Most of us think that we have to sacrifice our lives to some selfless purpose in order to make an impact on the world.
But sometimes making the world a better place can be as simple as being ourselves.
Floyd Martin delivers mail to about 500 houses in Marietta, Georgia every day. But what he does for this neighborhood is a lot more than just delivering the mail.
Martin’s beautiful smile and willingness to go the extra mile for those on his route has touched the hearts of everyone in his neighborhood.
So much so that they gave him a huge surprise on his last day on the job to commemorate his retirement.
Martin has been delivering the mail in Georgia for almost 35 years. He also delivers lollipops to children and Milk Bones to dogs on his route.
He feeds the cats sometimes too and will pick up newspapers and drop them off at the doorsteps of elderly residents who have trouble fetching it from their yard.
The 61-year-old loves his job but he is “done with the heat” and decided last summer that this one would be his last.
Neighbor Jennifer Brett, who is also a reporter, decided to accompany Martin on his very last route. She also live-Tweeted the entire thing.
Unbeknownst to Martin, the entire neighborhood knew it was his last day. They all came out to surprise and greet him with hugs and even presents at his final stop of the day.
They even decorated their mailboxes with tributes to “Mr. Floyd.”
“When we met Floyd, it was like he was an old friend,” said one neighbor, according to People. “
“He always had a smile, always had a wave,” said another.
The kids in the neighborhood really love Martin or as Brett explained: “Kids on his route love, love, L-O-V-E Mr. Floyd.” One of them even dressed up as “Mr. Floyd” for career day at school.
At the end of his route, Martin was overwhelmingly surprised to find that more than 300 people showed up to a block party in his honor.
Everyone in the neighborhood brought a dish and Martin posed for “a zillion photos.”
“Floyd has seen his people through many of life’s changes. Some good, some bad. They’ve done the same for him. ‘You were there when I needed you, even if you didn’t know it. Thank you for loving me,'” Brett wrote.
Martin was overwhelmed with gratitude to see how much the neighborhood loved and appreciated him for just being him.
“I was so flattered,” he said. “It touched my heart.”
He was even more shocked when he found out that these people were going to make sure that one of his lifelong dreams came true.
They started a GoFundMe account to raise $5,000 so that Martin can go on a trip to Hawaii.
“There was a fullfledged effort to make sure he knew how much everyone loved him,” the GoFundMe page said. “To say that he would be missed would prove to be a complete understatement.”
That page ended up surpassing the original goal and has raised more than $32,000. People were so moved by Martin’s story that donations from all over the U.S., like New York and New Jersey, started pouring in aside from ones from community members.
Source: Jennifer Brett
Martin told Brett that the party and fundraiser was the nicest thing that anyone has ever done for him.
While he promised to come back and visit, he left the neighborhood with these words: “Continue to take care of each other, and smile when you think of me.”
Learn more about Martin’s send-off in the video below.
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Source: CBS News