It is my birthday tomorrow, and I’m taking advantage of it by posting this idea today, in hopes that my upcoming birthday will put you in a generous spirit and you’ll be willing to grant me my birthday wish, which you will discover if you bear with me and read all the way to the end. Please and thank you! XOXO, V
I don’t know about you, but I get excited each time I check the mailbox. I get excited when I hear Jessie barking when I’m home mid-afternoon because I know it means the mail carrier has arrived with unknown treasure. I expect the catalogs, advertisements, and letters from charitable organizations, but what gets me excited is what I hope to see: an envelope with a handwritten address on it. Or a million dollar check from some sweepstakes I entered and forgot about. :) It’s these things that give me that tingle of excitement every time I reach into the mailbox.
Perhaps you don’t go to your own mailbox with the same hope each day, but I think we all know the feeling of receiving a card, letter, or package in the mail. It is enough to sweeten the dreariest of days. We all know how nice it feels to read something written in the hand of someone we love, and how we cherish those words, whether few or many. And yet, despite that warm feeling it gives us to receive personal mail, we rarely participate in this dying art.
As you may know, I work for the US Postal Service. I guess it runs in the family! My Dad became a mailman when I was a little girl and served as one through twenty-three cold winters and scorching summers, two serious dog bites, and one death threat. He walked on broken toes (actually it was just one toe that he had the misfortune to keep breaking), walked against fifty mile-per-hour winds with a negative wind chill, fell down icy steps, fought through foot-high snow, and sweated through long 100+ degree temperature days with a heavy mail bag that caused a permanent slope to his shoulder that he still has, three years after retiring. And he delivered the mail each day with a genuine smile.
Four years before Dad retired, my sister, Danielle, and I took up the reigns and signed on as data conversion operators (data entry) for the Postal Service. Danielle went on to become an industrial engineer and also opened up her own gift boutique, but I’m now into my seventh year with the Postal Service, and just recently became a permanent career employee. It was a very long process since the position was designed to be temporary, but it was well worth the wait. As any postal employee can tell you, we are very well paid for what we do, and the benefits are fantastic.
By now you’re probably wondering where I’m going with all this. Well, as you are probably also aware, the post office has a huge deficit and is facing default. While I’m hopeful that the steps we are taking will prevent that, the fact remains that in an age where texts have replaced post cards and email has replaced letters, the service we offer just isn’t as highly in demand it once was.
Some people think that the post office gets its money from the government. Not true. The Postal Service operates on the revenue it generates from the sale of stamps and the mailing of packages. We are entirely dependent upon the revenue we generate from our service to you. Which is why each year the Postal Service’s prognosis looks more and more bleak. There just aren’t as many letters and postcards being sent as there used to be.
This is why I’m introducing…
Artwork by Tara Roush of Wichita, KS
The aim of this project is twofold: 1) to spread love and good cheer through the mailing of postcards, cards, letters, and care packages, and 2) to help support the Postal Service at the same time. A simple plan, but if enough people get involved, it could make quite an impact!
It is my birthday tomorrow and I’m taking full advantage of it by using my soon-to-be birthday girl status to ask everyone to embrace The Postcard Project and commit to sending a postcard, card, letter, and/or package to someone this week (better yet, tomorrow on my birthday!!). Anyone. Send it to someone you love. Send it to someone that is lonely. Send it to a soldier. If you’re an animal lover like me, you can help raise money to feed them just by mailing postcards to The Pet Postcard Project! Sponsor a hungry child and correspond with him. There are so many great opportunities afforded to us by using the Postal Service!
If you would like to spread the postal love and join the Postcard Project, please click here and add your name to the spreadsheet along with the number of cards, etc., you plan to send this week. Make a mental note of your number line so that once your card(s) are mailed, you can return to the spreadsheet to check it off! If you look at the top of my blog, you’ll see I now have a page titled “The Postcard Project” which will have the link to return to the spreadsheet so that it isn’t a hassle for you to find it again.
As each person completes their commitment, I will update the total on The Postcard Project page so we can all see how this is spreading. Tell everyone you know and let’s see how far we can take this project!! Are you in?