James Hundley

At WINGS we emphasize the importance of having a positive attitude and persevering in the face of disappointment and less than ideal circumstances. Our attitudes influence not only our own mood and behavior, but the mood and behavior of others too, and choosing to be positive can go a long way! This month's WINGS recipient, postal worker James Hundley, has an exemplary attitude. He is a happiness contagion spreading cheer daily to everyone he encounters!

James, a 63-year-old Chicago mail carrier, is a wealth of joy who both gives and evokes cheer wherever he goes. He says that he "tries to bring his best to the table every day and aims to be as kind and nice as he can to everybody." This is an amazing quality made far more admirable when you take into account James' past.

James grew up in Mississippi in the mid 1960's- a time when his skin color alone caused people to dislike and mistreat him. Recognizing this injustice and feeling the need to do something about it, a young James participated in peaceful civil rights protests and marches only to be met with unimaginable hatred and violence. James witnessed and experienced a very ugly side of humanity that could have left him full of anger, yet he is one of the most loving and cheerful people you could ever hope to meet. A customer of James' even says, "a day without James is like a day without sunshine."

Despite the unfavorable circumstances in which James grew up, he believes in treating everyone with respect and dignity. We couldn't agree more!

James, for overcoming tough times and delivering not just the mail, but smiles and cheer to all, you have WINGS!

It's not maybe so sexy, but the only way to build a first-class education system is through the long, hard work.

— Wendy Kopp,
Founder, Teach for America

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