Richard Allen

Allen

The 39th stamp in the Black Heritage series commemorates preacher, activist, and civic leader Richard Allen (1760-1831), an inspiring figure whose life and work resonate profoundly in American history. This stamp coincides with the 200th anniversary of Allen’s founding of the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, one of the most important institutions in African-American life, and his election and consecration as its first bishop.

After purchasing his own freedom from slavery and making a name for himself as a traveling minister throughout the Mid-Atlantic, Allen was asked to preach to his fellow African Americans at a Methodist church in Philadelphia. He quickly rose to prominence as a civic leader, co-founding an organization to help African-American neighbors in need, rallying black Philadelphians to serve as aid workers during a yellow fever epidemic, and preparing the black community to defend the city during the War of 1812.

Eager to establish an independent African-American church, Allen purchased an old blacksmith’s shop and moved it to land he owned at Sixth and Lombard Streets. Bethel Church was dedicated in 1794 and soon attracted several hundred members, but Allen spent years in conflict with white church leaders who sought to assert their control. After a campaign that included sit-ins by African-Americans and a judgment by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, the congregation secured its independence. In 1816, Allen summoned other black Methodist leaders to Philadelphia, where together they founded the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, electing and consecrating Allen as its first bishop.

The stamp is now available for purchase at usps.com/stamps, the Postal Store, at 800-STAMP24 (800-782-6724) and at Post Offices nationwide.

Carrier Honored By Idaho Talking Book Service

Boise, ID, Cole Village Station City Carrier Tim Hoover.

Boise, ID, Cole Village Station City Carrier Tim Hoover.

Each year, customers of the Idaho Talking Book Service (TBS) have the opportunity to nominate their letter carriers for the Postal Carrier of the Year Award. For 2014, Boise, ID, Cole Village Station City Carrier Tim Hoover received the coveted honor.

TBS is an audio book and magazine lending service offered free of charge by the Idaho Commission for Libraries to individuals with physical limitations. Customers of the service nominate why their carrier deserves the organization’s annual award in the delivery of TBS material. Customers nominated a total of 48 carriers for the 2014 award, and each nomination included a description of the nominee’s kindness.

“When people lose their sight, sometimes they can lose their connection to the world,” said Hoover. “TBS is a fantastic service that keeps that from happening.”

Two TBS customers who nominated Hoover for the award, Susan Ford and Dorothy Carpenter, joined TBS Regional Librarian Sue Walker, Five Mile Station Manager Jeff Winberry and Boise Postmaster Daniel Corral at a celebratory event at Cole Village Station to present Hoover with an award plaque and letter of appreciation from Idaho State Librarian Ann Joslin.

Take a Picture of Charlie Brown Characters

Photo with Charlie Brown

The Postal Service invites America to share in a series of holiday-themed augmented reality (AR) experiences that bring the nation’s 160,000 blue Post Office collection boxes to life via smartphones. The invitation is part of a mailing that provides information on exciting postal products, services and key mailing dates to make this the most convenient holiday mailing season ever.

The Peanuts photo opportunity debuts November 23-25 and appears again in mid-December as part of the Postal Service’s rotating “Mailbox Miracle” experiences that runs until December 28. Also, the 50th anniversary of the “Charlie Brown Christmas” TV special, from which the stamps are based, airs Monday, November 30, at 9 p.m. on ABC. Prior to that, at 8 p.m., a one-hour retrospective special featuring numerous music performers airs.

The ‘Mailbox Miracle’ Experiences

To experience the magic of the Peanuts gang, download the Postal Service’s AR app at Google Play or iTunes App Store. Open the app and point your phone’s camera at the USPS blue eagle logo on one of nearly 160,000 blue mail collection boxes between November 23 and November 25, and again December 14 through December 17, to see Charlie Brown characters surround Postal Service blue collection boxes. You can also take a photo with the Peanuts gang to save on your camera phone or share on social media.

As the nation counts down to the holidays, the Postal Service will be adding new experiences every few days.

Customers accessing usps.com can find blue collection boxes near their current location by visiting this link and clicking the “Post Offices and Approved Postal Providers” icon. Scroll down to collection boxes and then enter a ZIP Code or address.

The Gift of Life

Hoxie, KS, Rural Carrier Herb Cressler with his wife Marty

Hoxie, KS, Rural Carrier Herb Cressler with his wife Marty

In February 2010, Hoxie, KS, Rural Carrier Herb Cressler’s wife Marty was diagnosed with leukemia. Fortunately for Marty, her sisters were a bone marrow match and doctors were able to successfully transplant the healthy cells. During her treatments in Denver, CO, hospital staff asked Cressler if he would be willing to be tested and have his name added to the bone marrow registry. Cressler agreed.

“This was the least I could do since I feel indebted for the gift my wife and I received,” said Cressler.

Last month, Cressler discovered that he was a match for a 17-year old boy, and had the opportunity to give the same gift of life that had been provided to his wife five years earlier. Cressler’s selfless donation of bone marrow helped save the boy’s life.

Marty has been in remission since 2012, and both she and her husband are planning a trip to Rome this fall.

“Don’t put off the things you would like to do because tomorrow is not guaranteed,” said Cressler.

Honor a Hero

Honor a hero

Many extraordinary accomplishments are achieved by exceptional people every day. Whether it’s a school teacher who goes the extra mile for his students, a military member who bravely served her country, a first responder who saved the life of a family member, or any other everyday hero, these unique individuals make a big difference in the lives of others.

To honor their accomplishments, the Postal Service released the 2014 Everyday Cards for Everyday Heroes collection last month. The cards provide a way to express gratitude for the tremendous contributions of remarkable people.

The distinctive card collection is available now through Nov. 11 at select Post Offices, and comes with a variety of messages and designs for that special person.

Happy Labor Day

Labor Day 2014

Idaho Carrier Honored by Audio Book Service

Boise, ID, City Carrier Gretchen Young with Station Manager Les Miller.

Boise, ID, City Carrier Gretchen Young with Station Manager Les Miller. Photo courtesy of Idaho Talking Book Service.

Talking Book Service (TBS) is an audio book and magazine lending service offered free of charge by the Idaho Commission for Libraries to individuals with physical limitations. Each year, TBS customers have the opportunity to nominate why their carrier deserves the organization’s coveted Postal Carrier of the Year Award in the delivery of TBS material.

For the 2013 award, nearly 90 carriers were recognized throughout the state of Idaho by customers impressed with their carrier’s dedication to service. Only one individual is awarded the special recognition, and for 2013, that individual was Boise, ID, City Carrier Gretchen Young.

Young is a 20 year veteran of the Postal Service, and is no stranger to praise from customers. Her consistently high level of customer satisfaction was also recognized in the spring edition of the Western Area Update.

The award presentation, recently held at the Boise Overland Trail Station, was attended by TBS members as well Station Manager Les Miller, Boise Postmaster Daniel Corral, and Salt Lake City District Manager Jimmy Wolf.

“Gretchen has always had a very positive personality and can-do attitude,” said Miller. “I’m proud of her terrific customer service efforts that allowed her to receive this award.”

Summer Fun

Hello all, Benny here. The summer months are quickly coming to a close and I wanted to share with you a few of the photos I took during some of the journeys I was fortunate to enjoy. I hope you like them!

Did you take some interesting photos during a fun, adventurous vacation this summer too? I’d sure like to see them! Send them to me at bennyblogger@gmail.com along with a brief description of where you went and I’ll share them others right here on Your Postal Blog.

Thank you, and have a great rest of the summer!

Benny

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Birthday Wish Comes True

Foxboro, MA, plant employees stand behind two containers full of packages and letters for Danny Nickerson.

Foxboro, MA, plant employees stand behind two containers full of packages and letters for Danny Nickerson.

The power of the mail helped fulfill the birthday wish of a Massachusetts boy with an inoperable brain tumor.

It began when Danny Nickerson, 6, requested a box of cards for his birthday July 25. After area newspapers reported the story, it went viral on social media and was soon picked up by other outlets, including “NBC Nightly News.”

The Postal Service estimated that more than 100,000 cards were sent to Nickerson from locations all over the world, including Hong Kong and Canada. This doesn’t include the many parcels, packages and even coconuts that Nickerson also received.

“It’s a very hopeful positive message the world is sending to this birthday boy,” said Foxboro Postmaster Tom Driscoll.

To accommodate all of Nickerson’s mail, Brockton, MA, Plant Manager Christine Young and her staff designed a customized tray label to make processing it easier. A giant birthday note to Nickerson also was signed by plant employees.

Foxboro Retail Associate Victor Burk found satisfaction in having had a hand in making Nickerson’s day special. “It’s the personal touch that matters,” he said.

USPS Financial Highlights

USPS financial results are in for the second quarter of fiscal year 2014. Here’s a look at the highlights from the year-to-date (YTD) data compared to the same period last year:

2014 Q2 highlights

 

To view the 10-Q financial report in its entirety, go to: http://about.usps.com/who-we-are/financials/.

a)     Includes interest and investment income.
b)     Includes interest expense.
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