Post Office Closure Calamity For Thousands
If you click on the map, you will see an image of Manderson, SD. The numbers I used were based loosely on a census taken from Wikipedia. It was for the 5.7 square miles around Manderson. If you zoom out you will see there is a lot of land between each village or township...and there are many families that live spread out on those lands between those townships as well that these Post Offices serve.
We have heard that our Post Office will be closed. I am sure many people across these United States are hearing this news as well. For most of you, this is merely an inconvenience. But here, and places like here, it is far more than an inconvenience...It can even be the difference between life and death for some.
Just here in Manderson alone, there is a bit over 600 people that depend on our Post Office for their paychecks, government assistant checks and other monies they might be getting. The average yearly income for this area falls well below 9 thousand dollars. Seventy-five percent of the people living here live far below the poverty level. Mostly under the ages of 18 and over the ages of 65. As you can guess very few people have transportation. Very few have homes that keep out the winter winds and cold. Quite a few do not even have running water or indoor plumbing.
The Post Offices here are a link to the outside world. Each little town/village has one. And the poor people here buy their stamps and money orders and boxes and send their packages through their own Post Offices. They are very loyal to their own local Post Offices, they are close friends with the Post Masters or Mistresses. The People depend on their local Post Office for distant family members or friends or organizations to send them things they need. More importantly Many elderly and veterans depend upon them for the medicines the V.A. sends to them.
Sure, they might get a ride, but everyone who would give them a ride would also charge them at least 60 dollars for the gas to take them the 180 miles round trip to go pick up their mail or medicine. That is the next point I want to get to. Each of our little villages here are so far apart that it isn't just a matter a only running into town. Pine Ridge, the nearest town of any size to us is thirty miles away...and there are no open Post Office Boxes left. They are saying we will have to go to Rapid City or Hot Springs to get our mail...that is 180 miles round trip to get mail. For those who get their medicines in the mail regularly...That is just ridiculous. If they don't have any way to get that medicine they will do without. If that medicine is for their heart or some other life saving thing, they could very well die.
The USPS cares more about the money it is losing than it does about the people it serves. Well...If the people it supposedly serves turned its back on it then I daresay it would lose a heck of a lot more money.