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US Postal Service delivers on 21-year-old's dream of delivering the mail

Posted: 2:21 PM, Aug 20, 2019
Updated: 2019-08-20 18:02:13-04
Grace Flannery

CINCINNATI — On her very first day, Grace Flannery set out to be the friendliest mail carrier in Greater Cincinnati.

“I’m going to say my name,” she said, “and I’ll shake their hand and look and talk to them in the eyes.”

Flannery joined the postal team at the Westwood Post Office Tuesday morning to fulfill her dream of being a mail carrier for a day. The 21-year-old with Down syndrome has always wanted to deliver the mail, according to her father Michael.

“She had an internship at Children’s Hospital where she was delivering mail,” Michael Flannery said, ”and it just made it even more of a dream.”

Dressed in a postal service uniform with shorts handmade by her grandmother, Grace helped sort the mail before hitting the streets with letter carrier Melissa Tilton.

Grace Flannery
Grace prepares to deliver the mail with letter carrier Melissa Tilton.

Grace did more than deliver the mail on Tuesday. She served as an inspiration to others, including her boss for the day, Cincinnati Postmaster Karen Garber.

“I never see any disability. I see possibility,” Garber said. “I see opportunity for people to do anything they want to do.”

Now that her day of delivering the mail is up, Grace hopes to find work delivering mail internally for a company.

“I’m proud of Grace. She’s doing a great job today,” her dad Michael said. “Grace can do this job. Just because she has a disability — able-bodied people don’t look for jobs they can’t do. You look for a job you can do.”