Mail Carriers Valiantly Battle Cold, Snow (VIDEO)

By Corinne Rose - 21Alive

January 7, 2014 Updated Jan 7, 2014 at 6:47 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (21Alive) -- As the saying goes, "neither snow nor rain nor sleet shall keep these carriers from their appointed rounds."

As Corinne Rose found out today, mail carriers take that creed very seriously.

And they might as well add "bitter cold," as well.

"Once I get moving, if I'm walking then I can stay warm. Actually, when I'm in the vehicle a lot of times that's when I get cold," says mail carrier Steven Johnson.

Johnson has been a mail carrier for more than seven years, so he knows how to dress in layers from head to toe in this kind of weather.

But it only takes him about 25 minutes along his walking route to get heated up and start sweating.

That's why he says it's important for you to clear a path to your mailbox.

"Whenever there's even a small segment that's been shoveled out, and I can actually stretch my legs and have more of a normal walking pace, it allows my blood to flow better, it oxygenates me, it just feels so good, even if it's just for 20 feet,” Johnson says.

You may think you're being neighborly if you offer your letter carrier something warm to drink. That's not something they can actually take with them. However, there is one thing that they do appreciate.

"Things like cookies. I have a customer that gives me cereal bars and it's greatly appreciated. I love those. Something you can munch while you're walking. Mm hmm, and it helps get our energy back up again,” Johnson says.

Like many mail carriers, Johnson couldn't get out of his neighborhood Monday to get to work, so someone had to pick up those extra routes.

"It's important. People do rely on the mail, so we do need to get it to them even if it takes longer. There's been times in the last month, for example, a lot of people in Fort Wayne were getting their mail in the dark, but we got that mail to them that day," Johnson says.

A source of pride, no matter how cold it is outside.




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