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Delivering delight

Mail brightens special customer’s birthday

Laney Bourque holds a tray of mail while Abbeville, LA, Postmaster Tonious Carter holds a gift basket during a special delivery to her home last month.

Amanda Constantine of Abbeville, LA, knew one thing her daughter Laney Bourque would love to receive on her 18th birthday: a mailbox full of greeting cards.

Bourque, who has brain damage resulting from frequent epileptic seizures early in her life, has grown fond of getting mail, Constantine recently told the local ABC station.

But Bourque is often disappointed.

Constantine said she is used to Bourque excitedly picking up each newly delivered envelope, then uttering a dejected refrain: “Mom, it’s not mine. It’s just a bill.”

In hopes of surprising Bourque on her birthday last month, Constantine posted a request for cards on Facebook. She contacted the Postal Service via social media, too.

Bourque’s story struck a chord with the social media team at USPS headquarters in Washington, DC, who sent cards to the young woman, as did employees from Southern Area Corporate Communications and the Abbeville Post Office.

Postmaster Tonious Carter and Rural Carrier Associate Teresa Tran delivered a tray full of cards for Bourque on her big day, along with a gift basket that local employees had voluntarily pitched in to get for her.

“Laney was very surprised and so elated,” Carter said. “In 24 years with the Postal Service, I’ve never experienced such a reaction. It was wonderful to see, and this was a great way for us to remind the community that we’re there for them.”

Bourque has now received 500 birthday cards and counting. Each one has brought a smile to her face — as well as her mom’s.

“There’s so many times with a special-needs kid, people look at you different, and this shows people care,” Constantine said. “It’s a nice feeling.”

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