Adam Finley : Beloved mailman plays daily tic-tac-toe with tots on his route

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Adam Finley : Beloved mailman plays daily tic-tac-toe with tots on his route
Adam Finley : Beloved mailman plays daily tic-tac-toe with tots on his route

This Georgia mail carrier is drawing Xs and Os on locals’ index cards — and these little girls’ hearts.

After 6- and 7-year-old sisters Aria and Eva Jones started remote school in response to the coronavirus pandemic, their mailman began engaging them in tic-tac-toe matches during his morning rounds.

“These girls haven’t been able to go to school or see their classmates all year,” USPS mail carrier Adam Finley told CNN of the sisters, who live in Stone Mountain just east of Atlanta. “I thought, ‘What can I do to bring a smile to their faces? Something different, something to bring some excitement for the day.’”

Finley began leaving pieces of paper with tic-tac-toe boards and the girls’ names in their mailbox, making his move every morning at 7:30 a.m. when he reached their home on his daily route.

“Both girls have their own index card and play one move each day and wait until the next day for Mr. Adam’s move,” the girls’ mother, Erin Jones, wrote in a Facebook post.

Recently, Aria beat Finley, but the postal worker — a father of two grown children himself — was no sore loser. “Mr. Adam knocked on our door at 7:30 at night with congratulatory bags of flavored popcorn and the promise of a rematch,” Jones wrote.

Other awards have included ice cream and generally “anything to make them smile,” Finley told CNN, admitting that he lets them win.

Despite working 12-hour shifts, Finley has found time to play the game with other neighborhood kids as well. “When it’s 7:30 in the morning and those girls are all excited waving at the door, that’s my reward,” he said.

“The USPS may have had a hard year, but there’s no doubt in the Jones house that the Christmas spirit is alive and well because of one of their best employees,” Jones concluded her heartwarming post. “Thank you, ‘Mr. Adam,’ for bringing such light to such a dark year.”

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