In the past ten years, 137 postmen of Rugao Post Office in east China's Jiangsu Province have helped more than 250 elderly people.
Since 1998, mail carriers in Rugao have been helping the senior citizens who live along their postal routes.
"I must call Yao Zemin. He will be worried if he finds out I am not at home," said Jiang Hefen, 94, who had just arrived at her daughter's home. Yao is a mail carrier in Rugao, east China's Jiangsu Province. Five years ago, he took on the responsibility of caring for Jiang, who lives alone in a village.
There are more mail carriers who are doing the same as Yao. Since 1998, 158 mail carriers in Rugao have been helping 280 senior citizens who live along their postal routes, which have been dubbed the 'postal routes of love' by local residents.
One of them, Zhang Jian, has been taking care of the senior citizens who live along his route for 20 years.
"I started working as a mail carrier in 1992 and I'm happy to be able to care for so many people," said Zhang.
There are nine villages along his 75-kilometer route.
For example, Zhou Qigui, 81, lives in Shizhuang Village by himself. Zhang visits him several times a week, bringing cool drinks in summer and warm clothes in winter. During festivals, Zhang often brings him fish, meat and fruit. When Zhang found out that Zhou's roof had a leak, he had it repaired.
'Deliver Care to Every Corner'
"The initial purpose of this was to help senior citizens and disabled people who needed assistance. We are encouraging more mail carriers to participate in this activity and deliver care to every corner," said Zhang, who is currently the chief of the Nantong Post Office.
To date, the number of postal routes of love has increased to 609. Along the routes, 659 people have benefited from the services provided by the mail carriers.
"We are also adding more to our services," Zhang said.
In April 2011, his post office co-launched a program with the Nantong Bureau of Justice to teach villagers more about the law.
Since 2006, the 'postal routes of love' have been praised by the provincial and central government. The efforts of the mail carriers have also been made into a documentary in 2011.