North Bend, NE, Retail Associates Cindy Madsen and Michelle Hoyt with Postmaster Sherry Carmichael
When a long-time postal customer recently passed away, her son wrote a letter to North Bend, NE, Post Office employees expressing his thanks for providing exceptional service that spanned 50 years. Here’s an excerpt from that letter:
“As you no doubt know, my mother Mildred Emanuel recently passed away. She had mentioned to me how you went out of your way to help her pick up her mail. I wanted to express my gratitude for all the many kindnesses you and others in your office had extended to her.
I started writing letters to my mother 50 years ago this fall when I went off to school. For the past several years, I’ve tried to write to her weekly, each letter with a different stamp design. After two years she asked, ‘Where do you get all those different stamps?’ I wrote back, ‘Stamps by Mail.’
Please give my compliments to all in your office, and if it were possible, to all the men and women of the U.S. Postal Service for the reliable service you provided (and at bargain rates!). My mother was the type of person who didn’t want flowers or knickknacks or other things for gifts. What do you give to someone who wants nothing? Answer: a handwritten letter – always a welcomed gift for a loved one who has everything. Thank you for making that possible 52 weeks a year for over 50 years.
Posted by bennyblogger on August 24, 2016
Independence, MO, City Carrier Audrey Odell
While delivering mail along her route recently, Independence, MO, City Carrier Audrey Odell heard a woman yelling. “Someone help us, my baby!” the woman screamed.
Odell approached the cry for help and stopped her vehicle near a woman sitting on the ground holding a child. The concerned carrier dismounted and secured her vehicle, then moved quickly to the woman.
“Do you know CPR?” the woman frantically asked.
“Yes,” Odell replied.
Without hesitation, Odell took the infant from his mother and set him on the ground. She performed Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation for the next five minutes until paramedics arrived. Though the child remained in the hospital for some time following the incident, he is alive due to the extraordinary efforts of his local letter carrier.
“We’re very proud of Audrey recognizing the need to assist, and stepping in to assist,” said Mid-America Manager Gail Hendrix.
In addition to official recognition by the Postal Service, the Independence Police Department also intends to celebrate Odell’s heroic actions.
Posted by bennyblogger on August 22, 2016
The U.S. Postal Service® issues this Classics Forever souvenir sheet in celebration of the long history of U.S. postage stamps—and in appreciation of stamp collectors and philatelists everywhere. The elaborately designed sheet features handsome new versions of six stamps first issued in the mid-19th century. The stamps are printed using the intaglio printing method, as were the originals.
From top, left to right, the stamps featured are:
George Washington stamp, first issued in 1851 at 12 cents. Portrait based on a painting by Gilbert Stuart. Stamp originally engraved by Toppan, Carpenter, Casilear & Co.
Benjamin Franklin stamp, first issued in 1851 at one cent. Portrait based on a bust carved by Jean-Jacques Caffiéri. Stamp originally engraved by Toppan, Carpenter, Casilear & Co.
George Washington stamp, first issued in 1860 at 24 cents. Portrait based on a painting by Gilbert Stuart. Stamp originally engraved by Toppan, Carpenter & Co.
George Washington stamp, first issued in 1860 at 90 cents. Portrait based on a painting by John Trumbull. Stamp originally engraved by Toppan, Carpenter & Co.
Abraham Lincoln stamp, first issued in 1866 at 15 cents. Portrait based on a photograph by Christopher Smith German. Stamp originally engraved by National Bank Note Co.
Benjamin Franklin stamp, first issued in 1861 at one cent. Portrait based on a bust carved by Jean-Antoine Houdon. Stamp originally engraved by National Bank Note Co.
The selvage is composed of postal cancellations and script from envelopes contemporaneous with the stamps. These elements are arranged on a buff-colored background with a textured look to evoke stationery of the period. An inner border reminiscent of star-spangled patriotic bunting bears the title “CLASSICS FOREVER” at top and bottom of the sheet and the words “THE CLASSIC ERA” on each side.
Posted by bennyblogger on August 19, 2016
Mesa City Carrier Robin Henderson, Customer Services Manager Alice Gonzalez, and City Carrier Nikki Synodis.
Mesa City Carrier Robin Henderson was on her route in the hot Arizona sun when she decided to check on a new City Carrier Assistant to see how he was faring in the heat. She found the gentleman with two hours left on his route and no water to help stay hydrated.
Henderson knew the importance of drinking water regularly to avoid dehydration and heat-related illnesses. She conveyed her concern to the CCA and stressed the importance of drinking plenty of water during the hot summer months. She also gave him the rest of the water she had left with her. Later on, she located and washed uniforms he could use to help protect him from the sun and presented them to him the following day.
When Mesa Postmaster Yolanda Stenson found out about the CCA’s hydration deficiency, she discussed the matter with him to reinforce the importance of drinking enough water throughout the day. That’s when the CCA told her about the tough decision he had to make between buying a larger water container and heat-friendly clothing or purchasing enough food to feed his family. Stenson told him that she’d see what could be done about helping him with his situation and gave him the water she had before he went on his route.
Before Stenson could leave the office to buy supplies for the CCA, she discovered that Customer Services Manager Alice Gonzalez had already purchased a large water container, a cooler, a case of Gatorade, and heat-friendly clothing for the CCA using personal funds. City Carrier and Safety Captain Nikki Synodis also regularly checked on the CCA to make sure he was staying hydrated.
“I’m proud of my team,” said Stenson. “We truly have a culture of safety and do everything we can to help keep each other safe.”
Posted by bennyblogger on August 18, 2016
Minnetonka, MN, City Carrier Brian Halbakken.
Toward the end of her shift, Minnetonka, MN, Post Office Supervisor Aricka Sundstrom sat down at her desk to finish her work. As she casually ate a piece of chicken while tending to her duties, she felt her throat tighten, preventing her from swallowing the food. Unable to breathe, Sundstrom stood and attempted to clear her throat, but the obstruction didn’t budge. Desperate for assistance, she moved to the nearest carrier case seeking help. Fortunately for Sundstrom, the carrier she encountered was uniquely qualified to render the assistance she needed.
City Carrier Brian Halbakken had taken a number of first responder classes in the event of an emergency. When he saw Sundstrom in distress, he immediately jumped into action.
Halbakken grabbed Sundstrom’s shoulders, spun her around to face the opposite direction, and began performing the Heimlich Maneuver. After three quick abdominal thrusts, the obstruction in Sundstrom’s throat ejected from her mouth allowing her to gulp in much-needed air.
After expressing her thanks to Halbakken for saving her life, the hero carrier stated, “Relax. It’s over.”
“All those first responder classes paid off,” he added.
Posted by bennyblogger on August 17, 2016
While the hot summer months can present a challenge to stay cool, customers at the Estelline and Elkton Post Offices in South Dakota had a tasty way to keep frosty.
Elkton Postmaster Mary Ann Stuefen and Estelline Postmaster Cathy Robertson hosted special events in their lobbies to celebrate ice cream month and the release of the new Soda Fountain Favorites Forever stamps.
Each office treated customers to ice cream sundaes topped with a heaping helping of exceptional customer service.
The cool events brought in more than 140 customers to chill out with postal employees.
The Soda Fountain Favorites stamp collection is now available for purchase at usps.com/stamps, at 800-STAMP24 (800-782-6724) and at Post Offices nationwide.
Posted by bennyblogger on August 16, 2016
Nampa, ID, City Carrier Assistant Ted Porter
Nampa, ID, City Carrier Assistant Ted Porter was on his route recently when he heard a young boy cry out for help. He rushed over to the boy and found him sprawled on the ground, foaming at the mouth. The boy tried to speak to Porter, but the words he used were unintelligible and didn’t make sense to Porter.
“I could tell he was in deep trouble,” said Porter. “So I called 911 and waited for the police to arrive.”
Porter remained with the boy until the paramedics rushed him to the local hospital. Later on, he discovered how grave the situation was for the young boy.
The boy and his friend had ingested a narcotic called spice for the first time after school. According to medical professionals, that first encounter with the drug would have been a fatal one if Porter hadn’t obtained help as fast as he did. Even with the speedy assistance, the boy’s heart stopped for 16 seconds during the next three days he spent in the hospital.
“He is recovering well thank God and to Ted for his prompt response and attention to my son,” said the boy’s mother. “My son would like to thank him for saving his life and so would my husband and I! He went way above and beyond his job and we will never forget him and have a way bigger appreciation for all postal workers.”
Nampa Postmaster Henry Medel is grateful to have Porter on his team.
“Ted is an excellent employee, but more importantly, a great human being who cares about his fellow man,” said Medel. “It is indeed a privilege to have someone like Ted Porter as part of the Nampa postal team.”
Posted by bennyblogger on August 15, 2016
Enthusiastic fans of the USPS Songbirds in Snow Forever stamps converged at the American Philatelic Society’s Stampshow 2016 in Portland, OR, last week to see the special unveiling ceremony.
Melodic birds featured in the stamp set include the golden-crowned kinglet, the cedar waxwing, the northern cardinal and the red-breasted nuthatch. USPS Vice President of Sales Cliff Rucker was on hand to dedicate the musically-inspired collection.
“The Postal Service has a long tradition of putting birds on stamps — to celebrate and raise awareness of these amazing creatures,” said Rucker. “And the four stamps we’re dedicating today are truly beautiful works of art.”
The Songbirds in Snow stamp collection is now available for purchase at usps.com/stamps, at 800-STAMP24 (800-782-6724), and at Post Offices nationwide.
Posted by bennyblogger on August 12, 2016
Left: Stephanie Meade poses with Muhammad Ali after meeting him in person for the first time at a 1991 charity event.
Right: Meade met Ali again in 2014 at his home in Louisville, KY.
(Photos courtesy of Stephanie Meade)
At age 10, Stephanie Meade of Seattle sent a letter to legendary boxing icon Muhammad Ali — with no street address. That sparked what became a three-decade exchange of letters between Ali and his young fan. Listen to their story in the latest edition of Your Postal Podcast, available now at YourPostalPodcast.com.
Both the audio and transcript versions of this edition and an archive of previous shows are available at: YourPostalPodcast.com. You can also listen to the podcast on your mobile device at YourPostalPodcast.com/mobile, or search “Your Postal Podcast” at the iTunes Store or YouTube.
Posted by bennyblogger on August 11, 2016
Former Retail Associate Sandra Zoubek and Current Retail Associate Melissa Packer
When the Dorchester Post Office recently received the Dorchester Times Main Street Improvement Award for 2016, employees were thrilled at the recognition.
Dorchester is a small town in southeast Nebraska. With a population of less than 600, residents take notice of changes in the local landscape. One of those landscape changes was the shrubbery in front of the local Post Office.
In the summer of 2015, former Dorchester Retail Associate Sandra Zoubek took it upon herself to improve the landscape in front of the building.
“Sandra did an awesome job cleaning up and re-doing the flowerbeds and overgrown bushes at the front entrance,” said Postmaster LeAnn Tvrdy.
The Dorchester Times blog took notice of the improvement project and presented the Post Office with the Main Street Improvement Award.
“This is a model hometown of pride and for how buildings along Main Street should be maintained,” Dorchester Times reported in its praise of the Post Office.
Since Zoubek has transitioned into a new job as a supervisor in Geneva, new Retail Associate Melissa Packer is continuing the beautification efforts.
Posted by bennyblogger on August 10, 2016