Mail Carrier/Musician Delivers Goodwill to Simpson

Posted on December 19th, 2018


Tanner Peck has worked for the U.S. Postal Service for the last four years. In his utility role, he delivers mail on five different routes in Minneapolis. “I’m a regular, but my five routes vary. I deliver on a route by 1st Avenue near Simpson shelter and by a lower income area near I-35. I have some areas that have multi-million-dollar homes in Minneapolis. …. Being a mailman, you get to know the communities where you work and meet the people. I know the people who live in the neighborhoods.” 

Tanner also has a passion for music. He plays guitar and sings at local farmers markets, breweries, senior citizen residences, and weddings, about one to three times per week — whenever he can fit in a gig around his full-time work schedule. He also plays in a gospel band in St. Paul. Tanner studied music at a community college in Nebraska and later at MN State University Moorhead.  “After college, I thought I would go to Minneapolis and live the dream. Originally, I thought I’d be in a band. I was 22 then. I’m 29 now. It ends up better to have a set schedule during the day.” 

This year, Tanner decided to play music and give the donations from his listeners to Simpson Housing Services. His decision to give was spontaneous. Tanner recounts the recent day when he decided to donate his proceeds to Simpson. “When I was delivering mail to the Simpson shelter, I witnessed a family’s conversation after giving a donation. The staff person said, ‘thank you.’ and the mother of the family, said ‘no, we thank you’, sharing her thanks to Simpson for helping the community.” 

“I continued my mail route around the rest of the block. As a mailman, you have a lot of time to think. I walked around the block and finished my route. By the time I got back to Simpson, I decided that I wanted to do something too,” says Tanner. 

Tanner has played his music at six venues to benefit Simpson Housing Services. He is observant of the people who step forward to place donations in his guitar case. He overhears parents ask their children if they know where the money is going. They proceed to share how the money will help people with housing. Tanner is overwhelmed by the generosity of people of all ages. “Young people in their twenties who have rent payments and student loans are putting $20 bills in my guitar case.” He also notices that when he is playing at the markets, people seem to know the important work of Simpson. 

Tanner reflects on his own feelings surrounding giving and gratitude. “There is this focus on needing to work more hours and accumulate more. I’ve challenged myself to step back, to observe and concentrate on other people. Give. It feels good. It’s way better than going out to buy clothes or a computer. The good feeling [of giving] is sustaining.”  

Tanner encourages other people to be creative and think of how they can use their talents to benefit someone too.