Darren Hale, a St. Louis letter carrier, was delivering mail last summer when a stormy day took a perilous turn:
He came upon a neighborhood that was quickly flooding, where he encountered customer Cherry Jackson, who had rushed home from work at the urging of her 11-year-old daughter.
The girl was trapped inside the family’s home along with her 5-year-old brother.
Hale assured the distraught Jackson that everything would be OK as he accompanied her into the residence and carried the boy to safety while Jackson saved her daughter.
They were barely out of harm’s way when he learned that a neighbor’s dog was also trapped inside a nearby house; Hale didn’t hesitate to climb through a window and rescue the pet, too.
“I know people love their animals like family,” he said later.
The Postal Service employee’s bravery has further endeared him to the community he serves, and he and Jackson were subsequently invited to appear on the nationally syndicated “Drew Barrymore Show” to discuss the dramatic day and their newfound friendship.
During the interview, featured in the “Drew’s News” segment of the program, Barrymore reminded viewers of her admiration for USPS and her love of handwritten correspondence, before shining a spotlight on Hale.
He told her his devotion to his own children shaped his response to the Jackson family’s emergency, because he hopes someone would return the favor in a similar situation.
Beyond that, however, he said assisting others in need is a fundamental impulse for him:
“If you could help out, why wouldn’t you?”