When Frankford Postmaster Lindon Haynes heard how his colleague Bonita Oyler had survived breast cancer, he decided to raise money for the cause.
“After listening to her story… It affects so many people – you wouldn’t believe,” said Haynes. “A lot of people are affected by not just breast cancer but cancer. The more I started reading into it, I found out over 4 percent of men are affected by breast cancer.”
“We’re a small community and a poor community. A lot of people can’t afford mammograms, and it’s just so important,” Oyler added. “That’s why we’re trying to raise money for the wellness center out in Rehoboth – because they give free mammograms and they have classes for people who don’t know. We have a lot of uneducated people in the area. We want to do something for the community to get them involved.”
During October, the Frankford post office staff has been raising money for the Wellness Community, a nonprofit organization that offers free support programs for cancer patients, survivors and their families.
“Everything that I get is going to be donated directly to their foundation,” said Haynes.
So far, they have raised more than $800, and they are hoping to surpass $1,500.
“That’s what’s shocking,” said Haynes. “I started this on the fourth [of October] and thought maybe we’d get two or three hundred dollars. We’ve made over $800 — I’m doing good!
“Frankford is small, you know,” he added. “I don’t have that many people coming into the post office, but for the little that come in, it’s really, really, really good. I’m excited that it’s going so well!”
In order to raise the money, carriers are bringing in their own baked goods and giving them out with the request of a donation, big or small. There are also small items, such as magnets, pink armbands and homemade scrunchies, that people may choose from in return for their donation. In fact, most of the post office staff has been donating money themselves, along with their time and goods.
“All the carriers are baking through the month, and we’re just asking for donations,” Oyler explained. “People made homemade baskets and jewelry and flower arrangements. People bought jackets. I mean you can’t believe it – this place is pink, really, really pink.” She noted that so much has been donated they they’ve had to move items into the lobby.
There are also some bigger-ticket items that are available through silent auction that is part of the effort. Items in the auction include four homemade heart pillows, a pink-and-black “Share the Cure” sport jacket, Breast Cancer Foundation mugs, a bracelet and earrings crafted by one mail carrier, homemade Christmas ornaments, a homemade afghan and a baby blanket.
The fundraising will culminate on Oct. 30, during the Frankford Fall Festival. From noon until 3 p.m., the post office staff will be offering baked goods from a tent outside the post office, sponsored by the Wellness Community.
“The Wellness Community is going to be here in a big tent, set up out in front of the post office. Another table will be set up with all the fresh baked goods of the day and all of the prizes. Then, at 3 o’clock, we’ll draw the names for the prizes and then present the Wellness Center with their money,” said Oyler.
Oyler has been in remission for 16 years and said she is overwhelmed by the community’s outpouring of support.
“It’s unbelievable,” she said. “And just getting to know people who didn’t know that I’m a survivor and I’m their clerk – now I’m finding out that they’re survivors. It used to be that you knew somebody who knew somebody who knew somebody who knew somebody who had cancer. Now everybody knows somebody or has someone in their family dealing with cancer,” she said.
For more information on the event or to donate, call (302) 732-6891 or (302) 236-2238.