Bringing the Post Office to seniors


During the holidays, customers around the country visited their local Post Offices to send special messages and packages to people on their “nice” list. For some senior citizens, visiting the Post Office to handle their mailing needs can be a challenge. To overcome this obstacle, the Portland District Retail team decided to take the Post Office to seniors.

For the second year in a row, the Portland team visited several retirement living community centers to offer a full range of postal services. Retail Specialist June Norbom along with Creston Lead Retail Associate Desiree Freeman and Parkrose Lead Retail Associates Stephanie Kantola provided mailing expertise, positive attitude and exceptional service to seniors who couldn’t make the trip to the Post Office.

“We received many compliments,” said Norbom. “Seniors appreciated the service because without it, they could not send out a package.”

Son thanks North Bend team on behalf of deceased mother

North Bend, NE, Retail Associates Cindy Madsen and Michelle Hoyt with Postmaster Sherry Carmichael

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.

Sincerely, Eric”

Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas


If you’re searching for an original gift idea for Valentine’s Day, look no further than

There are a variety of special items awaiting perusal online such as Disney Romance Prints, t-shirts featuring the image of famous singers such as Johnny Cash and Ray Charles, and the classic sounds of Frank Sinatra. Also, don’t forget to pick up a unique card available at your local Post Office to convey your Valentine’s Day message to that special someone.

Click on the items below to learn more about these and other special gifts from USPS.





PoohDisney romance prints



Ray Charles tshirt


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.

Make Holiday Returns a Snap

PM winter 1

Did you get an interesting, but perhaps somewhat less than appealing gift this holiday season? Make the process of returning the item a snap with Priority Mail from the Postal Service.

In addition to flat rate shipping options and discounts for postage printed online, Priority Mail offers:

  • Free Package Pickup service at your home or office
  • Includes USPS Tracking™ when you ship online and at retail
  • Delivery in 1 to 3 business days.
  • Includes insurance with most shipments (restrictions apply)
  • No surcharges for fuel or residential, rural, and regular Saturday delivery

To get started, go to

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.

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 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

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Valentines day stamp 2014

While it may be too late to order a special gift from an online retailer, there’s still plenty of time to select a greeting card and gift card for that special someone.

A variety of greetings cards awaits your perusal at your local Post Office. Their colorful designs contain special messaging to let someone know just how you feel about them. While there, pick up a gift card available in denominations of $25, $50, and $100. These valuable cards offer the gift of purchasing choice to the lucky recipient.

Make Holiday Returns a Snap with Priority Mail

Shipping Value and Peace of Mind

Did you or someone you know receive a gift this holiday season that wasn’t exactly what you were looking for? Do you plan on returning it to get something else? Take the hassle out of returns this winter with Priority Mail from USPS.

Priority Mail offers a flat shipping rate with zero surcharges, $50 of insurance included, up to 11 tracking scans for transparent visibility during shipping, and day specific delivery. Besides offering great value, Priority Mail packaging products can also be ordered online at for free and delivered directly to your home. You can also print postage online and have the Postal Service pick up the package at your home when it’s ready to go – without any additional fees.

When it comes to holiday returns, and all other package deliveries, there’s no greater value and commitment to superior service than America’s U.S. Postal Service.

A Day Early and a Clue Short

A day early

It came in a Priority Mail envelope. The sleek, red, white and blue packaging was exactly what I was expecting. Only it wasn’t.

I watched my wife drop the envelope in the mail yesterday and I thought I had more time to figure out what was in it. I was wrong.

The enveloped arrived a day sooner than I expected. I let it sit on the corner of my coffee-stained desk for several hours before I finally touched it. I didn’t have a clue what was inside, and I had a feeling I was going to lose the bet this year.

My name is Frank, and every year, my wife buys me the latest gizmo for my birthday to help in my line of work. I have until the gift arrives to figure out what it is or I owe her a dinner at our favorite restaurant. Now, don’t go telling her this, and I’m trusting you not to say anything, but I always make reservations there a few weeks in advance. She’s the greatest gift I could ever ask for, and even if there’s a lump coal in that envelope this year, I’d still be the luckiest guy on the planet.

So there is sat, next to an 8-inch stack of paperwork I’ll get around to someday and slightly behind a scratched and battered calculator I bought new in 1988. The envelope seemed to stare back at me, tempting me to peek inside. Before admitting defeat and opening the seal, I checked for your suggestions on what it might be.

I already have a new phone from my last birthday, so that’s probably not it Joan. That would have been my guess too if I didn’t already have one, and it was a great suggestion. Thank you.

I still have a flash drive sealed in its original packaging from several months ago, so that’s probably not it either Jonn. I bought it to keep a backup of my files just in case something unexpected happens to the office. It’ll probably end up staying there too until something finally does happen. It might be too late at that point, but at least I wouldn’t have to think about it anymore.

A tablet PC would be nice, David, but given what happened to my last one, I don’t think it’s a good investment. I was out on a case this past summer when I showed a photo of a guy on my tablet to a few patrons of a drinking establishment. The guy had skipped town after missing his court date, and I was hired to identify his whereabouts. His friends at the establishment weren’t particularly enthusiastic to help on the case and expressed that opinion when one of them smashed my tablet on his own bald head. I took that as my queue to leave – and bill the client for my loss.

I finally accepted that I was stumped and opened the Priority Mail envelope. The item inside turned out to be a silver and black smartwatch. I had read about these gadgets in the news, but I didn’t really consider buying one. I thought it would take a lifetime to figure out how to use it, but my wife proved me wrong when she had it up and running within five minutes later that evening.

She also sent a card along with the watch containing a simple message:

“To my very own Dick Tracy. You owe me dinner. With love, Trish.”

I certainly do.

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