Mon, 18 Jul 2011 04:06:49 GMT — There's usually not much action at the Harlingen U.S. Post Office on Sundays, but on this occasion, about 25 postal workers gathered there ready to work. The employees gathered for a benefit barbecue to help John Alvarez - also a postal worker. Alvarez was diagnosed with throat cancer in March and has been going through extensive treatment. Silvia Santillan, a postal carrier, said the sad news has united the employees at the post office. "The postal service has always had a motto - to stand together, we work together and we're proving that today," Santillan said. "The postal service has come through for us. John is a transfer from California...so here, we are his family." Alvarez is also Santillan's brother-in-law. She said dozens of community members and businesses came forth to give a helping hand. "It means unity," Santillan said. "We've lost that sense and we just want to make sure that everybody is aware that anyone can face this. Cancer (does not discriminate) against anybody - it could be us today, tomorrow someone else." The postal workers grilled over 600 pieces of chicken, and cooked along with rice and beans. They were hoping to raise $4,000 for their friend. Rolando Morales, also Alvarez's brother-in-law and a postal worker, said the community's support gave Alvarez strength. "You could see the smile on his face," Morales said. "His spirits are high, so I just want to (tell) the community that came by to pick up a plate - thank you."
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