Soldotna Post Office goes above, beyond call of duty

Posted: Monday, February 06, 2006

Kenai Peninsula College would like to publicly thank Soldotna post master Margaret Merrill and the staff at the Soldotna post office for giving the phrase “the mail must go through” real meaning to the college.

It turns out that the KPC spring 2006 course schedules destined for Peninsula residents in December were sent to Anchorage, as they always are, through the bulk mail system. Unfortunately, this batch was mishandled at the Anchorage postal facility, where mistakenly the entire load was un-bagged. The bags contained specific numbers of books for each community, each marked with zip codes for delivery to every household in the service area.

A miracle happened when a responsible postal employee in Anchorage called Merrill and asked about the bin of KPC books that had been found. Merrill, realizing the scope of the mistake and what it might mean to KPC students asked to have the entire batch sent back to Soldotna. When the shipment arrived Merrill and her staff parceled out over 10,000 pieces, among Peninsula post offices. Merrill then personally drove the mailings to each of the post offices for mailing.

This alone would have been an admirable story, but there’s more to tell. KPC had another bulk mailing sent the same day as the spring schedules. This mailing had 2,500 flyers destined for Seward that outlined the courses offered via KPC s Resurrection Bay Extension Site. This time, the flyers were not just mishandled in Anchorage, they disappeared. This came to light when the coordinator in Seward noticed the flyers never arrived. When word of this got to Merrill, she investigated and let the college know the flyers couldn’t be located in Anchorage. Merrill offered that if reprinted, she would make sure the flyers made it to the Seward post office.

Thanks to the efforts of KPC s procurement technician, Teena Dyer, and the Student Services staff who folded and sealed another 2,500 flyers in record time, the college delivered the batch to Merrill who drove them to Seward. They were delivered to every box holder in town in time for students to register for classes.

The end of this story happened last week when the missing flyers reappeared and were delivered, again, to all of Seward.

Having a local post office that takes the time to provide service like this reminds us of the quality of our community.

Suzie Kendrick,

Community relations

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