Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

December 14, 2013

The Mailbox Boy returns to Ryle Addition

By Amanda Browning Daily News
Greensburg Daily News

---- — GREENSBURG – Thirteen year old Wyatt Vanderbur has been decorating mailboxes for a good cause for the last three years in Ryle Addition, earning himself the title of “The Mailbox Boy.”

Each holiday season, Wyatt decorates mailboxes in his neighborhood in exchange for a minimum $5 donation to charity. He then donates the money to Cheer Fund, to help purchase gifts, food and clothes for the less fortunate families of Decatur County.

This year, Wyatt decorated 57 mailboxes and collected $420. Over the three years he has been offering the festive decorations, Wyatt has collected more than $950, all of which he donated to Cheer Fund to help others. Each mailbox has a ribbon wrapped around it and some festive greenery before a bow is attached to the top.

Wyatt’s mother, Amy Vanderbur, and his grandmother, Rita Hellmich, helped him. They go along and help tie the bows, but said he does most of the work by collecting the donations and doing the majority of the decorating.

Wyatt put out flyers in his neighborhood this year, allowing his neighbors interested in having their mailboxes decorated to contact him. The flyers were very well received, according to Wyatt, who said he collected much more money this year than he has in the past.

At a time when most children are busy writing their Christmas lists for the red-suited man up north, Wyatt said he decorates and collects the money to be of service in his community.

“I like to help people and I like doing community service projects,” Wyatt said.

Wyatt’s late grandfather, Charlie Hellmich, was an active supporter of Cheer Fund, giving up his Christmas Eve mornings to deliver holiday packages all over the county.

When asked why he chose Cheer Fund to help, Wyatt said, “I’m following my grandpa’s footsteps because he used to do stuff for Cheer Fund, so I decided to donate the money to them.”

This year, Wyatt will be shadowing his grandfather’s footsteps further by helping deliver packages on the morning of Christmas Eve. Wyatt said he was excited to see what happens at Cheer Fund headquarters and to deliver the boxes to families. He wasn’t thrilled at the prospect of getting up really early, but said it was worth it to be able to help.

Daily News publisher Laura Welborn said Wyatt’s donation alone will provide assistance to four complete families. His donation will purchase gifts, food and clothing vouchers for all four families. Wyatt is the perfect example of how much difference one determined person can make.

Wyatt said he plans to continue decorating mailboxes next year and encouraged his neighbors to watch for the flyers after Thanksgiving. He said next year more neighborhoods may be included as well and hopes to continue expanding his decorations and helping Cheer Fund.

Wyatt’s generosity embodies the true spirit of Christmas and the Daily News thanks him for his selfless actions and kind nature.

Anyone interested in donating to the Daily News Cheer Fund may do so via Paypal at www.cheerfund.org, coming into the Daily News office on Franklin Street, or by donating at bell ringing stations around town. Cheer Fund is still more than $30,000 short of its goal for this year. Even a small donation can make a big difference to a family. Unwrapped gifts may be dropped off at the Daily News office.

Contact: Amanda Browning 812-663-3111 x7004; amanda.browning@greensburgdailynews.com.