MOUNT VERNON — Newspaper carriers are indispensable in distributing the Mount Vernon News all over Knox County. Acknowledging their hard work is what today, National Newspaper Carrier day, is all about.
Michelle Hartman, Circulation Manager for the News, said that, although newspaper carriers are vital in the distribution of the newspaper, it is becoming increasingly hard to find people interested in or that have the time to become carriers — especially youth carriers.
“Kids are involved in so many extra-curricular activities, that they don’t have time to deliver a newspaper route,” Hartman said. That is one of the main difficulties she faces in finding younger carriers for the walking routes.
She added that “there are also many parents who don’t want their children out walking in neighborhoods that they don’t feel are safe.”
Something Hartman looks for in good carriers is consistency. She said it’s important that the paper gets delivered at about the same time everyday.
“We want to get our product delivered and make sure the customers get the service they are paying for,” Hartman said.
Hartman explained that the News has 124 newspaper routes, combining walking and driving routes, and only 16 youth carriers to do the walking routes. Because of this, most of the carriers have more than one route.
“Many of our adult carriers have other jobs as well, so we do have difficulty being able to get all newspapers delivered on time,” Hartman explained. “We strive to get everything delivered on time, but the fact is, we can’t find enough people to do the job, so we depend on the carriers that we do have to carry multiple routes.”
This is why good carriers are so important to the News, and why we would like to take the time to spotlight a few of our many, many awesome newspaper carriers.
Orpha Yoder is a long-time newspaper carrier for the News. She has been delivering papers in the rural Mount Vernon area for over 28 years.
She said her favorite things about being a carrier are the independence that comes with the job and getting to see all of the sights in rural Mount Vernon. She also loves the people she delivers for.
“The people are so great to me,” Yoder told the News on Thursday. “I love them!” She said that because she has been doing it for so long, everyone knows her.
Yoder also added that the road crews along her route do a great job, and that she rarely ever has an issue in the winter getting her papers delivered.
She delivers 320 newspapers in a two-and-a-half hour route every day. She also does three MIDS routes every week, delivering 1,300 MIDS.
One of the News’ youngest carriers is 11-year-old Georgia Robertson. She has been working for the News since May 1, and, until recently, delivered for five routes. Now, she does three and delivers a total of 74 newspapers everyday. Because her mom helps her by wrapping the newspapers for her while she’s at school, she said it usually only takes her about two hours to deliver them all.
Robertson delivers all of the papers on her hoverboard, which she bought from money she saved up from delivering papers, her mother, Wendy, said.
Robertson added that her favorite part of delivering papers is getting to meet all of the people. “And riding my hoverboard,” she added with a laugh.
Jacob Deever is another dedicated youth carrier. At 13-years-old, he delivers his papers before going to soccer practice all the way in Dublin.
He told the News that he usually rides his bike to deliver the 40 papers in his route, so he can get it done in about 20 minutes.
“I like to ride my bike up and down the street to deliver the papers,” he said.
Among these few are so many wonderful paper carriers who are dedicated, and always do their job to the best of their ability.
All of the News’ carriers are independently contracted, and get paid per delivery customer, along with a route allowance.
Anyone interested in becoming a newspaper carrier for the Mount Vernon News is welcome to stop by the office, located at 18 E. Vine St. in Mount Vernon, and fill out an application.