‘Dead’ letter finds its way home after 50 years

Last month, Debbie Schaecher was just doing her job, sorting through the mail that comes into OSF HealthCare Saint Luke Medical Center, when she noticed something odd.
A damaged letter had been placed by the USPS into a plastic bag. But the bag wasn’t the odd part. That part came when she removed the damaged envelope from the bag and noticed the postmark. The letter was 50 years old.
A postage stamp, which cost a mere six cents and bore the likeness of a more mature Franklin Delano Roosevelt, was affixed to the envelope. There was no return address and the flap that kept the envelope closed had been ripped off, which was likely the reason it arrived at the OSF mail room in a sealed plastic bag. Across the bag were the words, “United States Postal Service. We care.“
Schaecher, who is the team leader for the supply chain at OSF HealthCare Saint Luke, didn’t know what to think of it. In all her 17 years working at the hospital, she had never come across anything like it.
“I was tickled,” she said.
The letter immediately reminded her of a television show she had watched on the Hallmark Network called “Signed, Sealed, Delivered.” The comedy/drama series follows the lives of postal workers as they use detective work to track down the recipients of dead letters and undeliverable packages. Along the way, they save lives, solve crimes and get old flames back together.

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