Daily Point of Light # 1791 Dec 14, 2000

Larry Ames is a full time letter carrier and works between 40-45 hours per week. He is a member of the executive board of the National Association of Letter Carriers local branch #56 and an active volunteer coach in youth sports programs. This would be a full plate for an average person, yet this is just the beginning when you are speaking of Larry Ames. In addition to his dedication to his career and youth, he tackles the needs of hunger and health in the community.

The National Association of Letter Carriers organization is one of the longest running supporters of the Muscular Dystrophy Association. As a local branch, they follow the lead of their national officers with regards to supporting this cause. Ames solely leads the fundraising activities. Annually, he organizes and develops “shamrock sales” during the month of March, a golf tournament in July or August, as well as a softball tournament in September. Each of these events has occurred annually for a minimum of six years. In addition to this, Ames is also in the process of coordinating a Las Vegas night to further boost our donations. The fundraisers also include a 50/50 ticket sale at all of the branch meetings and the annual Christmas party. Under his leadership, the National Association of Letter Carriers has donated $10,000 annually to the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Though time is a precious commodity, Ames also uses spare time to do more. He has coordinated another project that has become that largest one-day food collection in the nation. The letter carrier association, with support from the U.S. Postal Service and AFL-CIO, has successfully coordinated the largest annual one-day food drive. This task consists of addressing the advertisement directive to nearly 175,000 deliveries, as well as newspaper and billboard solicitations. Ames coordinates the efforts of nearly 500 volunteers in addition to seven semi trucks and trailers and many personally owned cars and trucks to make this event a success. Over the last five years, this project has collected nearly a million pounds of food to be distributed in the West Michigan area.

Ames receives compensation from the Postal Service for the one day of the food drive, but all the preparation work as well as the time spent on other projects is donated. Larry Ames is a gem in the Jenison, Michigan area and is embraced by all there. He has been nominated for awards through the United Way as well as JCPenney. Ames is also a regular blood donor at the Red Cross, and contributes regularly to the combined federal campaign.