The best of intentions

Published 8:57 pm Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Off and on since ending its subscription-based model and going to free distribution at racks in 2011, the Suffolk News-Herald has grappled with an unusual problem: A few well-meaning readers who take large bunches of papers and deliver them to friends and neighbors.

Often, the good Samaritan is picking papers up at the racks and delivering them to communities where they know mostly homebound and elderly residents live.

To us, this is a touching and thoughtful gesture. Unfortunately, like most well-intended gestures, it doesn’t suit everyone.

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A couple times over the years, the post office notified us papers were being put in mailboxes, which violates federal law.

We have also received a complaint from one recipient who simply does not want the paper and reported having unread copies begin to pile up.

Thankfully, both of these complaints are rare. There’s a related complaint that’s quite common, though: Readers who find their favorite pickup location cleaned out before they get their copy.

Ironing out the unintended problems without denying those that enjoy the paper the benefit of the good deed should be easy enough.

If you know one of our volunteer delivery people, please ask them to get in touch with us or stop by the office. We are happy to provide a special bundle for them. It can be picked up at the office, or we may be able to deliver it to their home. All we ask in return is that they avoid cleaning out popular pickup locations that other readers count on.

We also ask that they do not use a mailbox, and that if papers start piling up, to take the hint and not deliver to that location any longer.

Please ask for Publisher John Carr if you come by, and if you miss him, just leave a way he can get in touch with you.

Thank you for this thoughtful gesture toward your friends and neighbors. Let’s work together to keep everyone happy.