(Image credit: Stamps from the USPS website)
The continued underfunding and undermining of the United States Post Office that began this spring is deeply disturbing. An essential business at even the best of times, the USPS is even more so during the COVID-19 crisis and a pivotal election season. For so many people, the mail is a lifeline — literally (such as with delivered medications) and emotionally (with morale-boosting notes and gifts). It could also be a lifeline for U.S. democracy if in-person voting in the presidential election remains a potential health risk in November, which seems highly likely at this rate.
There is some encouraging news. Collectively, we can help the USPS to stay afloat with relative ease. According to National Public Radio and the U.S. Greeting Card Association, if just half of U.S. adults bought even one sheet of 20 stamps for $11, it would raise about $1.5 billion for the USPS.
This is a potentially huge impact for so little money and effort on the part of any individual person. And it’s so easy to do — even on a Sunday — because you can order stamps right from the USPS website. I’m happy to report that there are several beautiful designs to choose from, including the ones featured above. I’m running low on stamps anyway, so I ordered a few batches earlier this week. I’m an animal lover concerned about endangered species, so I naturally gravitated toward the Amur tiger cub domestic Forever stamps. But even if animals aren’t your thing, there is a wide array of options to choose from, suited to virtually every taste.
But wait, there’s more! Did you know that the USPS also sells stationery? I had never considered it seriously until now because I was admittedly a bit skeptical about the quality of what might be on offer, but once I took the time to peruse the USPS online store, I realized that there are actually quite a few lovely designs available. So I’m pleased to announce that the USPS is this week’s featured stationery designer! I was particularly impressed by its elaborate “Indian-Inspired Floral” notecards (left) and elegant “Gold Lattice” stationery set. And I have to say, I was totally tickled by its amusing “Thanks a Ton” whale cards (Come on, how adorable are they?).
Today, order some stamps from USPS.com, and perhaps some stationery too. Also consider writing a thank-you note to your mail carrier, who has been enduring unusually adverse conditions over the past few months to ensure that your mail continues to reach you. While as civil servants, postal workers are prohibited from receiving cash tips, gifts with a value of under $20 (like a gift card) are also a nice gesture of appreciation.