It was 12 days before Christmas when Irish Channel resident Angela Timberlake Adkinson saw one too many posts on Nextdoor about a package theft. It’s the holidays. Children’s presents were about to land on porches, where their fate is precarious.
So she posted an offer. Her family avoids the porch pirate plague by having packages safely delivered to her husband’s law office on Jackson Avenue in the Lower Garden District. Why not offer the service to her neighbors?
“It was just an off-the-cuff sort of idea my husband had after I had seen this post on Nextdoor,” Adkinson said.
Her post on Nextdoor and on Facebook neighborhood pages immediately garnered “likes” and “loves,” and the positive comments piled up. “You and your hubby demonstrate the true meaning of the Christmas Spirit: love & generosity,” wrote Alice Stiward, one of 150 or so Nextdoor commenters.
“Everyone’s been thanking us,” Adkinson said. “Not a single negative comment, which is rare. The response was so unexpected — and so sweet.”
The next morning, she was awoken by a call from a reporter. Then another and another. “I said to my husband, ‘When do you want to do these interviews?'” Adkinson said. “He said, ‘You’re kidding, right?'”
Adkinson said she started using the law office address for her own family after two packages were stolen from their front porch. The second time, Adkinson got a notice that a package for their 18-year-old daughter was delivered at 2 p.m. She got to the porch at 2:20 p.m., and it was already gone.
She was using one of the methods experts suggest to avoid porch piracy: package tracking. Other recommendations include not only installing a security camera but making sure the security measures are obvious, such as with a sign. Lock boxes, video doorbells, mailbox sensors, requiring a signature, and using Amazon lockers or other package services are other common suggestions.
Of course, shopping locally is a sure pirate-proof solution.
Not a single package has been stolen from the Jackson Avenue law office Adkinson and her husband, attorney Alistair Adkinson, operate together.
A former teacher and freelance writer, she is now a paralegal and part-time Santa’s helper, giving out the packages delivered to the office. She said they’ve been getting two or three packages a day since the posts and news stories appeared. They are requiring package recipients to show an ID.
There are no deliveries on weekends, so the Christmas deliveries will end on Friday (Dec. 23). The package service will now be an annual tradition for the couple — a holiday gift to their neighbors.
Alistair Adkinson’s office is located at 1539 Jackson Ave., Suite 218. Packages must be delivered in care of A.A. Adkinson, attorney.
Katherine Hart is the managing editor of NOLA Messenger. She can be reached at email@example.com.