Mary Sinkfield Leach has spent most of her adult life helping children.
The Columbus, OH, Processing and Distribution Center plant manager estimates she has fostered 612 children during a period that has exceeded 30 years.
Leach is fulfilling a promise she made to herself as a child when she entered the foster care system following her mother’s death.
“When you’re young, you don’t understand death,” she said. “You only know you’re being moved around and you don’t know why.”
Leach has taken in lots of siblings so they wouldn’t have to be split up like she and her five siblings were.
“I’ve had at least 200 of my kids graduate from high school while in my home,” she said.
Leach’s former foster kids make sure to recognize her on special occasions. “I get cards and phone calls on Mother’s Day,” she said. “And last Thanksgiving, I had 28 of my kids come to dinner.”
Leach credits caring for children of diverse backgrounds with helping her become a stronger USPS leader. “It’s helped me better understand the dynamics of how people think, especially millennials,” she said.
Colleagues have also told her they’re impressed with her ability to balance work and family.
“A lot of my peers are shocked that I don’t miss work,” she said. “I have inspired them to help children as well, especially through the Combined Federal Campaign.”
She realizes the importance of what she’s done for the children.
“It means so much to have had such an impact that they want me to stay a part of their lives,” she said.