Block party

Madison, NJ, Letter Carrier Patrick Mitchell with customers Molly Breckman, her mother Beth Landau, Tammy Pearsall and Maria Beacom.

When Letter Carrier Patrick Mitchell turns another year older, customers along his Madison, NJ, route mark the event.

For the past three years, “Happy Birthday Patrick” signs dot the lawns and doors of his route. The neighborhood children make handmade cards, and Mayor Robert Conley even stops by to offer birthday greetings.

“Everybody knows him,” said customer Beth Landau, who organizes the festivities. “They all have a Patrick story.”

Mitchell, who joined USPS in 2003, knows if a resident will be traveling or is awaiting the arrival of a much anticipated package. He’s even been known to attend memorial services for customers who’ve died.

“He’s got our back,” Landau said. “He’s a good man with a good heart. It shows there’s goodness in this world and life’s too short to not celebrate people who make our lives better.”

Postmaster Matthew Aaron said Mitchell is “an excellent carrier. If we had more Patricks, this place would run on automatic pilot.”

Mitchell is moved by the attention.

“It makes me feel good,” he said. “They love me as a person and as their letter carrier. It puts tears in my eyes. It’s very touching.”