It’s not everyday you see a group of neighbors gathered for a party around a United States Postal Service community mailbox.
Although it was a blustery and rainy afternoon, soon after 5 p.m. on Friday afternoon neighbors in Timberlake Circle arrived at the mailbox, which was decorated with balloons. One family was prepared with wine.
“It was pouring down rain. I thought no one would come,” said Norm Mowery, a Timberlake Circle resident.
Mowery organized a celebration in honor of a small victory for a normally quiet neighborhood that had been hit with a series of mail thefts.
Last Thursday the post office replaced their community mailbox which had been broken into and vandalized just three weeks prior. The mailbox, which sits in front of Mowery’s residence, was pried open and damaged and all the mail inside was stolen.
It served about 11 homes, Mowery said. It is brightly lit and in plain sight of Mowery’s window but it was still targeted.
“It just boggled my mind that someone would have the nerve to break into and damage the mailbox,” he said.
During those three weeks of waiting for a fix for their mailbox, residents had to pick up their mail at the post office. Several people had reported mail that was never recovered.
As soon as they got word that the mailbox was returning, Mowery thought he would take the initiative to invite over the neighbors, not just to celebrate the mailbox but also to get to know one another better as neighbors and talk about safety on their street, he said. Two other nearby community mailboxes had also become targets of thieves, he said.
“I think it’s a good thing for people to know that your mailboxes are not all safe,” Mowery said.
Residents are considering painting the Timberlake Circle mailbox to reflect their neighborhood. They are grateful to the post office for returning what is now a coming together point for their community.
Contact reporter Christina Cornejo at firstname.lastname@example.org.