Few things reach as many Americans each day as the mail --- and postage stamps provide an opportunity to raise money and awareness in support of important social issues.
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and South Florida postal employees are reminding their customers that the Breast Cancer Research semi-postal stamp covers First-Class Mail postage and generates funds for this important cause. During September 2013, the stamp raised more than $99,000 for research. Since 1998, the stamp has raised $77,628,062 for breast cancer research.The stamp features artwork of a mythical "goddess of the hunt" and is available at your local Post Office. Art director Ethel Kessler, of Bethesda, Maryland, herself a breast cancer survivor, was asked by the Postal Service to design the stamp. Kessler contacted illustrator Whitney Sherman of Baltimore to create the artwork.
Directing the project, with feedback from a postal design advisory board, Kessler discussed themes with Sherman that the stamp should depict, such as strength and courage, and to show an ethnically-vague woman. It was Sherman who came up with the solution of using Artemis, the Greek goddess of the hunt, protector of women, to symbolize the fight against breast cancer. The female hunter is depicted reaching for an arrow, to symbolize that she protects women from harm and to mimic the position women take during a breast exam. Sherman's illustration is a black line drawing of the female figure on a vibrant, abstract color field, done in pastel which gives the stamp its optimistic or uplifting feel. Kessler featured phrases, "Fund the Fight" and "Find a Cure" outlining where the right breast should be.