Newtown post office flooded with condolences
Newtown, Conn.'s post office has been receiving a deluge of letters, cards, care packages and drawings from around the world in the wake of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
In the wake of the tragic school shootings in Newtown, Conn., one place has become headquarters for the love and outpouring of condolences headed to that quaint New England town from around the world: the Newtown, Conn., post office.
Workers there have been taking phone calls all day today (Dec. 17) answering questions from people all over the U.S. who want to send their thoughts and prayers in the form of letters, cards, care packages and drawings from their children. Without specific names and addresses to mail to, many were calling to find out where to send those letters.
In response, the U.S. Post Office has set up a post-office box dedicated to just that need, said Maureen Marion, manager of corporate communications for northeast area for the USPS.
Marion said she expects the deluge of mail to begin arriving later today and to continue for the foreseeable future.Â
âThe phone has been ringing nonstop with people calling to ask how they can send things,â Marion told BusinessNewsDaily, adding that a "cascade of written materials" is expected.
To help the small post office deal with the crush of mail, the USPS has set up the following mailing address for all mail and packages intended for the families of shooting victims, first responders and Newtown residents affected by theÂ shooting tragedy:
PO Box 3700, Newtown, CT, 06470
Marion said the dedicated post-office box will help Newtownâs post-office staff handle the enormous amount of mail they are expecting.
From there, the USPS will work with local community groups to help distribute the mail. Â
âWeâre in the beginning stages of getting it to the right people,â Marion said. They will also make sure that the mail is monitored to ensure families only receive what is appropriate and arenât exposed to anything âa family member doesnât need to see,â Marion said.
âWeâll be working with town leaders to establish a venue to handle everything accordingly,â she said. âOur job is to be the funnel.â
âLove through the mailâ
Marion said this is not the first time in her job that she has seen a big influx of mail as a result of a tragedy.
âEven in very recent history, weâve seen an enormous outpouring of support forÂ Hurricane Sandy,â she said. âOur communities are very generous in this part of the country. They are very kind and focused on helping families.â
Still, last weekâs terrible shootings, which have triggered an outpouring of emotions from people around the world,Â may bring in even more mail.
âItâs my expectation that we are going to see an enormous amount of love coming through the mail,â Marion said.
She expects there will be letters from children and schools, and encourages people to send their wishes via the mail so they can be saved and reread later.
âBecause they are written, families and first responders will be able to enjoy them and reread them over and over in a time and place thatâs good for them. Thatâs the beauty of our job. We are here to deliver that love," Marion said.
Busiest time of year
This is already the busiest time of the year for the USPS and the extra mail will be a challenge for postal workers. Marion said they are up for the challenge, however.
âThis is our peak season to begin with,â Marion said. âWeâre already at capacity.â
She said the USPS will send extra workers to Newtownâs post office if necessary.
âWeâre prepared to give them whatever they need,â she said. âThis is an exceptional moment in time and we are prepared to do exceptional things.â