It's not a big deal if your mail gets delayed a day or two, but how about two and a half months? That's how long the post office didn't deliver bills and much-needed donations meant for a homeless shelter in Buffalo.
"Five, 10, about between 15 and 20 pieces of mail a day."
That’s how much mail the Little Portion Friary in downtown usually gets a day, but for the last 10 weeks, it’s been a different story. Sister Barbara Pfohl says they did not receive any mail from May 1 until last Friday.
"This is the mail we got back,” Pfohl said. “It says vacant. This house has not been vacant since 1982, since when it started."
Back in May, Pfohl filed to have their mail service switched. They used a P.O. Box, but she thought it would be easier to get the mail delivered directly to the shelter.
"We put in a change of address and they said in about two weeks [we] would be able to get mail delivered here, and so we waited and waited," Pfohl said.
But it never came.
"It was very, very scary,” Pfohl said.
Scary because they receive a majority of their donations through mail. Pfohl calculated they lost out on 10 percent of donations they need to support the 29 people who live there year-round.
"We exist solely on our donations,” Pfohl said. “They have fueled this place and sustained it. We knew we should've been getting bills. Our guests receive mail here and they weren't getting their mail. Their mail is very important. They could be finding out about getting an apartment, insurance, social security things."
After a lot of back and forth with the U.S. Postal Service, the problem was fixed. On Friday, she got her first mail delivery.
"I was holding back tears,” Pfohl said. “I cry when I'm happy and I was very emotional."
Along with the stack of mail came a letter from the Postal Service saying, “Corrective action has been taken and we will monitor this situation for a period of time."
Pfohl was told a glitch was fixed, but the exact glitch remains unclear.
In a statement sent to Spectrum News the post office said:
“An error in the coding was corrected and all employees have been updated on the proper handling for their mail. We take Little Portion Friary’s concerns seriously and will look to provide them the excellent service they expect.”
While Pfohl says they are happy to have the problem fixed, they still need help.
"So if you want to send a donation, we're here at 1305 Main Street," Pfohl said.
People can send their donations to 1305 Main St, Buffalo, NY 14209 or donate online.
They are a volunteer-run shelter and they say people can also help them by signing up to volunteer. To find out how, you can check out Little Portion Friary.