During the Frankford Fall Festival this past weekend, the Frankford Postmaster Lyndon Haynes and his eight employees culminated their month-long “Stand Up to Breast Cancer” fundraiser, raising $1,604 for the Wellness Community-Delaware.
“Lyndon gave us a call at The Wellness Community and had indicated that the Frankford Post Office wanted to do something in conjunction with Breast Cancer Awareness month, which was October,” explained Jo Wilkins, the Sussex County director for The Wellness Community-Delaware.
“The Wellness Community is a nonprofit organization that helps people with all kinds of cancers, including breast cancer,” she noted. “In fact, probably the vast majority of our participants are breast cancer survivors. They were looking for a local nonprofit where the money stays to support our friends and family members in Sussex County, and The Wellness Community does that.”
The money raised through the post office staff’s efforts will go to support all the programs The Wellness Community offers to friends, families and those who are or have been diagnosed with cancer.
“Everything we do is free of charge, so this kind of generosity, this kind of support by the community, is so essential. We’re no different than anyone else. We’ve been hit by the economic challenges that we’ve been facing for the past few years. So when people in the community come together and support one of their own charities, it’s just an awesome thing, and we’re so appreciative,” said Wilkins.
Post office employee Samantha Ruark said all the staff jumped to help as soon as Haynes asked.
“We all said, ‘You know what? Mrs. B [Bonita Oyler] had breast cancer. She’s a survivor. We’ll pitch in – whatever it takes to make it successful.’ We all helped with decorations and donations, and then customers started donating things; everybody just kept on giving. I didn’t really think it was going to go well. I was hoping, but everybody gave so much. It really brought all of us together as a team,” she said.
Haynes recognized his employees for all of the time and money they put into making sure the month-long fundraiser and event were successful.
“Samantha [Ruark] baked for us more than anyone else all month. Debbie [Gibbons] was out here at 7 o’clock on Saturday morning, cold, and she stayed out there all day until it was done. Sam [Tull], what he does, every time we bake something, he buys it,” Haynes said with a laugh. “Sharon [Griffith] drove her mail truck through the parade for us and then parked it out front so people would know we were here. Tina [Rayne], she baked also. Mrs. B, she did everything… We all did something, this was together,” said Haynes.
“It was basically the family of Frankford Post Office,” added Rayne.
Haynes also noted his great appreciation for other area post offices, which helped promote their fundraising efforts.
“My post office was the one that decided to do this, but Selbyville, Dagsboro and Ocean View post offices – their employees all got together with my employees and made this possible. It would not be fair to go without mentioning how we all came together as a team and made it work,” he said. “They all baked stuff. They delivered our flyers to customers so we could reach as many people as possible. I really appreciate it.”
Having had so much success with this one fundraiser has put Frankford Post Office employees in the fundraising mindset. They have been bouncing around other ideas on how to help the community.
Due to its vast success, this one-time event may turn into an annual fundraiser, they said.
“It was definitely bigger than I expected. The information got out to the people. A lot of people responded, which was very important. If we decide to do this again, next year will be better and bigger than this year,” said Haynes.
“We’re definitely doing it next year!” said the Frankford employees.