Last month, a post office in Arlington, Virginia was renamed the Jesus Antonio Collazos Post Office Building. When I think of buildings being named, I assume the person was a politician or someone who donated great amounts of money, but not in this case. So, who was Jesus Antonio Collazos?
Mr. Collazos was born in Colombia and immigrated to the U.S. in 1978, where he worked as a mail carrier in Arlington for 25 years. Early in his career, he was promoted to supervisor, but he didn’t even last a month. His wife, Luz, recounted that “He said, ‘No, I want to deliver mail again.’” He enjoyed his community and liked helping others.
He was legendary along his route and was known for his thoughtfulness and kindness. He would always carry extra stamps with him in case someone was in need and even brought groceries to older residents on his route. As one person said, “He knew everyone in the neighborhood. He made us feel like we were his friends. We miss him terribly. He made such a positive impact on everyone he met.”
Mr. Collazos was diagnosed with cancer in early 2020 and then contracted COVID while being treated and had to be intubated just a week later. He died on June 6, 2020, at the age of 67.
U.S. Congressman Don Beyer said “We got a bunch of phone calls and letters and emails from the people who had served on his postal route saying that we need to recognize him because he was so special. Every one of them had a story about him, full of love and affection.” The ceremony renaming the post office and honoring Mr. Collazos was held on March 26th, 2023.
Had the post office not been renamed for Mr. Collazos, we may never have known the story of how he brightened the day for so many people. My guess is that if we open our eyes and minds and hearts, we’ll find these kind and generous people everywhere.
Take care and stay safe.
The Diplomat (Netflix)
Amid an international crisis, a career diplomat juggles her new high-profile job as ambassador to the United Kingdom and her turbulent marriage to a political star.