Capitola Letter Carrier Cris Mariani delivers mail every day to her customers and she keeps a look out for everyone on her route. The majority of her customers collect their mail on a daily basis, and if on occasion they do not, it isn’t alarming. But, when one of her elderly customers did not pick up her mail for two days, Mariani sensed something was awry.
In her nineties, the elderly resident became a recluse after her husband died, but would come out each day and retrieve her mail. When this didn’t happen after a second day, Mariani decided to check on her.
When Mariani knocked on her door, there was no answer, so Mariani knocked on a neighbor’s door. Again, no one answered. Mariani left a note on the neighbor’s door and continued on her appointed rounds.
The neighbor eventually came out, read the note and checked on her elderly neighbor. When there was no response, she called 911.
After the police arrived, they discovered that the elderly resident had fallen down in the bathroom and was unable to get up because her arms were tucked underneath her. The police credited Mariani for noticing the problem. Her swift action saved the resident’s life. According to police, had the resident gone another 12 hours without human contact, she would have died.
Mariani does not consider herself a hero, but said, “If we all do the small things, like check on our neighbors, it can make a real difference.”
The elderly customer has now moved into a retirement home, but Mariani has received thank you letters from the woman’s family for her heroic actions.
“Cris’ actions on that fateful day do not surprise me. Cris has repeatedly demonstrated her passion for delivering, not only superior customer service, but a genuine concern for her customers’ welfare and security,” stated Capitola Postmaster Rick Araujo. “Cris is an attentive employee with a watchful eye who takes pride in her work ethic and treats her customers as if they were her own neighbors. Her unselfish act to get involved illustrated her commitment to helping others.”