Today’s post is from someone doing work that is not easy at the best of times, and is positively heroic now.

Essential services?
by Irit Umani, Austin, Texas

Doctors, nurses, grocery store workers, EMS—all essential, no doubt, and no need to explain.

But in the organization for which I work, we continue mail services. Being the address for some 1,800 people who are homeless, there is still one worker a day receiving, sorting, filing and handing mail to folks who knock on the door asking for their mail. I kept wondering, How essential is it? Should we continue?

Earlier this week, a woman came to the door to check for mail. She also asked if we can help her with a bus ticket from Austin to Houston, which in regular times we do. I had no access to the account and was going to give her my own money for the ticket. But as soon as she opened the mail of the day, she burst out crying. These were tears of joy. In the mail, she had her first ever two checks from social security. One check was for the current month and the other was a payback for a few previous months.

She no longer needed help for a bus ticket, and I no longer doubt why we keep mail service going.

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