Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Going Green at the Miami P&DC

The Miami P&DC has has been actively engaged in energy management reduction programs since April 2009. In Fiscal Year 2009, the Miami P&DC and 2C Annex reduced the electric bill by over $450,000 (over 6 million kilowatt hours) even though they had to cope with higher than usual weather temperatures than the previous fiscal year. The Green Team expects to reduce energy consumption even more after the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) project is completed in late December 2009. For FY 2010, our South Florida District and Miami PD&C Green Teams are taking bold steps to reduce electric and water consumption, increase recycling projects, and reduce fuel consumption.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


A Comprehensive Look Back at 2009

The year 2009 will be remembered for the historic declines in mail volume and revenue. Equally important, however, is how USPS employees delivered great service and kept customer satisfaction at an all-time high.

In the face of challenges from the recession, which led to enormous spending cuts and workhour reductions, USPS was voted the most trusted government agency for the fifth consecutive year. The Postal Service also was ranked as one of the most trusted corporations.

The Postal Service made progress on several strategic initiatives to ensure affordable service in the years ahead.

Recent improvements to usps.com now make it easier to use Click-N-Ship and PC Postage, find and pay for a PO Box, schedule a package pickup — including parcels being returned — and apply for a permit for Business Reply Mail.

The Summer Sale showed that USPS can grow the mail through innovative pricing incentives. The popular Priority Mail Flat Rate Box TV ads and realignment of the USPS Sales Force strengthened customer outreach.

The new Customer Experience Management system — which measures everything from mailpiece design to preparation to customer service to delivery — is helping USPS listen more effectively to customers and adapt to their needs.

More customers are using Intelligent Mail barcodes, which provide a wealth of information about the status of mail in transit. Deployment of the Flats Sequencing System is reducing manual handling, resulting in more consistent service and lower costs.

The Postal Service continued its environmental leadership by expanding energy conservation and recycling efforts at facilities nationwide. It became the first federal agency and the largest U.S. organization to measure and report on its greenhouse gas emissions — an important step toward reducing emissions 20 percent by 2020. USPS also remains the only shipper to offer Cradle-to-Cradle certification for its Express Mail and Priority Mail packaging materials, as well as display materials in Post Offices.

Hope for the Future

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey reveals 89 percent of adults say it’s “likely” there will be a need for USPS in 10 years, including 64 percent who say it’s “very likely.” Only 8 percent believe it’s “not very” or “not at all likely” the Postal Service will be needed by that time.

The poll also revealed 77 percent believe it’s “very important” for communities to have their own Post Office. Another 15 percent say it’s “somewhat important.” Only 8 percent say it’s “not important” for their own communities to have a Post Office.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

'Aqui y Ahora' Presents Santa Claus


A star is born! Gaby, 9-year-0ld daughter of Ernie Cintado, Manager, Customer Service Operations, Miami, made her acting debut on Univision's "Aqui y Ahora" broadcast. Gaby's next leading role will be in a Santa Letter story to air on NBC 6 News at 7 pm on Wednesday and Thursday, December 23-24.


Four-month-old Jacob Rosseau, grandson of Hispanic Program Specialist Jacinto Acebal, perhaps was the youngest viewer watching the Santa Letter story on Univision's "Aqui y Ahora" broadcast. If young Jacob could write or talk, surely he'd ask Santa for a pair of boots to complete his outfit.

South Florida teamwork was the key ingredient to last night’s “Aqui y AhoraUnivision segment on the Postal Service’s holiday season and Santa letters. The program, which aired in 50 Hispanic markets across the country, featured an interview with Hispanic Program Specialist Jacinto Acebal and several local children who had written to Santa, as well as a tour of mail processing operations at the Miami Plant.

Earlier in the month, Univision Producer Daily Camacaro contacted South Florida Corporate Communications Specialist Debra Fetterly to discuss show format. Fetterly partnered with Acebal and Miami Manager Customer Service Operations Ernie Cintado who assist with Hispanic media opportunities throughout the year. For the Univision segment, the trio also worked with Rose Mesenger-Mannisto, Supervisor, Customer Service, and Kelly Levy, Santa Letter Program Coordinator and secretary to the Manager, Customer Relations.

Team members spent several hours with the Univision producer and staff at various locations --- including the Cintado home where 9-year-old Gaby and neighborhood friends shared their Santa letters with the production crew.

The team was very pleased with the results of their efforts, referring to the Univision segment as the “Super Bowl of media coverage.” Go team!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

So FL Holiday Stories Attract Nat'l Media

UnivisiĆ³n, Money Talks News, and MSNBC News are spotlighting holiday stories from South Florida. All three stories below will air nationwide this week.

UnivisiĆ³n will air an eight-minute story on "Santa Letters" at 10 pm (EST) on Tuesday, December 22. In South Florida, that's WLTV-TV Channel 23. The story takes place at the South Florida "North Pole Station" (filming at the South Florida Retail Unit in Pembroke Pines, in Miami Plant operations, and at the home of Ernie Cintado, Manager, Customer Service Operations, Miami). It will broadcast nationwide (in Spanish), available on cable in most of the country, with local stations in over 50 markets.

In November 2009, Money Talks News CEO/Host Stacy Johnson came to the Fort Lauderdale Main Office and Plant to interview Fort Lauderdale Postmaster Mike Fortunato. Money Talks News, a syndicated business show available in 85 U.S. markets, videotaped Fort Lauderdale retail and plant operations for a shipping cost comparison segment. The segment is posted at the following websites:

http://video.msn.com/video.aspx/?mkt=en-us&brand=money&tab=s1207925835766&wa=wsignin1.0
(Click on the thumbnail photo “Cheapest Overnight Shipping”)

http://moneytalksnews.com (Last year’s holiday segment, “Three Ways to Avoid Post Office Lines,” including an interview with Fort Lauderdale Postmaster Mike Fortunato, currently is posted.)

MSNBC News will feature an interview with Kelly Levy who is the South Florida District’s Santa Letter Program Coordinator. Tune in to hear what’s on the minds of local children who are writing to Santa this year. The interview will air on or before Christmas Day (no specific date or time available). After the broadcast, the interview will be posted at www.msnbc.msn.com.

WPB Employees Brighten Holidays for Kids





West Palm Beach employees have the holiday spirit as demonstrated by their participation in local programs --- including the U.S. Marine Corps Toys For Tots Campaign and Operation Santa --- to help those less fortunate this season.
TOP: (L to R): Pronel Dussek, Lynn Shorman, Gloria Hanigan, and Paula Bober pose with donated bicycles and a few stuffed animals collected for needy children.
MIDDLE: (L to R): Russell Desantis, A/Supervisor, Customer Service, West Palm Beach Main Office; Maribeth A. Norman, West Palm Beach City Postmaster; and Lynn Shorman, Custodian, West Palm Beach P&DC, pose with one of 14 bicycles purchased by West Palm Beach P&DC maintenance employees and mail handlers.
BOTTOM: Debbie Dalelio, Toys for Tots Coordinator for 334/349, and Todd Beadle, Palm Central Carrier Operations are pleased with employees enthusiasm for the Toys for Tots Campaign.
Photos: JoAnn L. Goodrich, West Palm Beach Customer Relations Coordinator

Friday, December 18, 2009

'A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words'


Torrential rains and blustery winds did not dampen the spirits of South Florida letter carriers who fought Mother Nature to deliver their appointed rounds today. Earlier this morning, the National Weather Service in Miami issued a tornado warning for Miami-Dade County, a tornado watch for Broward County, and a flood warning in South Florida.
“Neither rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” Although it's not an official postal motto, it does apply today.
Pictured: North Miami letter carriers carefully navigate through the parking lot to effect delivery in the neighborhood. Photo Credit: Maria Cabarcos, Manager, Customer Service, North Miami

What Children are Telling Santa ...


South Florida children are sending their holiday wish lists and letters to Santa. Here are some excerpts of the more entertaining letters received at the North Pole’s “South Florida Station” this year:

“I have been trying to be the best in school. I have gotten all A’s on my report card. Santa, I hope you have a very Merry Christmas.” -- Angelica

“What’s it like in the North Pole? I heard it’s pretty chilly.” -- Giulianna

“I have behaved really well and I’ve barely gotten into trouble.” -- Toni

“Is it true that you have a mailman up there in the North Pole? If so, does the mailman mail the naughty or nice papers or do you just go on the computer and print them out?” -- Mikey

“I wonder what will be inside that big present you are bringing me. Santa, you’re the best, but why don’t people see you?” -- Barry

“For Christmas I would like for you to bring all the sick children in the hospital a cure and their presents. You’re the greatest.” -- Salvatore

“All I want for Christmas is a live Siberian tiger cub.” -- Gabrielle

“Come to my house at 3 am. Put the presents in different places. Draw a map so I can find them.” -- Mandy

“A few years ago when I was a baby, my Mom used to tell me that the lights up in the sky were Santa’s lights and now I just don’t think that those are really your lights because they look exactly like the spotlights that people shine at the sky during concerts and other events. So I want to know if the lights are really yours or are they just spotlights that people shine at the sky during parties and stuff. Don’t get me wrong I still believe that you exist I’m just not so sure about those lights.” -- Eddie

Deerfield Beach Employees Brighten Holidays for Deerfield Park Elementary School Children


Deerfield Beach Postmaster Carlos Rodon, Jr. and Letter Carrier Jeff Munsell (aka "Captain Jeff") load Express Mail bags full of gifts from Santa onto truck destined for Deerfield Park Elementary School. Munsell is a member of NALC Branch 1071.


Deerfield Park Elementary School Principal Constantina Pettis (standing L) reads names of good girls and boys as "Captain Jeff" (center left), Letter Carrier Ruby Cortes (center right), and Deerfield Beach Postmaster Carlos Rodon, Jr. (far right) distribute gifts.

The holidays are brighter for many neighborhood children thanks to the generosity of Deerfield Beach postal employees. Each year under the direction of Letter Carrier "Captain" Jeff Munsell, employees purchase gifts for needy local elementary school children. But first the Captain gets a list of deserving children and their ages so that "Santa's helpers" purchase age-appropriate gifts. This year more than 40 gifts were distributed to children at Deerfield Park Elementary School. Postal employees also donate gifts to other area schools.

The Captain and his crew often volunteer their time to a local community group that organizes phone calls from Santa. This year, the Captain (Oops! Santa!) had a lot of explaining to do when he was on the phone with a young boy who remarked that Santa was riding on a parade float passing by his house at the same time of the call. Now just how did the Captain handle this most delicate situation?

"That's my cousin," he said.

Miami 'Holiday Store' Generates $660 in Just Four Hours!







(Clockwise): SSA Briggett Glinton sets up the “holiday store” at the Miami Plant employee entrance; Operation 030 Employee Dedra A. Goudas and Consumer Affairs Clerk Lori Lazar purchase items from SSA Briggett Glinton; Human Resources Specialist (Training) Pat Nolan and Mail Processing Clerk Iris Murgado take a look at some of the products for sale from SSA Briggett Glinton; Electronic Technician David Mena purchases his holiday stamps and Mailhandler Rosa Vazquez checks out the products available as SSA Brigget Glinton assists. Photos: Rose Castro, Miami Customer Relations Coordinator


A holiday store set up at the Miami Plant employee entrance generated $660 in revenue in just four hours!

“Employees were thrilled with the convenience of purchasing their holiday stamps and postal products before or after reporting to work or during their breaks,” said Rose Castro, Miami Customer Relations Coordinator. “Miami GMF Postal Store Sales and Service Associate Briggett Glinton has done a fabulous job promoting our products.”

Castro says the holiday store will be open one more day to accommodate last-minute shoppers from 5 pm to 7 pm on Tuesday, December 22. Castro would like to thank Dale Walker, A/Plant Manager, Miami Plant; Rick Amezquita, Manager, Maintenance; and Dalila De La Torre, Manager, Customer Service, Miami GMF Postal Store, for working together as a team in support of the holiday store.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Check Out this Video: Military in Afghanistan Sort 200,000 Priority Mail Flat Rate Boxes

Friday, December 11, is the Postal Service's recommended deadline for shipping packages using First-Class Mail and Priority Mail for December 25 deliveries to most military bases around the world.

To help the friends and families of service members, the Postal Service offers four different size and shape options at convenient flat-rate pricing, including a Priority Mail Large Flat Rate Box with a $2 discount for APO/FPO destinations.

Click on the link below for footage of service members volunteering at a Post Office in Afghanistan to sort through more than 200,000 pounds of holiday mail destined for the troops.

http://www.militarynewsnetwork.com/videos/video346.htm

(Once on the site, click on the arrow in the middle of the screen.)

Marine Staff Sgt. Clinton Firstbrook produced this video for the Military News Network.

For additional information on shipping packages to military personnel stationed at APO/FPO addresses anywhere in the world, go to www.usps.com/supportingourtroops.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Boca Raton's Abey Koshy Generates Revenue at Every Opportunity


Bonnie Fitzgerald, Supervisor, Customer Service Support (L), congratulates Boca Raton Sales & Service Associate Abey Koshy (R) on his successful promotion of the Priority Mail Flat Rate Box. Koshy works at the Woodlands Station.

Boca Raton Sales & Service Associate Abey Koshy and members of his church collected items for care packages to troops stationed overseas. He told the congregation about the Priority Mail Flat Rate Box with the $2 discount to APO/FPO addresses --- only $11.95 regardless of package weight.

"If it fits, it ships," he said.

And at $10.35 a box, this Priority Mail shipment generated $517.50 in revenue.

Abey makes it his "priority" to promote the Postal Service and its products and services. Last year Boca Raton Postmaster David Kolp recognized Abey for selling the most Breast Cancer Research semi-postal stamps (totalling $4,825.00!) at the Woodlands Station during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. More recently, Abey provided several sales leads that resulted in a projected revenue of over $200,000. Business Solutions Specialist Phil Leonard appreciates the leads generated from this partnership.

"I am proud of Abey Koshy for working as an ambassador for the U.S. Postal Service and bringing in much more retail revenue," said Boca Raton Postmaster David Kolp. "Employees who step up to the plate and find new business/revenue should feel a personal pride as the Postal Service reports increased volumes. You, Abey, are one of these special people!"

Photo: Phil Leonard, Business Solutions Specialist

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Dalelio Says Give Lots to 'Toys for Tots'


Debbie Dalelio, Human Resources Specialist in the Learning Development and Diversity Office at the West Palm Beach Plant, set up one of the very first Toys for Tots display in the South Florida District.
Employees may donate new, unwrapped toys in designated U.S. Marine Corps "Toys for Tots" containers at their work units now through December 18. This year the district is holding a contest to see which plant and Post Office/station/branch/finance unit collects the most toys from employees. Contest winners will be visited by the Marines who will present a plaque to employees.
"The holiday season works on our hearts, and we tend to increase our generosity at this time of year," Dalelio said. "We all need to be good to our fellow man by being generous to those in need.
The Toys for Tots Campaign is one way that we can make the season a bit larger and brighter for the needy kids in South Florida."
Photo: JoAnn L. Goodrich, West Palm Beach Coordinator

Customers 'Adopt' Kids' Santa Letters, Purchase Santa CD


Rose Mesenger-Mannisto, Supervisor, Customer Service, South Florida Retail Unit (L), promotes the new Santa CD to customer as Sandy Bliven, secretary to the Manager, Operations Programs Support (back L), and Kelly Levy, secretary to the Manager, Customer Relations (R), bubble with enthusiasm for the "Santa Letter" Program. Photo: Debra J. Fetterly, Communications Programs Specialist, South Florida District

Angela Randle, Manager, Customer Service, Fort Lauderdale Main Office, shares the details of the Santa Letter Program with customer who adopted a letter. Photo: Tashia Romano-Kravitz, Fort Lauderdale Customer Relations Coordinator

The "Santa Letter" Program officially kicked off nationwide on Tuesday, December 1. Locally, there were lobby events at the Fort Lauderdale Main Office, Miami GMF Postal Store, South Florida Retail Unit, and the West Palm Beach Main Office. Customers (including employees) interested in adopting a Santa letter written by a child may do so by contacting one of the following coordinators Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5 pm:
Tashia Romano-Kravitz
Fort Lauderdale Main Office
954-527-3281
Rose Castro
Miami GMF Postal Store
305-470-0386
Rose Mesenger-Mannisto
South Florida Retail Unit
954-443-6527
JoAnn Goodrich
West Palm Beach Main Office
561-697-2145
Participants will be required to complete an application and provide identification. To protect children and their privacy, participants will receive a photocopy, instead of the original letter, without personal information, including the name and address of the child. Participants will purchase a gift and bring it back to one of the designated locations and will pay the Priority Mail postage to send the package to the child. Holiday packages must be returned to a designated Post Office on or before 5 pm on Wednesday, December 23.

'Operation Santa' at Miami GMF Postal Store


"Operation Santa" kicked off in the lobby of the Miami GMF Postal Store earlier this week. Miami Customer Relations Coordinator Rose Castro encouraged her customers to "Make a Child Smile Today ... Send It the Priority Way!" Several customers signed up to "adopt" a Santa letter (actually a photocopy) to brighten the holidays for some local children. Photo: Nilda Paredes, Sunset Branch

Dalila De La Torre, Manager, Miami GMF Postal Store (L) convinced customer to use the Priority Mail Flat Rate envelope because it's affordable and a great value. Photo: Rose Castro, Miami Customer Relations Coordinator

Dale Walker, A/Plant Manager, Miami Plant (L), and David Boardman, Miami Postmaster (R), heard that Santa was purchasing greeting cards from the new lobby display and took the opportunity to put in a good word for themselves. Photo: Rose Castro, Miami Customer Relations Coordinator

Sunset Branch employee Nilda Paredes was one of Santa’s elves who shared information about "Operation Santa" to customers in the lobby. Photo: Rose Castro, Miami Customer Relations Coordinator

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

'Holiday Hugs from Home' a 'Priority' for Congressman Klein


Veterans join Congressman Ron Klein (third from left) and West Palm Beach City Postmaster Maribeth A. Norman (fourth from left) at the third annual "Holiday Hugs from Home" Program at the West Palm Beach Main Office. Photo: JoAnn L. Goodrich, West Palm Beach Customer Relations Coordinator

Retail Associate Regina Bean cheerfully accepts several Priority Mail Flat Rate Boxes from Congressman Ron Klein at the West Palm Beach Main Office. Photo: JoAnn L. Goodrich, West Palm Beach Customer Relations Coordinator
Congressman Ron Klein reads a holiday greeting from a homemade card during his presentation at the Fort Lauderdale Main Office. Photo: Tashia Romano-Kravitz, Fort Lauderdale Customer Relations Coordinator

For his third annual "Holiday Hugs from Home" Program, Congressman Ron Klein made it his "priority" to ship cards to American troops serving in Afghanistan and Iraq via Priority Mail Flat Rate Boxes. He shipped thousands of homemade holiday greeting cards from school children in the Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach area on Monday, November 30.
“If it fits, it ships” --- for only $11.95 no matter the weight to any APO/FPO address.

Here's How to Get a 'North Pole' Postmark


Yes, Virginia ... There is a Santa Claus ... and you may get a "North Pole" postmark on your letter from Santa or on your holiday greeting cards this year.

Letter from Santa
You write a letter to your child and sign it from Santa. You place this letter into an envelope addressed to your child with the return address from SANTA, NORTH POLE. Please make sure you have a First-Class stamp affixed to the envelope. Place that envelope into a larger envelope, with appropriate postage, and address the larger envelope as indicated below.

Holiday Greeting Cards
You write your greeting cards like you normally would. You place the cards into their envelopes. Address the envelopes to the people you want to receive them. Place First-Class stamps on the envelopes and either have the return address from the NORTH POLE or from you and your address. Then place the greeting cards into a larger envelope or box, with appropriate postage, and address it to:

NORTH POLE CHRISTMAS CANCELLATION
POSTMASTER
5400 MAIL TRAIL
FAIRBANKS AK 99709-9998

The letters from Santa and the greeting cards need to be received in Fairbanks AK before December 15, 2009. After that date, they should be sent via Express Mail.

16 Billion in 30 Days: Our Employees Will Deliver the Holidays!

Between now and Christmas, our employees nationwide will collect, process, and deliver 16.6 billion cards, letters and packages across the country and around the world, a task that will require more than 190,000 vehicles, including 142,000 half-ton trucks.

The Postal Service expects to deliver more than 3 billion cards and letters over the holidays. This year, a postmark of Kermit the Frog will appear in the upper right-hand corner of holiday cards and letters mailed throughout the month of December.

The busiest mailing day is set for Monday, December 14. More than 830 million cards, letters and packages should be mailed on that day alone, compared to 583 million on a typical day. Wednesday, December 16, will be the busiest delivery day.

More than 41 million customers will skip the trip to the Post Office this holiday season and take advantage of the Postal Service’s convenient online shipping at usps.com. They'll print shipping labels, pay for postage, and request free package pickup while sipping hot cocoa or baking holiday cookies from the comfort of their home.

And we'll deliver free shipping supplies, including the popular Priority Mail Flat Boxes, and also pick up packages for free when customers ship online using the Postal Service’s website.

'Santa Letter' Program Comes to South Florida


(L to R) Customer Carol Armstrong asks West Palm Beach City Postmaster Maribeth A. Norman if there really is a Santa Claus. Photo: JoAnn Goodrich, West Palm Beach Customer Relations Coordinator

The Postal Service and Santa Claus have more in common than delivering gifts.

"Letters to Santa" is the Postal Service's letter-writing campaign that lets members of the public, including our employees, and charitable organizations, respond to letters written by children to Santa Claus.

For the first time in history, the South Florida District is participating in this program. Earlier this week, Santa's postal helpers (Sandy Bliven, Rose Castro, JoAnn Goodrich, Kelly Levy, Rose Mesenger-Mannisto, Tashia Romano-Kravitz, and Tina Stringer) were stationed in the lobbies of the Fort Lauderdale Main Office, Miami GMF Postal Store, South Florida Retail Unit, and West Palm Beach Main Office where customers could sign up to adopt a letter (actually, a photocopy without the child's name or address).

Watch for future blog entries with additional information and photos on the "Letters to Santa" Program.

Fort Lauderdale's 'America's Moms for Soldiers' Ship 500 Priority Mail Packages in Two Days!


The Fort Lauderdale Chapter of "America's Moms for Soldiers" appreciates the $2 discount on Priority Mail packages destined to APO/FPO destinations --- especially during the holiday season.

On Tuesday, December 1, Sales & Service Associate Josephine Clark at the Fort Lauderdale Main Office accepted 200 Priority Mail shipments from Tom Kelaher, Director, “America’s Moms for Soldiers.” Kelaher also brought 300 Priority Mail packages to the Fort Lauderdale Main Office the prior day.

The organization’s mission is to gather supplies for soldiers who are on the front lines in Afghanistan and Iraq. What began as a personal mission for 20 soldiers in June 2008 has grown to hundreds of soldiers in Florida and thousands nationwide. Care packages include a combination of hygiene items, comfort items, snack foods and over-the-counter medications. Each package includes a personal note and a prayer to the soldier letting him or her know how much his or her service and sacrifices are appreciated back home.

Photo: Tashia Romano-Kravitz, Fort Lauderdale Customer Relations Coordinator

Friday, November 27, 2009

Yes, Virginia ... There is a Santa Claus ... (And He Will Respond to Your Holiday Letter)

In keeping with tradition, Santa remains committed to reading every child's holiday letter. Stationed at the North Pole, Santa and his elves are building toys at a feverish pace to fulfill the wishes of all good girls and boys. Children should address their letters to "Santa Claus, North Pole" and be sure to affix a First-Class stamp. Santa has asked some South Florida postal employees to help address the postcard that he sends to children in response. After all, postal employees are the experts on proper addressing to ensure that the mail gets processed and delivered to the correct destination!

Santa Letter Program Kicks Off December 1

For the first time in history, our employees and the general public will be able to fulfill the holiday wishes of needy children in South Florida through a Santa Letter Program.

On Tuesday, December 1, Santa's postal elves will be stationed in the lobbies of the Fort Lauderdale Main Office, Miami GMF Postal Store, South Florida Retail Unit, and West Palm Beach Main Office from 9 am to 11 am. Employees (off the clock) and customers will be able to complete an application to select a child's Santa letter available at a later date. They'll also be able to sign up at these locations Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5 pm.

Fort Lauderdale Main Office, 1900 West Oakland Park Blvd, Fort Lauderdale
Coordinator: Tashia Romano-Kravitz at 954-527-3281

Miami GMF Postal Store, 2200 NW 72 Avenue, Miami
Coordinator: Rose Castro at 305-470-0386

South Florida Retail Unit, 16000 Pines Blvd, Pembroke Pines
Coordinator: Rose Mesenger-Mannisto at 954-443-6527

West Palm Beach Main Office, 3200 Summit Blvd, West Palm Beach
Coordinator: JoAnn Goodrich at 561-697-2145

To protect children and their privacy, volunteers will receive a photocopy, instead of the original letter. The photocopy will have personal information, including name and address, blackened out. Volunteers will purchase their gifts and bring them back to one of the above locations (not necessarily the one where the photocopy was picked up) to pay for the Priority Mail postage to have items shipped to the recipient. Holiday packages must be returned to one of the designated locations on or before 5 pm on December 23.

"Letters to Santa" CD Hits the Charts!

There it was, ranked 74th on the Billboard charts, nine spots behind Whitney Houston's "I Look at You," and seven places ahead of "Kenny Chesney's Greatest Hits II."
The "Letters to Santa" CD has struck a chord with customers, including our employees.
More than 24,000 CDs have been sold since they went on sale November 2 in almost 10,000 Post Offices nationwide. In a few short weeks, the product has generated $220,000 in revenue.
The holiday-themed compilation features recordings from Michael Buble, Nat King Cole, Diana Krall, Ray Charles, and Frank Sinatra. Also featured are The Muppets, performing a track from their new movie, "A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa."
For a limited time only, the CD is available at select Post Offices for $9.99.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

'Holiday Hugs from Home' on November 30

On Monday, November 30, Congressman Ron Klein will use our Priority Mail Flat Rate Boxes to ship thousands of holiday greetings to American troops serving in Afghanistan and Iraq.

It's his third annual "Holiday Hugs from Home" Program where local schoolchildren create homemade holiday cards for service men and women stationed overseas. The Congressman and children will be shipping their holiday greetings as follows:

11:00 am West Palm Beach Main Office Lobby, 3200 Summit Blvd, West Palm Beach

1:30 pm Fort Lauderdale Main Post Office Lobby, 1900 W Oakland Park Blvd, Fort Lauderdale

Remember --- "If it fits, it ships”--- only $11.95 no matter the weight to any APO/FPO address.
(Employees are reminded that these are off-the-clock activities.)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Oprah to Salute Letter Carriers on Nov. 24

The Oprah Winfrey Show will salute five letter carriers Tuesday for their acts of bravery. The episode, “Oprah and People Magazine Salute Headline-Making Heroes,” pays tribute to everyday community heroes and will include the following carriers on its November 24th broadcast:

Alan Girard of Oakland CA, who along with four other carriers rescued 100 residents from a burning apartment building while on his route.
Walter Hayes of St. Louis MO, who rescued a six-year-old boy hit by a car, sheltering him from shock until paramedics arrived.
Melissa Kelley of Bakersfield CA, who rescued a 76-year-old man attacked by two pit bulls.
Pattie Arismendez of Bakersfield CA, who noticed a toddler wandering in the street, scooped her up, and knocked on doors until she located the girl’s parents.
Robert Sweeny of Sacramento CA, who heard a mother screaming and gave CPR to her unresponsive infant, keeping her alive until help arrived.

EAP's Polly to Retire in December


Polly Zaldivar
Polly Zaldivar is retiring from Magellan Health Services effective Friday, December 4.
For the past 14 years, Polly has been the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) Consultant for the South Florida District. When employees would "make the call," Polly often was the one who answered the phone. Over the years, Polly (and her staff) provided counseling on emotional, marital, family, alcohol or drug abuse problems --- as well as job-related and legal/financial situations.
Polly not only will be remembered for her curly red hair, bubbly personality, and zest for life, but for her compassion in helping employees who sought her counsel. She recognized that employees are the Postal Service's most valuable assets and truly was interested in helping employees maintain and enhance the quality of their lives.
Last week, Polly attended her last District EAP Committee meeting where the members shared lunch and wished her well in her retirement.

Miami Maintenance Manager to Play 'Chief' in 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest'


"Chief" Ricardo (Rick) Amezquita
Will the South Florida District's very own Ricardo (Rick) Amezquita be accepting a "Tony" at Radio City Music Hall in the future?

In February, Miami's Maintenance Manager will play "Chief" in the play, "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest." Set among the patients and workers in a mental institution, "Cuckoo's Nest" tells the story of an energetic con man who seeks institutionalization as a means of escaping the rigors of a prison farm work.
In the movie, patients and staff believe Chief to be deaf/hard of hearing. He is mostly ignored, but respected because of his size. Rick promises that the play will be different ... and he will have a lot to say in this starring role! Each scene will begin with a monologue where Chief speaks to his dead father.
But let's not give away this story ... "Chief" will make his acting debut February 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, and 14 at Davie's Pine Island Multi-Purpose Center. Tickets will be $12 at the door and $10 in advance; $8 for groups of 10 or more. Friday and Saturday shows will begin at 8 pm and Sunday shows will begin at 2 pm. For more information, call the center at 954-327-3941 or write to actofdavie1999@yahoo.com.

Thanksgiving Day Parade



If you're unable to visit out-of-town relatives for the Thanksgiving holiday, why not send a letter or card ... and affix a Thanksgiving stamp?

Gobble up commemorative stamps in four designs featuring iconic scenes inspired by America’s variety of holiday celebrations, including the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. These four stamps illustrate a lively marching band, large balloons of favorite animals and popular characters, and crowds of delighted onlookers.

Observed the fourth Thursday of November, Thanksgiving is a traditional day of togetherness, when Americans of all backgrounds gather to reflect on the events of the past and give thanks for all they presently enjoy, especially family and friends. Held in large cities and small towns throughout the U.S., Thanksgiving Day parades have been an important part of this tradition since the early 20th century.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Mammovan Helps 14 Fort Lauderdale Women


Top: Broward County Health Department mammovan stops at the Fort Lauderdale Main Post Office parking lot. Bottom: WTVJ Channel 6 videographer records the smiles of two of 14 Fort Lauderdale residents who had registered for a mammogram. Photos: Tashia Romano-Kravitz
October is "Breast Cancer Awareness" Month, but breast cancer prevention is a year-round activity.
With this in mind, on November 17, the Broward County Health Department mammovan pulled into the Fort Lauderdale Main Post Office parking lot as scheduled to offer free or low-cost mammograms to eligible women in the local community.
Fourteen women heard the good news on WIOD 610 AM Radio and WFOR Channel 4 (CBS) and took advantage of the opportunity. They began to line up in the parking lot at 8:30 am.
"Some of the women came up and hugged me ... they were so happy to get this very important health service at little or no cost to them," said Customer Relations Coordinator Tashia Romano-Kravitz, who organized this event.
Romano-Kravitz also promoted the Breast Cancer Research Semi-Postal Stamp to onsite media --- WTVJ Channel 6 (NBC), WSVN Channel 7 (FOX), and Telemundo Channel 51.

The 55-cent Breast Cancer Research semi-postal stamp covers the 44-cent single-piece, one-ounce First-Class letter rate and donates the additional 11 cents to breast cancer research. By law, 70 percent of the net amount raised goes to the National Institutes of Health and 30 percent goes to the Medical Research Program at the Department of Defense. Postal customers nationwide have purchased more than 800 million Breast Cancer Research semi-postal stamps --- raising $67.6 million for research --- since this first semi-postal stamp in history was issued in 1998.

West Palm Beach City Salutes Veterans


On November 10, all West Palm Beach City Post Offices honored their veterans with Certificates of Honor for their military service. Top: West Palm Beach City Postmaster Maribeth A. Norman (R) presents veterans framed artwork to Purple Heart recipient Greg Choinski (L) who is a letter carrier at the Palms West Post Office. Bottom: West Palm Beach City Postmaster Maribeth A. Norman (green jacket) and Palms West Manager, Customer Service Marcia Pedraza (R) salute veterans who proudly served, or continue to serve, our country. Photos: JoAnn L. Goodrich

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Turkey and all the Trimmings ... In a Priority Mail Large Flat-Rate Box!

Wouldn't it be wonderful to send a "Flavor from Home" to friends and family who are serving in the military, going to college, or living or working in another state? It may be hard to believe, but our Priority Mail Large Flat-Rate Box can hold all of the ingredients necessary for an entire turkey dinner! Send turkey and all the trimmings --- stuffing, potatoes, gravy, yam casserole, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie and other Thanksgiving favorites!

Remember that care packages and reminders of home are a big morale boost for military service members stationed around the world. To help families and friends of military personnel, the Postal Service offers a $2 discount on its largest Priority Mail Flat-Rate Box to APO/FPO addresses.

Chick-fil-A Features Postal-Themed Products


The Postal Service has joined Chick-fil-A — with its 1,430 restaurants in 38 states — in a month-long promotion featuring a number of postal-themed products and a Veterans Day, Support-the-Troops event.
Throughout November, Chick-fil-A is offering five USPS-themed “kid’s meal” premiums, including some stamps from various commemorative series on sports animals, history, transportation and the “Wonders of America.” Each premium features facts and stickers based on the commemorative stamps that educate and inform — values that are consistent with all Chick-fil-A kid’s meal premiums.
Chick-fil-A is paying USPS a licensing fee for the promotion. Revenue generated from this promotion — as with all licensing agreements — goes straight to the Postal Service’s bottom line. Last year, licensing revenues generated by USPS totaled more than $89 million.

Going Green is Getting Greener


The U.S. Postal Service is committed to actions that promote sustainability — meeting the needs of the present without compromising the future. We are working to create a culture of conservation among our 663,000 employees in our more than 34,000 facilities. Just check out the newly-updated usps.com/green website. Like the rest of the organization, the site is sleeker and leaner. Familiar favorites such as the “skip the trip” calculator and ways to check your Earth Impact are still available, as are opportunities to learn more about –– and order –– the Postal Service’s Cradle-to-Cradle certified shipping products.

Riviera Beach PO Salutes Its Veterans


It was an "all in the (postal) family" event honoring veterans at the Riviera Beach Post Office.
Manager, Customer Service Glenn Guice and staff recognized veterans at a special ceremony in their honor on Tuesday, November 10. Everyone enjoyed a delicious buffet of pasta, turkey, homemade biscuits, sandwiches, cupcakes, and pies. Valerie Carbone, Manager, Customer Service, read a "Thank You" letter from West Palm Beach City Postmaster Maribeth A. Norman. Valerie was joined by Greg Brown and Brian Coulton, both Supervisors, Customer Service, in presenting each veteran with a certificate and a small token of appreciation. Retail Associate Yvonne Hunt sang the Star Spangled Banner and Letter Carrier Delores Watson led the Presenting of Arms.

(Thanks to West Palm Beach Customer Relations Coordinator JoAnn L. Goodrich for sharing the news and taking the photos!)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

How to Simplify Your Holidays

Simplify your holidays with these online mailing solutions. The following services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. It's easy to get started at usps.com/createmail.

Create and send high quality, personalized greeting cards, postcards, newsletters and photo cards from your desktop. Whether you're sending one card of 10,000 cards, just point and click and create your own personalized greetings.

CardStore -- It's fast, easy and convenient. CardStore can ship cards to you or mail them directly using your address list. Upload your favorite digital photo to send a personalized holiday greeting. Choose from a a collection of thousands of cards designs or create your own. Write your own message to personalize.

PremiumPostcard -- Use your digital photo or choose from a gallery of images and add a personal message to each recipient. Mail postcards to your entire address book. No fees or mailing forms. And your first postcard is free!

Holidays by the Numbers

The Postal Service and its employees have been delivering holiday cheer for 234 years.
An estimated 16.6 million cards, letters and packages will be delivered between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve.
3 billion letters will be mailed over the holidays.
839 million pieces of mail will be processed on December 14, the busiest mailing day of the year.
583 million is the average number of pieces of mail processed daily.
692 million is the average number of pieces of mail processed daily during the holidays.
Postal employees will process 30 million pounds of mail destined to overseas military installations, including war zones in Iraq and Afghanistan.
192,000 vehicles, including 142,000 half-ton trucks, will transport holiday mail.
The Postal Service printed 2.11 billion holiday stamps this year.
97 million customers will visit the Post Office during the holidays.
41 million customers will visit usps.com during the holidays.
3.6 million Click-N-Ship labels will be printed from home computers during the holidays.

Tune In to 'Mall Man' and 'Cookie Den'

“The Postal Service Delivers the Holidays, the Postal Service Delivers Dreams.” That’s the theme of this year’s holiday campaign.

The first of the holiday ads went live on Monday, November 9, and will continue through Sunday, December 20. The messaging utilized for our current Priority Mail Flat-Rate Box campaign to small businesses has been crafted for consumers and their holiday shipping. "If it fits, it ships," one flat rate to any state and Priority Mail Flat-Rate Boxes are a simpler way to ship are the featured messages.

Two television commercials, “Mall Man” and “Cookie Den” feature Letter Carrier "Al" who provides the Priority Mail Flat-Rate Box as the solution to a holiday shipping problem. The spots will be running on various television programming and stations as follows:

The Country Music Awards on ABC, 8:00 pm, Wednesday, 11/11
Mr. St. Nick Original Movie on Hallmark Channel, 8:00 pm, Saturday, 11/16
Macy's Thanksgiving Parade on NBC, 9:00 am, Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, 11/26
Heroes '09 Award Show Special on CNN, 9:00 pm, Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, 11/26
Holiday Celebration (Ice Skating) on NBC, 4:00 pm, Sunday, 11/29
Santa Claus is Coming to Town on ABC, 8:00 pm, Monday, 11/30
Shrek the Halls on ABC, 8:30 pm, Tuesday, 12/8
The Night Before Christmas on CBS, 8:00 pm, Friday, 12/11
It's a Wonderful Life on NBC, 8:00 pm, Saturday, 12/12
Santa Baby Original Movie on ABC Family Channel, 2:30 pm, Saturday, 12/19
Santa Claus the Movie on AMC Channel, 8:00 pm, Saturday, 12/19

In addition, the residential ads will run in Good Morning America, Letterman and Ferguson, and The Tonight Show the weeks of 11/9-12/14.

Honoring Vets: Post-9/11 GI Bill Marches In

Tomorrow is Veterans Day — the annual observance honoring Americans who have served in the armed forces.

The Postal Service currently employs more than 145,000 veterans, about 24 percent of the workforce and more than any other employer in the nation. This year, 306 USPS employees have been called to active duty, often serving 6 months or more.

For the first time since 1984, Congress has updated the GI Bill with a substantial increase in educational benefits. The updated law provides financial support for education and housing to individuals with at least 90 days of aggregate service on or after September 11, 2001, or individuals discharged with a service-connected disability after 30 days.

Approved training under the Post-9/11 GI Bill includes graduate and undergraduate degrees and vocational/technical training. Additionally, tutorial assistance, and licensing and certification test reimbursement are included under the Post-9/11 GI Bill.

For additional information, visit www.gibill.va.gov.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Greetings from the Postal Service


Supervisor Rose Mesenger-Mannisto selects a birthday card from the display in her South Florida Retail Unit Lobby.

Need a birthday card for your favorite niece? Want to express your condolences to a co-worker who has lost a loved one? How about some words of encouragement to a friend who is going through a difficult time?

Why take a trip to the grocery or drug store when you can select a card (and generate postal revenue) at the Post Office?

Make a gift purchase (perhaps a sheet of the Breast Cancer Research semi-postal stamps). Select from a variety of pre-wrapped ReadyPost decorative packaging. Buy a greeting card. All to let the special people in your life that you're thinking about them.


Marianne Giambrone is all smiles as she ponders over the card selection available at the Fort Lauderdale Main Office. Marianne is secretary to the Fort Lauderdale Postmaster. Photo: Tashia Romano-Kravitz

The assortment includes cards for birthdays, baby announcements, encouragement, sympathy and wedding anniversaries. Additional seasonal displays will offer cards appropriate to various holidays and times of the year, including Mother’s Day.

Greeting cards join the selection of shipping and mailing products at the Postal Service, designed to better meet the needs of customers. In addition to items like mailing tape, envelopes and packaging, decorative mailing boxes make sending a gift easier than ever.

Current participating South Florida Post Offices include:

Boca Rio Branch, 8185 Via Ancho Road, Boca Raton FL
Delray Beach Post Office, 14280 S Military Trail, Delray Beach FL
Doral Branch, 1700 NW 97 Avenue, Doral FL
Fort Lauderdale Main Office, 1900 W Oakland Park Blvd, Fort Lauderdale FL
Jupiter Main Office, 1095 Military Trail, Jupiter FL
Kendall Branch, 13101 S Dixie Highway, Miami FL
Milam Dairy Branch, 5600 NW 72 Avenue, Miami FL
Oakland Park Branch, 3350 NE 12 Avenue, Oakland Park FL
Palm Beach Gardens Branch, 3330 Fairchild Gardens Avenue, Palm Beach Gardens FL
Pinecrest Postal Store, 11301 S Dixie Highway, Miami FL
Plantation Branch, 7580 NW 5 Street, Plantation FL
Snapper Creek Branch, 11000 SW 104 Street, Miami FL
South Florida Main Office, 16000 Pines Blvd, Pembroke Pines FL
South Miami Branch, 5927 SW 70 Street, South Miami FL
Stuart Post Office, 801 SE Johnson Avenue, Stuart FL
Tamiami Branch, 8880 SW 8 Street, Miami FL
West Palm Beach Main Office, 3200 Summit Blvd, West Palm Beach FL

Miami Team Makes Conference a 'Priority'



Customer Relations Coordinator Rose Castro (pictured top), with support from Sales and Service Associates Jose Lopez and Maria Negrin (pictured bottom), organized a successful Priority Mail Flat-Rate Box promotion at a Blue Cross/Blue Shield conference in Miami.

The postal trio was very pleased that although FedEx was represented by a self-service table with boxes and labels (and many conference attendees had a FedEx Corporate Account), the majority chose the Postal Service for their shipping needs!

"Everyone was impressed with our postal presence at the conference," Rose said. "Attendees appreciated our providing personalized customer service and assisting them in packaging their conference materials to ship home."

Thank you Rose, Jose, Maria ... and to Miami P&DC Supervisor Yoland Macon who ensured the team followed all Aviation Security requirements. Thanks also to Miami VMF personnel for providing the vehicles for transportation to and from the event and to the BSN Staff for providing the Blue Cross/Blue Cross contact information that made it all possible!

T-E-A-M ... Together, Everyone Achieves More!
Photo Credits: Rose Castro and Maria Negrin

Get a Tax Break with FSAs

If you're like most employees, you may have some out-of-pocket health care expenses that your insurance doesn't cover. And your medical expenses may not be high enough for you to claim a deduction on your taxes.

But you can get a tax break by signing up for a Flexible Spending Account (FSA), which allows you to transfer money from your paychecks to an account that pays for your eligible health care expenses using tax-free money.

Check your mailbox for an FSA brochure ... A series of postcards will arrive during Open Season which begins November 9 and closes December 27 at 5 pm Central Time. Use PostalEASE to make your election, but don't wait until the last minute!

Home for the Holidays

"The Postal Service Delivers the Holidays, the Postal Service Delivers Dreams." That's the theme of this year's Holiday Public Relations and Media Campaign.

As always, our employees will play an important role in promoting the great value of our products ans services to family, friends, neighbors, and business associates.

The latest issue of the Postal Bulletin includes a Holiday Mailing Season Service Talk on Getting the Mail Home for the Holidays. The Bulletin also includes a “Flavor of Home” Priority Mail Publicity Kit to promote the use of Priority Mail Flat Rate Boxes for sending college students, service members, friends, and family around the world a little taste of home during the holidays.

For the first time, holiday messaging also will be communicated through Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube! From online videos showing proper packaging instructions to holiday shipping "tweets," social media will help us promote our products and services.

Check out the online "Holiday Press Room." Go to usps.com, select "About USPS and News," scroll to "USPS Newsroom," and see what's in store this holiday season!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Check Out the New Green Lexicon: 'Environmailist'

The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) presented the Postal Service with a special 2009 International ECHO Award. This was the first time in its history that DMA had awarded an ECHO Green Marketing Award. DMA’s new award recognizes the most creative and strategic use of eco-responsible marketing tactics that deliver outstanding results, from a response or a return on investment perspective, while producing impacts that positively effect the environment.

A USPS campaign focused on four specific targets that either champion or influence the use of Direct Mail in the marketplace: large businesses, advertising agencies, printers and letter shops, and direct marketing professionals.
To bring this campaign to life, a new term also was created as part of the green lexicon: “Environmailist” (a mailer who adopts greener business practices and explores ways to make marketing communications more eco-friendly.)
Perhaps the best part of the Postal Service’s campaign is that it practiced what it preached — using recycled materials, Green-e Certified paper stocks, environmentally-friendly inks, and wind-generated paper production processes.

The History of Veterans Day

Veterans Day is Wednesday, November 11 --- A time to remember and to thank all veterans who have, or continue to serve, in the military.

Veterans Day, formerly known as Armistice Day, was originally set as a U.S. legal holiday to honor the end of World War I, which officially took place on November 11, 1918. In legislation that was passed in 1938, November 11 was "dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be hereafter celebrated and known as 'Armistice Day.'" As such, this new legal holiday honored World War I veterans.

In 1954, after having been through both World War II and the Korean War, the 83rd U.S. Congress -- at the urging of the veterans service organizations -- amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word "Armistice" and inserting the word "Veterans." With the approval of this legislation on June 1, 1954, November 11 became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.

In 1968, the Uniforms Holiday Bill ensured three-day weekends for federal employees by celebrating four national holidays on Mondays: Washington's Birthday, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and Columbus Day. Under this bill, Veterans Day was moved to the last Monday of October. Many states did not agree with this decision and continued to celebrate the holiday on its original date. The first Veterans Day under the new law was observed with much confusion on October 25, 1971.

Finally on September 20, 1975, President Gerald R. Ford signed a law which returned the annual observance of Veterans Day to its original date of November 11, beginning in 1978. Since then, the Veterans Day holiday has been observed on November 11.

Since the U.S. Postal Service began issuing stamps more than 150 years ago, many have commemorated veterans and their accomplishments. Refer to Publication 528, “Veterans and the Military on Stamps” at
http://www.usps.com/cpim/ftp/pubs/pub528.htm and Publication 529, “World War II: A History of Stamps” at http://blue.usps.gov/cpim/ftp/pubs/pub529.htm

Federal Employees Benefit Fairs


TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 17, 2009
Miami P&DC Cafeteria, 2200 NW 72 Ave, Miami
6:30 am - 10:30 am and 4:00 pm - 10:00 pm

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 2009
South Florida P&DC Cafeteria, 16000 Pines Blvd, Pembroke Pines
6:30 am - 10:30 am and 4:00 pm - 10:00 pm

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2009
Ft Lauderdale P&DC, 1900 W Oakland Park Blvd, Ft Lauderdale
6:30 am - 10:30 am and 4:00 pm - 10:00 pm

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 20, 2009
West Palm Beach P&DC, 3200 Summit Blvd, West Palm Beach
6:30 am - 10:30 am and 4:00 pm - 10:00 pm

(Please note all Fair attendance is voluntary and is an off-the-clock activity.)

Foods to Help Your Body Fight the Flu

The swine flu virus (H1N1) currently accounts for about 98% of circulating flu viruses in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Having a strong, healthy immune system is the body's only true defense. Build up your immunity with these nutritionist-recommended foods:

Colorful fruits and veggies. Antioxidants like beta-carotene and vitamin C are key to immune system health. Get your daily dose of beta-carotene with a half-cup serving of brightly colored fruits and vegetables, especially orange ones like sweet potatoes and carrots.

Yogurt. Look for varieties containing probiotics, "good" bacteria that may strengthen the digestive system. Two 6-ounce servings per day may ease diarrhea, prevent yeast and urinary tract infections and improve overall health.

Lemons. The proper pH balance is crucial for disease-fighting. Four tablespoons of lemon juice can help maintain an internal climate in which healthy bacteria, instead of viruses and harmful bacteria, thrive.

Garlic. Two cloves a day of the smelly herb stimulate infection-fighting white blood cells and sharpen their virus-killing instincts.

(Thank you to Barbara Crowley, A/Safety Manager, and Mary Jane LaCentra, secretary, MPOO, for sharing these health tips.)

Monday, November 2, 2009

'The Postal Service Delivers Dreams'

The holiday season is the busiest time of year for the Postal Service and historically generates the most media coverage. With all the news these days about our financial situation, possible reduced delivery and consolidation of offices, this holiday season offers a chance to focus on one thing that has been true for the past 234 years and will continue again this year. "The Postal Service Delivers the Holidays, the Postal Service Delivers Dreams."

To bring attention to the important role that postal employees play in their communities, this year's holiday campaign will kick off on December 1 with a national event in New York City with the Postmaster General and The Muppets. That's right, Kermit the Frog is joining the PMG in the Big Apple for one of the biggest ever holiday kickoffs! Tied to the release of a "Letters to Santa CD" on sale in select Post Offices and the network premiere of "The Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa" movie, the event will highlight the Postal Service's holiday operations, as well as the Letters to Santa program. The song tracks include performances by Michael Buble, Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, Vanessa Williams, Monica Mancini, David Koz, and The Muppets.

This year's campaign will support and complement the national advertising campaign. This holiday, our affordable products and services can make the season even brighter for our customers. Americans are looking for great bargains --- Our Priority Mail Flat-Rate Boxes make it simple to ship gifts home for the holidays. Remember the $2 discount on the "America Supports You" Priority Mail Flat-Rate Boxes to servicemen and women stationed at APO/FPO addresses!

The 2009 public relations and media campaign will add social media components to the traditional media mix. For the first time, holiday messaging will be communicated through Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. From online videos showing proper packaging instructions to holiday shipping "tweets," social media will play an important role in promoting the Postal Service's products and services through this new and important channel.

'Dignity Memorial Vietnam Wall' Replica Travels to North Lauderdale November 6-8

The Dignity Memorial Vietnam Wall, a three-quarter-scale traveling replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington DC, will be open for public viewing November 6-8, at Bailey Memorial Gardens, 7801 Bailey Road in North Lauderdale. To date, millions of Americans have visited the replica which has traveled to more than 200 cities across the country.

Free and open to the public 24 hours a day from Friday through Sunday, the replica is eight feet high and 240 feet long. Its black, reflective surface is inscribed with the names of more than 58,000 servicemen and women who died or are missing in Vietnam. Paper and pencils will be provided so visitors can make rubbings of names etched on the wall.

The three-day exhibition is sponsored locally by Bailey Memorial Gardens with support from the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 23. The Opening Ceremony is scheduled Friday at 10 am; the reading of the names from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial will begin at 11 am and continue through the weekend. For additional activities at the memorial this weekend, visit www.facebook.com/DignityMemorialVietnamWall.

Lost & Found

While vacationing in the Florida Keys, Tampa Letter Carrier Steven Cueto of Ybor Station found a wallet containing hundreds of dollars, blank checks, credit cards, and personal identification on the ground in front of the Key West Post Office. Cueto turned in the wallet to "Lost and Found." The customer, also on vacation, was contacted and needless to say, was extremely grateful to Cueto and the Postal Service. Steven, thanks for being a positive role model and shining a positive light on the Postal Service!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Greetings and Salutations at a PO Near You!

More than half of the 7 billion greeting cards sold in the U.S. are sent through the mail. Now consumers can buy, address and mail a greeting card while conducting other business under a year-long pilot program.

The Postal Service is testing a limited line of greeting cards in about 1,500 Post Offices. Five hundred initial sites were chosen based on availability of display space, the number of customers visiting the location and convenience to customers. An additional 1,000 locations will begin offering cards after the first of the year.

Participating South Florida Post Offices include: Boca Rio Branch, 8185 Via Ancho Road, Boca Raton FL ; Delray Beach Post Office, 14280 S Military Trail, Delray Beach FL; Doral Branch, 1700 NW 97 Avenue, Doral FL; Fort Lauderdale Main Office, 1900 W Oakland Park Blvd, Fort Lauderdale FL; Jupiter Main Office, 1095 Military Trail, Jupiter FL; Kendall Branch, 13101 S Dixie Highway, Miami FL; Oakland Park Branch, 3350 NE 12 Avenue, Oakland Park FL; Palm Beach Gardens Branch, 3330 Fairchild Gardens Avenue, Palm Beach Gardens FL; Plantation Branch, 7580 NW 5 Street, Plantation FL; South Florida Main Office, 16000 Pines Blvd, Pembroke Pines FL; Stuart Post Office, 801 SE Johnson Avenue, Stuart FL; and West Palm Beach Main Office, 3200 Summit Blvd, West Palm Beach FL.

The assortment includes cards for birthdays, baby announcements, encouragement, sympathy and wedding anniversaries. Additional seasonal displays will offer cards appropriate to various holidays and times of the year, including Mother’s Day.

Greeting cards join the selection of shipping and mailing products at the Postal Service, designed to better meet the needs of customers. In addition to items like mailing tape, envelopes and packaging, decorative mailing boxes make sending a gift easier than ever.

'Watch' QVC for 'PS I Love You' Holiday Gifts

The USPS-licensed Arjang and Company “P.S. I Love You” jewelry and watches will be featured on QVC on the Gifts for Her show from 6 pm to 8 pm on Thursday, October 29.
It’s a good time to buy a holiday gift, and every purchase of a USPS-licensed product generates royalty revenue for the Postal Service. The “P.S. I Love You” collection also will be featured at Zales and at pscollectionstore.com throughout the holiday
shopping season.

Halloween Safety Tips for Trick-or-Treaters

Here are some safety tips to ensure that your Trick-or-Treaters have a Happy Halloween ...
  • For door-to-door trick or treating, go to homes of trusted friends.
  • Attend a private party hosted by friends, school, or church.
  • Let an adult inspect all candy before eating.
  • Only give or take candy in the manufacturer’s sealed package.
  • Parents should always accompany young children.
  • Don't go inside a stranger's house, no matter what anyone says.
  • Trick- or-Treaters should always be in groups so they aren't a tempting target for real life goblins. Make a map of your Trick or Treat route and check the route against the sex offender database.
  • Stay in your own neighborhood.
  • Stop only at well lit houses.
  • Carry a flashlight or light stick.
  • Use make up instead of a mask so you can see.
  • Wear light-colored clothing or costumes.
  • Always keep a safe distance between you and moving cars.
  • Be respectful of other people and their property.
  • Walk, don't run. Use sidewalks or walk facing traffic. Stop, look, and listen at corners.
  • Don't go inbetween parked cars or dart back and forth across streets.