Still Carrying on by Delivering the News
For 12-year-old Andrew Kruger, the end of his school day doesn't mean the end of his workday. When his mother stopped giving him an allowance, Andrew became a youth carrier for the Columbia Daily Tribune.
And, he already has big plans for his hard-earned cash.
"I might get a pool table," he said.
The Tribune delivers newspapers to Andrew's home, then he delivers them throughout his neighborhood, 31 houses in the Meadowbrook Subdivision off Scott Boulevard. It takes 20 minutes to complete his route, but Andrew still took the job although he knew it would cut into his free time.
"My friend, he was working it and he got tired of it because it was taking up time and he wanted to go to the mall and stuff, so I said, 'I'll do it,'" Andrew recalled.
Andrew's job often involves the whole family, with younger brother Garret sometimes helping, and their father lending extra muscle on weekends to help lift the big bag.
"When I have the Sunday papers, I can't pick it up," Andrew explained. "I have to have my dad pick it up and put it on my shoulders."
Andrew's relatives aren't the only ones helping him. Distribution Manager Patrick Fitzsimmons and four district managers oversee youth carriers.
"When kids live on their routes and personally know their customers, they tend to take good care of them," Fitzsimmons explained, "It's honestly one of the last throwbacks to the 'Leave it to Beaver era.'"
Fitzsimmons said carriers deliver only during daylight hours, so there have been no safety problems.
Their name changed, but life's lessons are the same. Youth carriers learn the value of a dollar, how to be responsible, and how much a Sunday paper weighs.
Reported by Michele Stern, with producer Mark Johnson