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

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 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

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 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

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, 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 and Publication 529, “World War II: A History of Stamps” at

Federal Employees Benefit Fairs

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

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

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

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

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!