It was a cold January morning, mailman Josh Hefta was doing his daily routine in Walsh County, North Dakota when his daily duties took a turn. He’d been delivering mail to same 162 delivery spots on a daily basis for the past few years and has become acquainted with some of his customers.
One, in particular, was 94-year-old Alice Paschke. She had become rather fond of Josh as he always went the extra mile to help. Josh would leave the mail at her door so that she didn’t have to walk to her mailbox.
While on his route, Josh noticed something out of the ordinary when he arrived at Alice’s house… When he first started delivering to Alice, she’d greet him outside and have a chat.
Living alone in a secluded area meant that she was happy when somebody popped by. She offered him snacks and a drink to get him through the rest of his route and the two bonded.
Over time, it had become more challenging for Alice to move around so Josh would get out of the car and walk to her front door to leave her post so she wouldn’t be struggling.
On one particular visit, Josh knocked on her door as usual but nobody came to the door. He grew worried as Alice was always at home and enjoyed communicating with him. He kept knocking for a few minutes in the hope that she would answer. Then he heard a faint voice crying for help…
Josh had to act quickly, the door was locked and he knew that he had to kick it open. When he burst through, he was horrified to see Alice on the floor.
She’d fallen down the day before and had been unable to get back up. The poor old lady had been lying there for over 20 hours! She knew her only hope would be Josh on his route and thankfully he didn’t just drop the mail so all she could do was wait for her hero to arrive.
I said, come in, I need help … He saved my life, and that’s a true story. For the rest of my life, for as long as my memory works, I’m going to remember.
Josh saved Alice’s life that day. The dedicated mailman has since received the Postmaster General Award at the Minto Post Office which is the highest award a postal carrier can receive.
He also had his name added to the Heroes Wall at the Postal Service headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Alice has since moved to a nursing home. She’s no longer on Josh’s postal route. But this hasn’t stopped the two from seeing each other. He visits her whenever he can to check in. He also misses her snacks on his route… Now he has to pack his own lunch.
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