women who live alone on their routes.
Five mail carriers were publicly commended on Friday for their dedication to the program over the past year.
Among the award winners was Huang Fu-chun (黃富君) of Chiayi County who helped save the life an 87-year-old woman during a visit last June while he was working at the county’s Luchao Post Office.
Huang found the woman lying in a pool of blood after she had accidentally stepped on a kitchen knife. He immediately administered first aid to stem the bleeding and then informed the village chief.
The woman was very grateful to Huang for saving her life and her family asked the village chief to publicly commend him, but the postman rejected the idea.
Shortly afterwards, Huang was transferred to the post office in his hometown of Sanchiao Village. His actions were not made public until after the woman’s son-in-law sent a gold plaque to the Chiayi County Post Office for Huang.
Huang, 30, a graduate of Feng Chia University, said he didn’t think his assistance to the elderly woman deserved any publicity.
“I just did what I should,” he told reporters after receiving a citation at a ceremony to mark Postal Service Day.
However, his superiors said Huang was worthy of the commendation because he is one of the few mail carriers who has diligently carried out the company’s “community care” program to deliver warmth and aid to the elderly.
In addition to making regular visits to elderly people on his route, Huang also read letters to them and chatted with them, company executives said.
“It’s not easy for mail carriers to offer this kind of help on a regular basis because they tend to have a heavy workload,” said one of Huang’s superiors.
Tseng Chin-hsiu (曾錦秀) from Taichung Post Office was also cited for regularly assisting the 50-plus elderly people who live alone in the community he serves.
Over the past year, Tseng has visited each of them at least once per month and had made detailed records of their health and living situation.
The other three winners were Lin Chang-hu (林長湖) from Miaoli County’s Houlung Post Office, Chien Huang-jung (簡煌榮) from Tainan Post Office and Lee Sen-hui (李森輝) from Kaohsiung Post Office, all of whom took time out to make regular house calls on elderly people living alone and helping them to get their mail and purchase daily necessities.
Chunghwa Post officials said mail carriers have a tough job, as they have to spend four to five hours per day traveling and delivering letters and their starting pay is only NT$25,000 a month.