TEMPE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- Do you know your mail carrier? Personally - by name? How many people do these days?
It's often a thankless job. But today, one neighborhood in Tempe came together to honor and say goodbye to theirs.
John Vandello is wrapping up nearly 38 years of service with the U.S. Post Office. Suffice to say, the last several years, serving the South Tempe neighborhood of Circle G Ranches, have been the most rewarding.
“We are here to say happy retirement. We wish you the best,” said Jill Strandquist. “You are loved by each and every neighbor here.”
One hundred neighbors decorated their mailboxes and chalked messages of love on the sidewalk. They even came together to present John with a $1,250 check to show their appreciation for his years serving them.
“I really appreciate this,” said Vandello. “This is more than anyone could ever expect. This is unbelievable.”
Tempe City Councilwoman Jennifer Adams presented a proclamation on behalf of the mayor and city.
“I do hereby declare April 27th, 2020, John Vandello Service Recognition Day in Tempe Arizona,” said Adams.
John started working for the post office in Iowa, right out of high school.
The winter weather lead him to Arizona. In all his years of serving, never did he imagine something like this.
“Not in my wildest dreams would I ever imagine this,” said Vandello.
“He's just the most friendly guy, goes out of the way to make everyone feel happy and comfortable,” said neighbor Michelle Mooney. “To have a guy like that come by your house every day and just say hi and wave, it's a good feeling.”
That feeling and this man will be missed.
“Take care, bye now... Bye...”