Beloved U.S. Postal Service employee Floyd Martin, who retired Thursday, has been delivering mail to the same community of residents in Marietta, Ga., for more than two decades.
On his last day, a local journalist joined him on his route, and the heartwarming sendoff has gone viral.
As they embarked on his route on Thursday, hundreds of people in the neighborhood he has served expressed their gratitude.
Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter Jennifer Brett’s initial tweet documenting Martin’s last day garnered more than 100,000 likes and nearly 40,000 retweets.
Martin, who lives in Atlanta, joined the postal service a few years after graduating high school when he was offered the job making more than twice what he was making at a bank, Brett reported. She added that it was his mother’s idea to join the U.S. Postal Service. He ultimately worked as a mailman for 35 years.
Martin decided last summer would be his last on the job because he was “done with the heat,” Brett tweeted.
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Several people on his route spoke of Martin’s kindness, saying he would often go above and beyond what was asked of him. He would feed the pets along the route, bring newspapers to doorsteps, and offer lollipops to the children, Brett reported. She wrote that one girl even dressed up as Martin on her school career day.
Martin said it “touched his heart.”
On his last day, people on Martin’s route decorated their mailboxes with ribbons, balloons and congratulatory signs wishing him the best and writing, “We love you.”
At the end of his last shift, more than 300 people gathered in the neighborhood for a surprise block party in his honor.
“My people are so good to me,” Martin said. “I’m going to miss them.”
Martin said he has known some of the people at the block party since they were babies; many of them stood in line for hugs and photos with him.
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Martin said the sendoff was the nicest thing anyone has ever done for him, Brett reported. She wrote his parting words were, “Continue to take care of each other, and smile when you think of me.”
A fundraising campaign was created Friday to help Martin fulfill his retirement dream of taking a trip to Hawaii. The campaign surpassed its goal of $5,000, raising nearly $20,000 in just 6 hours.
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Delta Air Lines offered to take care of his flight, responding to the Twitter thread documenting Martin’s last day on the job.