Local service agency alerts donors to problems with their mail delivery

Published 10:02 am Friday, September 1, 2017

Local service organization director Angie Odom said it is hard when your agency lives month to month on donations and it’s even harder when those donations are interrupted by problems getting your mail.

On Thursday, Angie Odom, founder and director of the TLC Community Center, told the Elizabethton Star the agency has discovered problems with their mail being delivered properly.

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“Some letters are being delivered, but others that are addressed the very same way have been sent back marked that the address is wrong,” Odom said. “There are some other items that were mailed to us that we haven’t received at all, and they haven’t been returned to the sender.”

“We are worried that some of our mail is missing,” Odom said.

At least one item has been confirmed as missing, Odom said. One of the Center’s supporters ordered books from the Amazon website and scheduled them to be delivered to the Center. When the donor checked the package’s tracking number showed it had been delivered, but Odom said the shipment never arrived at the Center.

“It was confirmed that it was delivered, but we just don’t know where,” Odom said.

After discovering there was an issue, Odom said she contacted the U.S. Post Office branch in Elizabethton to report the matter. Officials there told Odom they were launching an investigation into the problem.

Odom showed the Elizabethton Star several pieces of mail. Some of the mail was delivered to the Center without issue while some letters had a hand written message on them telling the Center the “address needs to be corrected with sender.” In addition to those letters, Odom had letters that people had hand delivered to the Center after receiving them back from the Post Office marked “Return to sender. Insufficient address. Unable to forward.” All of the letters were addressed the same as mail which the Center did receive without issue.

While speaking with officials with the Post Office, Odom said they told her there is not a problem with the way the Center’s mail is being addressed so they don’t know why it would be marked that the address is incorrect.

According to Odom, the problem is with the delivery of the mail and not a matter of the mail being taken from their box before it can be picked up.

“We have a locking mailbox, so it’s secure,” she said. “It’s not like someone can just reach in and steal our mail.”

Odom said the trouble with the mail delivery began on July 13 and continued through August 29 when she reported it to the Post Office. According to Odom, officials with the Post Office have assured her the problem will be corrected, and the Center’s mail is now safe.

However, Odom said she is worried because many of those who support the Center financially mail in checks or other donations.

“All but two of our monthly donations come to us through the mail,” she said.

With that in mind, Odom wants to let anyone who may have mailed a donation or other item to the Center between July 13 and August 29 to contact their bank to see if the check has cleared their account.

“As of today, anything we have received has been deposited,” Odom said. “If they have any concerns, they can call us with their check number and we’ll look to see if we have received it.”

Odom said she is afraid this incident with the mail could cause the Center financial problems if people are afraid to send in donations.

“We have to pay our bills and keep our doors open,” Odom said. “When you live month to month it really hurts if we’re not getting our mail for almost a month.”