Letter carriers ask for assistance from residents during snowy season

BELTON, Mo. -- Not everyone can take shelter from the weather at an indoor job.

Some people, including letter carriers from the United States Postal Service, don't get snow days, and as the old adage goes, "neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds."

There's not one thing about this line of work that Rodney Goulding doesn't love. However, when the weather turns bad during the winter months, the work gets tougher.

He's worked as a USPS letter carrier for 12 years around Belton, and his route around the city is similar to the ones walked by 30 of his colleagues.

"You basically have the freedom to go out here and do your part to serve as best you can," Goulding said.

When homeowners and salt trucks keep streets, sidewalks and porches clear, Goulding said it makes his job easier.

Goulding, a father of three, said keeping the area around your mailbox helps the mail arrive safely. Goulding said when the weather is snowy, he tries to walk through yards, which despite large snow piles, can be safer for busy feet.

He should know, since he delivers mail to more than 600 homes per day, no matter the weather.

"It makes it a lot easier when people clear a path. Some people are so nice, they'll even shovel through the yard and make a path so you're not trudging through snow drifts," Goulding said Monday.

Mark Inglett, Belton's USPS Postmaster, understands the challenges delivery drivers face. He and Goulding said more than half the mail delivery customers around Belton are mindful of letter carriers, but they're hopeful everyone will be observant.

"It's a challenge, but we're out there doing it every day," Inglett said. "We're proud of what we do, and we're lucky to be part of the community and the fabric of the community, and we're out here doing the best we can."

Both postal employees stress safety as a priority throughout the entire US Postal Service. Goulding said his job is tough, but he enjoys it -- and a little help from the public can ensure that he gets it done.

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