DEPEW, N.Y. (WKBW-TV) — UPDATE: Since this story was first published, Bukowski's mortgage payment has been located. Read more here.
2020 has been a rough year for Marcia Bukowski from Depew.
It started with her being so sick that Bukowski believes she may have had COVID before anyone knew what COVID was.
When the pandemic hit in mid-March, she had to stop driving airport routes for Uber and Lyft because of worries about getting sick or transmitting the virus to her grandchildren.
That loss of income is making it hard for the Depew grandmother. "It is getting really tight now," added Bukowski.
She then accidentally dropped an envelope containing $800 cash into a postal collection box along with several Christmas cards Bukowski was mailing out. The mistake happened this past weekend.
The money was in a sealed envelope with a bank deposit slip. It was supposed to pay her mortgage payment at Community Bank in Springville.
"It has been a rough haul," said Bukowski.
When she realized the error, Bukowski put a note in the collection box asking for help. Since it was the weekend, she was unable to contact anyone by phone. Desperate, she went and waited by the collection box at 7:30 in the morning hoping a carrier would come by - which did not happen.
The mail collection box was outside the Tops store near Transit Road and Genesee Street.
Bukowski eventually got in contact with a USPS supervisor. He told her the envelope was probably taken to the Buffalo processing plant on William Street in Buffalo and put into a pile of un-deliverable and non-mail related items.
"They have three thousand non-mail related items that they have to go through," Bukowski was told by the supervisor.
Those items have to be sorted by hand. However, the post office is so busy with pandemic-caused holiday business that it could be some time until workers have the chance to find the un-addressed envelope, Bukowski was informed.
The discouraged woman had written her name and checking account number on the outside of the envelope with a bank deposit slip inside along with $800 worth of $50 bills.
Unfortunately, the deposit slip has an old address which worries Bukowski that it will be hard for the post office to contact her.
"I just have to hope that someone out there is honest enough, like me, that they'll be able to get that money back to me."
A spokesperson for the U.S. Postal Service said it is not uncommon for people to drop wrong things into a mail collection box. Anyone who needs assistance in the Buffalo area should call the U.S. Postal Service Consumer Affairs number at 716-842-4738.
The spokesperson advised calling your local post office ASAP if you feel you dropped something wrong into a collection box.