Winter storms no match for determined Postmasters

Provo, UT, Postmaster Rick Brandon and Moab, UT, Postmaster Jay Stocks.

Provo, UT, Postmaster Rick Brandon and Moab, UT, Postmaster Jay Stocks.

On Christmas Eve, a snowstorm blanketed parts of Utah, giving residents a healthy collection of fresh powder to enjoy. While the storm might have dissuaded some from venturing out that night, Provo Postmaster Rick Brandon and Moab Postmaster Jay Stocks took to the road to make sure customers received their holiday cheer.

Brandon discovered that a sizeable number of packages destined for Moab didn’t make it to the Post Office in time for distribution on Christmas Eve. Without intervention, the delay would have prevented customers in Moab from receiving their special items in time for Christmas Day. Unwilling to disappoint customers during the holidays, he contacted Stocks to remedy the situation.

Stocks knew his customers would likely want their special items in time for Christmas, so he coordinated efforts with Brandon to transfer the packages into his care. The two drove great distances and met at Soldier Summit at 2:30 a.m. where Brandon transferred the 7 Priority Mail Express and 90 Priority Mail packages to Stocks’ vehicle. That morning, Stocks drove across Moab to deliver the items as local residents awoke. Customers were grateful that Stocks and Brandon went to great effort to ensure a merry day for their customers, and expressed their satisfaction across social media outlets.

“I was amazed at the service,” a local resident told the Times-Independent. “The gift itself wasn’t all that important, but to have it delivered on Christmas Day, under the circumstances, was way above and beyond the call of duty.”

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Christmas Eve surprise

Santa and Elf 2

To brighten the holidays for children this year, Reser’s Fine Foods and Meadows Elementary School in Topeka, KS, teamed up with USPS to provide gifts to children in less fortunate situations.

Meadows Elementary identified children within the school who could use extra help and asked them to write letters to Santa. Reser’s received those letters and purchased gifts for each as well as other children within the same households. After wrapping the gifts, Reser’s handed them off to USPS.

Victor

Topeka, KS, Main Office City Carrier Assistant Billy Barkemeyer, dressed as Santa Claus, along with City Carrier Assistant Rayling Mack delivered the special items to the children. The youngsters were both surprised and overjoyed at seeing Santa arrive on Christmas Eve to deliver the gifts.

Daniel Promising to be good next year too

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.

A Charlie Brown Christmas

Charlie Brown1

On December 9, 1965, millions of Americans learned what Christmas is all about. That evening, A Charlie Brown Christmas, the first animated special featuring characters from Charles Schulz’s beloved comic strip Peanuts, aired on CBS. Over the years, watching the understated ode to the holiday season has become an annual tradition for many families. The program now airs every year on ABC.

This booklet of 20 stamps features 10 still frames from A Charlie Brown Christmas (two of each design). They include: Charlie Brown holding the sapling that eventually becomes his Christmas tree, Charlie Brown and Pigpen with a snowman, Snoopy and children ice skating, the cast of the program gathering around the Christmas tree, Linus kneeling by the sparsely decorated Christmas tree, Charlie Brown checking his mailbox for a Christmas card, Charlie Brown and Linus leaning on a snowy brick wall, Charlie Brown and Linus standing by the tree, a frustrated Charlie Brown standing in front of Snoopy’s doghouse, and Charlie Brown decorating the tree in front of the prize-winning lights display on Snoopy’s doghouse.

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.

USPS Delivers Record Season

 

 

2014 holiday stats

The U.S. Postal Service exceeded its holiday delivery projections this season, delivering approximately 524 million packages in December — an 18 percent increase over last year.

On Dec. 22 alone, the Postal Service delivered more than 28 million packages. This marked the most packages delivered in a single day in the organization’s history. The package delivery record was set while also delivering approximately 463 million pieces of mail.

Improving tracking and reliability for customers was a key factor in preparing for holiday delivery demand. In advance of the holidays, the Postal Service also lowered some prices for businesses and frequent shippers.

“The volume this holiday season demonstrates that retailers and consumers increasingly are turning to the Postal Service to deliver their packages,” said Postmaster General and Chief Executive Officer Patrick Donahoe. “We know how much our customers count on us to make sure cards, letters and gifts make it home, and I’m proud that we delivered on our promise.”

In preparation for the holiday package volume, the Postal Service enhanced its network and made adjustments to mail processing and delivery operations, including delivering packages seven days a week beginning late November. More than 20 million packages were delivered on the five Sundays prior to Christmas to keep the mail moving and networks clear. An additional 118,000 packages were delivered Christmas Day.

“The dedication and resolve of our employees is commendable,” Donahoe said. “They adapted and delivered heavier-than-ever volumes of packages. They worked extremely hard, many of them braving harsh weather. I’m honored by the commitment they demonstrated this holiday season.”

The Postal Service is continuing to anticipate holiday volume through January as consumers use the mail to return holiday gifts. Merchants and retailers can take advantage of several return services, including Priority Mail Returns Service, to help customers make their returns easier. Consumers with gifts to return can pack items in Priority Mail packaging, which comes with insurance and tracking, and is available free at Post Offices or online.

Merry Christmas!

Christmas 2014

Time is Running Out – Send Those Holiday Packages Soon

PM winter 1

Are you still looking to mail packages to lucky recipients for Christmas? If so, you should plan on doing it soon.

Tomorrow, Sat. 20, is the last day to send items via First-Class Mail and Priority Mail through the Postal Service to ensure arrival by Dec. 25. If you miss that deadline, there’s still an opportunity to make sure packages arrive by Christmas, but only through Priority Mail Express mailed no later than Dec. 23.

To help packages arrive at their destinations in a timely manner, follow these easy tips before sealing the box:

  • Print addresses clearly and include all address elements, such as apartment numbers and directional information (ex: 123 S Main St. Apt. 2B)
  • Remove batteries from toys. Wrap and place them next to the toys in the mailing box. Customers should include the new batteries in the original packaging.
  • Place a card inside the package that contains the delivery and return address. This ensures the package can be delivered or returned should the mailing label become damaged or fall off.
  • Never guess a ZIP Code. NO ZIP is better than a WRONG ZIP.
  • Include both “to” and “from” information on packages – and only on one side.
  • Do NOT reuse mailing boxes – they weaken in the shipping process.
  • Select a box that is strong enough to protect the contents. Priority Mail and Priority Express boxes are free at the local post office.
  • Leave space for cushioning inside.
  • Stuff glass and fragile, hollow items, like vases, with newspaper or packing material to avoid damage. When mailing framed photographs, take the glass out of the frame and wrap it separately.

2014 Postal Coloring Page

2014 postal coloring page

Hello all, Benny here.

This year’s postal coloring page by Earl Musick is a hoot. I love the festive design with the recently released Rudolph stamp series. It reminds me of when the delightful images of Rudolph first appeared on screen and the thrill I received while watching them. Even after many decades since its release, I still find joy in watching the television show, and I hope you do as well.

If you want a larger version of the page, click on the image above.

I received a copy of some terrific artwork by 4-year old Payton from Hanna, WY, who added his own creative talents to the page. He gave his special version to Hanna Postmaster Deborah Dancik, and she promptly placed it on her office door to showcase his vision. I thought I’d share the colorful page with you below to help brighten your day as much as it did mine.

Have a great holiday season everyone!

 

Benny

 

2014 Payton coloring page

 

 

The Perfect Holiday Accessory

Winter fun Baubles Santa Clause Forever Christmas Magi RudolphHanukka Kwanzaa Poinsettia

Many people across the country will flock to their local Post Office in the coming weeks to drop off their special cards, letters and packages. While there, be sure to consider the purchase of unique holiday stamps to accompany both current and future messages.

Each unique design will add character and a seasonal charm to messages contained inside cards and letters. They’ll also become an instant reminder of the thrill and excitement of the holiday season as well as a memorable keepsake when viewed years and possibly many generations from now.

Click on any stamp to learn more about it on usps.com.

Be a Holiday Hero

Framed Batman stamps

Are you looking for a special gift to present to a friend or loved on this season? Then stop by usps.com to pick up a unique item that sure to light up their smile.

To commemorate the 75th anniversary of Batman, the Postal Service recently issued a special stamp set featuring the iconic hero  in eight unique designs in a sheet of 20 stamps. Four versions of the iconic DC Comics super hero are depicted from four eras of comic book history. There are also four incarnations of the Bat-Signal to complement the collection.

This special stamp sheet of Batman Forever stamps is showcased in a triple matted 13 1/2 x 12 1/2-inch frame with colors that accent the stamp artwork. Beneath the stamp, a brass plate is inscribed with the First Day of Issue details.

Presented in a gold frame with a black edge, the piece also includes a dust cover and sawtooth hanger on the back for easy display.

To order this one-of-a-kind gift for that special someone, click here or go to usps.com.

  • Hello, I'm Benny the Blogger: I'm the world's most famous postal employee. My hobbies are snappy quotes, kite flying and publishing. I was born Jan. 17, 1706, but don't call me old.

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