Monday, December 31, 2018

'What Safety Means to Me!'

EAP Can Help Chase Holiday Blues

For most people, the holiday season is a fun time of the year filled with parties, celebrations, and social gatherings with family and friends.

But for some people, it is a time filled with sadness, self-reflection, loneliness, and anxiety.

You may know of a postal employee who is recovering from a lengthy illness, grieving a family member, or missing a military spouse. Or maybe an employee who has unrealistic expectations, financial pressures, and too many commitments --- all stress factors that may escalate this time of year. Poorly-managed holiday stress can lead to headaches, excessive drinking, overeating, and insomnia.

Setting realistic goals and expectations, reaching out to friends, sharing tasks with family members, finding inexpensive ways to enjoy your time, and helping others are all ways to help beat holiday stress.

Individuals who may need a little extra emotional support to get through the holidays are encouraged to contact the Employee Assistance Program (EAP). This resource is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Just call 800-EAP-4-YOU (800-327-4968) or visit For deaf and/or hard-of-hearing employees, TTY assistance is available at 877-492-7341. 

Sunday, December 30, 2018

New Stamps Offer Convenience for Consumers and Business Mailers

The U.S. Postal Service has announced the new Priority Mail and Priority Mail Express stamps and new stamps for additional ounce, non-machineable surcharge, and two- and three-ounce mailings. The stamps go on sale nationwide January 27 with no ceremony.

Joshua Tree
Celebrating the desolate beauty of the Joshua tree (Yucca brevifolia) and its distinct desert environment, this Priority Mail stamp depicts a common scene throughout much of the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts. Using the bold colors of the sun’s reflection off of the trees, rocks and other shrubby vegetation, artist Dan Cosgrove illuminates the desert scene in warm, golden hues. Art director Greg Breeding designed the stamp.

Bethesda Fountain
With this Priority Mail Express stamp, the Postal Service commemorates the Bethesda Fountain, one of Central Park's most iconic structures. Dedicated in 1873, the fountain is a gathering place beloved by New Yorkers and out-of-town visitors alike. The stamp art features a stylized depiction of the fountain. The illustration was first rendered as a pencil sketch and then scanned and finished digitally. Art director Greg Breeding designed the stamp with original art by Dan Cosgrove.

California Dogface (Butterfly)
The California dogface graces the seventh non-machineable butterfly stamp for use on irregularly sized envelopes, such as square greeting cards, invitations or announcements. The stamp art was digitally created using images of preserved butterflies as a starting point. The result is a highly stylized, simplified image of a California dogface (Zerene eurydice) rather than an exact replica. Nationally known artist Tom Engeman created the stamp art. Art director Derry Noyes designed the stamp.

U.S. Flag 2009
With this new 2019 stamp, the Postal Service celebrates the American flag, the most recognizable symbol of our nation. The stamp features a U.S. flag, one of several on the flagpoles near the end of Chicago’s Navy Pier, waving in a May breeze. The photograph was taken by art director Antonio Alcalá.

Uncle Sam’s Hat Coil of 100
Originally released by the Postal Service in 2017, Uncle Sam’s Hat, an additional ounce stamp, will be available in 2019 in a coil.

The stamp features eight graphic top hats in Uncle Sam’s signature style, with red and white vertical stripes above a blue band with a white star and a gray brim. Beneath each hat is an oval shape representing a face, each in a different shade, meant to suggest the ethnic and racial diversity of the United States. Art director Antonio Alcalá designed the stamp. The words “ADDITIONAL OUNCE” on this stamp indicate its usage value.

'What Safety Means to Me!'

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Versatile Performer Gregory Hines is 42nd Stamp in Black Heritage Series

The 42nd stamp in the Black Heritage series honors Gregory Hines, whose unique style of tap dancing injected new artistry and excitement into a traditional American form. A versatile performer who danced, acted and sang on Broadway, television and in movies, Hines developed the entertainment traditions of tap into an art form for a younger generation and is credited with renewing interest in tap during the 1990s.

Acting Chief Postal Inspector Gary Barksdale will give remarks at the First-Day-Of-Issue ceremony at Peter Norton Symphony Space in New York City on Monday, January 28, 2019.

Gregory Hines (1946-2003) was nominated for Tony Awards in the 1970s for his performances in three Broadway musicals — “Eubie!” “Comin’ Uptown,” and “Sophisticated Ladies” — and won a Tony Award in 1992 for his starring role in “Jelly’s Last Jam.” He danced alongside his brother, Maurice, in Francis Ford Coppola’s 1984 film “The Cotton Club” and alongside ballet legend Mikhail Baryshnikov in the 1985 movie “White Nights,” and he appeared in the 1989 movie “Tap,” which highlighted three generations of tap dancers. He also hosted an Emmy-winning Public Broadcasting Service show about tap dancing, recorded a No. 1 R&B duet with Luther Vandross, twice hosted the Tony Awards, and acted in television sitcoms.

The stamp features a 1988 photograph by Jack Mitchell that shows a smiling Hines on one knee in a red blazer and gray pants, with one foot raised to show the taps on the bottom of his shoe. Art director Derry Noyes designed the stamp.

'What Safety Means to Me!'

Friday, December 28, 2018

Reelin' in the Years

At his January retirement party, Samuel J. Mitchell displays a plaque and certificate he received when President Lyndon Johnson appointed him Postmaster of Philo, OH.
Postal Service employees marked significant milestones in 2018.
Ninety-one-year-old Los Angeles Processing and Distribution Center Mail Handler Willie Clemmons celebrated 68 years as a postal employee.

Two other Los Angeles District employees — Leroy Brown, a Los Angeles International Service Center clerk, and Willie Campbell Jr., a maintenance supervisor at the Los Angeles Processing and Distribution Center — marked 63 and 61 years, respectively, with the Postal Service.
Alfonzo Wilson Jr., an 80-year-old Cleveland letter carrier, celebrated 60 years on the job, while John Moore of Martinton, IL, marked 55 years as the last rural carrier whose salary is based on the number of miles he drives.

Stan Coburn, a retail associate at Northwood Station in Fort Wayne, IN, marked 50 years of postal employment, and the city celebrated by declaring Feb. 6 Stan Coburn Day.
Elsewhere, Philo, OH, Postmaster Samuel J. Mitchell made history when, after a 52-year career, he retired as the last Postmaster appointed by a president.

James Balluff also marked the end of an era when he retired as the Elmhurst, IL, Post Office’s last “special delivery messenger.”

Meanwhile, Superior, MT, Post Office Rural Carrier Frances Higgs’ retirement after almost 40 years delivering mail on her route was bittersweet.

“It was the best I’ve ever had,” the 80-year-old said.

Source: Link

Pledge to 'Show Some Love'

Every dollar can make a difference when you make a pledge to the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC), currently underway in the South Florida District.

This year's theme is "Show Some Love, " and it's the second year that the CFC is encouraging online donations to your favorite charities. For more information, visit
As part of the fabric of every American community, the U.S. Postal Service demonstrates good corporate citizenship each and every day. Its collective commitment to the CFC is a prime example. There are more than 4,000 approved charities eligible to receive your donation --- organizations that provide human services, health care, medical research, disaster relief, housing, youth development, and much more.

The CFC is the largest and most successful workplace charitable giving drive in the world. The CFC is the only authorized charitable organization solicitation of federal employees in their workplace.

Your gift will help shape the lives of thousands of people in our communities, across the country, and around the world. For example:

Pledging $1 a week ($52 a year) can buy …
· 12 elementary school students with trained volunteer tutors to help with reading and math.
· 10 children with bilingual beginning-to-read books to build early literacy skills.
· Three 30-minute appointments for health assessment and counseling for individuals facing physical, developmental or mental health challenges.
· One acre of unprotected tropical rainforest which assures protection of the natural areas vital to our climate and diverse species.
Pledging $5 a week ($260 a year) can buy …
·  Two months of meals for a homebound person.
·  Five wigs for children with cancer undergoing chemotherapy.
·  Two nights of shelter for a troubled or neglected youth.
·  After school care (food, health, recreation, and homework help) for one child for a year.
·  Temporary shelter for a family of four for three nights following a disaster.
Pledging $10 a week ($520 a year) can buy …
·  Two days of care for a terminally-ill individual.
·  Baby formula for 52 low-income infants (one each week).
·  A full year of scouting for two girls.
·  One month of preschool for a child at risk of falling through the cracks.
·  Lightweight wheelchair for a person who is physically challenged. 

'What Safety Means to Me!'

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

'What Safety Means to Me!'

Kwanzaa: Family, Community, Culture

Kwanzaa takes place over seven days from December 26 to January  1, bringing together family, community and culture.

Each year, millions of African-Americans gather with friends and family throughout Kwanzaa week to honor the Pan-African holiday’s seven founding principles: unity (Umoja), self-determination (Kujichagulia), collective work and responsibility (Ujima), cooperative economics (Ujamaa), purpose (Nia), creativity (Kuumba) and faith (Imani). Each day of Kwanzaa is dedicated to the focus of one of these seven principles, collectively known as the Nguzo Saba.

For some, a discussion about the role of that day’s principle in everyday life is an important part of observing the holiday. Children often receive gifts  (zawadi), such as books and heritage symbols, from parents and loved ones to reaffirm the value of knowledge in many African cultures. Those present often share in a feast that honors their common heritage, celebrates community and reaffirms African-American culture.

The stamp art depicts a man, woman and child adorned in a mixture of western and traditional clothing, paying tribute to the holiday’s focus on the contemporary African-American experience while also drawing on African roots. The family is gathered around a kinara (candleholder), the warm light from the seven candles (mishumaa saba) illuminating their faces. Several other important Kwanzaa symbols sit on the table — a few ears of corn (muhindi) and various fruits and vegetables (mazao); the kikombe cha umoja (unity cup); and the mkeka, a straw mat on top of which everything is placed.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Merry Christmas

Five centuries ago, Francesco d’Ubertino Verdi (1494–1557), the Italian Renaissance painter known as Bachiacca, was a versatile and popular Florentine artist. Today his oil-and-gold-on-panel painting Madonna and Child still evokes the timeless traditions of Christmas.

Bachiacca met the needs of his patrons by skillfully adapting to changing fashions, whether creating large altarpieces, small paintings, wall and ceiling decorations, or designs for intricate tapestries. His compositions emphasize ornament and landscape backgrounds, and art historians note his eye for exotic costuming and his careful depictions of animals and plants.

Around 1540, Bachiacca became a court painter to the duke of Florence, Cosimo de’ Medici, who had made the Palazzo Vecchio his residence and required an artist for a wide range of interior decoration. For nearly the rest of his life, Bachiacca created ceiling decorations for the duke and duchess, as well as mural and easel paintings, tapestries, costumes and masks.

Dated from the early 1520s, the Madonna and Childstamp shows Christ clutching a bouquet of jasmine, a symbol of divine love.

This painting is part of the Jack and Belle Linsky Collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. William J. Gicker served as art director and Greg Breeding was the designer.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Christmas Eve Holiday Operations

The U.S. Postal Service always delivers for its customers during the holidays — and this year is no exception.

USPS will be open for business and mail delivery will continue as usual Monday, December 24.

Post Office retail counters will be open until noon. However, some retail offices may be open later due to customer needs.

Local hours are posted at all Post Offices.

In select locations, USPS will deliver packages Tuesday, December 25.

'What Safety Means to Me!'

Christmas Eve

The Postal Service issued four new stamps and a souvenir sheet showcasing classic images of Santa Claus painted by famed commercial artist Haddon Sundblom. Each stamp portrays a close-up of Santa’s face. The four images featured in the booklet are details from larger paintings created by Sundblom and originally published in ads for The Coca-Cola Company from the 1940s through the early 1960s. Sundblom is the man credited with refining the modern image of Santa Claus.
The souvenir sheet includes a semi-jumbo stamp as part of a wider scene of one of Sundblom's paintings chosen for the Sparkling Holidays stamp booklet. In it, Santa is depicted standing by a fireplace holding a book that lists good boys and girls. Three Christmas stockings hang along a mantel decorated with greens and ornaments. Peering over his glasses, Santa reads a note among the stockings.
In the United States, children traditionally leave Santa a glass of milk and a plate of cookies and carrots for his reindeer on Christmas Eve.
Before going to bed, children hang their stockings in a location where Santa cannot miss them. If the home does not have a fireplace, an exterior door is left unlocked so Santa may enter with gifts galore. Tags on gifts for children are sometimes signed by their parents "From Santa Claus" before the gifts are laid beneath the tree.  

Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus reside at the North Pole. Santa oversees elves' productivity in creating toys --- the gifts he delivers around the world to good boys and girls on Christmas Eve and early Christmas morning.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Coconut Creek Has Holiday Spirit!

Coconut Creek employees captured the holiday spirit!
Under the leadership of Manager, Customer Services Eddie Floyd, employees enjoyed holiday festivities at the Post Office and ensured that their customers continued to receive outstanding service!
Employees set up a mailbox for children to deposit their letters to Santa in the lobby. Letters were forwarded to Cindy Scherer, secretary to Pompano Beach Postmaster Michael Vecchitto, for response. Employees purchased toys for distribution to children at the neighborhood daycare center. They also decorated the Post Office lobby (see photos below).
Capturing the holiday spirit, from left, Clerks Rosario Sierra, Shaun Tillman, Laura Lopez, and Paul Warshaw.
Striking a holiday pose, from left, are Manager, Customer Services Eddie Floyd; Clerk Laura Lopez; and Supervisor, Customer Services Willie Nunez. 


5 Post Offices Open for Retail Today

Five South Florida Post Offices will be open today, Sunday, December 23, between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. You can ship your holiday packages (off-the-clock, of course!) at these locations:   
Coral Springs Branch, 3255 NW 94 Ave, Coral Springs, FL 33065
Flamingo Branch, 12590 Pines Blvd, Pembroke Pines, FL 33027

Miami GMF Postal Store, 2200 NW 72 Ave, Miami, FL 33152

Palms West Branch, 10299 Southern Blvd, Royal Palm Beach, FL 33411

Tamarac Branch, 7875 NW 57 St, Tamarac, FL 33351 
Priority Mail Express is the fastest mail service offered by the Postal Service. It provides guaranteed 1-Day or 2-Day expedited service by 3 p.m. for any mailable matter * and includes $100 of insurance coverage. Priority Mail Express delivery is offered 365 days a year in many locations.

If available at the destination location, delivery by 10:30 a.m. or Sunday or holiday delivery may be purchased at an additional charge.

* USPS has adjusted the postage refund policy for Priority Mail Express one-day shipments sent from December 22 through December 25.

Under the adjusted policy, Priority Mail Express one-day shipments sent during this period are not eligible for postage refunds unless the package is delivered or delivery is not attempted within two days of the mailing date.

The Postal Service is adjusting the policy in anticipation of increased mail volumes and unpredictable weather conditions that could affect one-day shipments during the holidays. Additional information is available at

Priority Mail Express prices are based on the weight of the piece, and how far the piece travels except when USPS-provided Priority Mail Express Flat Rate packaging is being used. Priority Mail Express packaging supplies (envelopes, boxes, tubes) are available at no cost from the Post Office.  

'What Safety Means to Me!'

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Capturing the Holiday Spirit

Port St. Lucie Midport Station employees took a quick break from their postal duties to show their holiday spirit in this group photo. Photo: Monica Campbell

Santa's Postal Elves

Santa Claus (not pictured) is grateful to his postal elves, including Customer Relations Coordinators Mirtha Uriarte (above, left) and Gayle Jones (above, right), who are helping him address holiday postcards to children who sent their wish lists to him. 

This year among the most popular toy requests are the "L.O.L. Surprise" dolls — the name stands for "Little Outrageous Little Surprise." The toy is a glittery, dome-shaped plastic case filled with 50 surprises — four dolls, along with accessories, clothing, charms and other knick-knacks — that must be individually unwrapped. Much of the appeal of the "big surprise" is in its slow reveal. It can take hours to peel away the toy's layers and figure out exactly what's inside. Some dolls cry, spit or "tinkle." Others change color in cold water. For adults, the "big surprise" may have been the $69.99 retail price, which encouraged them to tell their children to "ask Santa."

While most children do ask for toys, some do request world peace, harmony among family members, new clothes and shoes (as opposed to sibling hand-me-downs), and dogs that don't shed or bark too much. Then there's the letter (pictured right) from a child with so many questions. 

Photos: Debra Fetterly

'What Safety Means to Us!'

Friday, December 21, 2018

His 'Priority' is to 'Scan and Deliver'

Miami, FL, Olympia Heights Branch Rural Carrier Carlos Sordo (above) makes it his "priority" to scan and deliver Priority Mail products to customers awaiting holiday gifts from loved ones. Photo: Miami Customer Relations Coordinator Mirtha Uriarte

Rocking the Revenue at Port Salerno

On Monday, December 17, the busiest mailing, shipping, and delivery day of the year, the Port Salerno Post Office processed 919 transactions. That's 469 customer visits which equated to 52 customers an hour. And that's $10,484.80 in revenue for a Level 18 Office staffed with two Sales and Services Associates and a Postmaster!

"We rocked the day, capturing retail revenue and providing pleasant and professional service to our customers," said Postmaster Valarie Rother.

Pictured are Sales and Services Associates Denise Vickers (left) and Rocio Pineda (right) who captured the holiday spirit (and the revenue!) at the Port Salerno Post Office. 

Photo: Port Salerno Postmaster Valarie Rother

'What Safety Means to Us!'

EDDM 'Buzz' Reunites Manager & Cat

A USPS employee in Minneapolis recently turned to a familiar postal product to find his lost cat: Every Door Direct Mail.

Northland District Marketing Manager Mark Janda (pictured right) and his family spent several frantic days searching for their pet Buzz, who had disappeared somewhere in the neighborhood.

The furry feline might never have been found if Janda hadn’t used Every Door Direct Mail to distribute a mailpiece with Buzz’s photo, description and the family’s contact information.

“That got his picture and story into all of the homes in the neighborhood, not just those neighbors I talked to personally,” Janda said. “There are about 550 deliveries on the route, and my mailing generated probably 10 leads.”

One neighbor found Buzz, and because of the mailing, knew how to reunite the cat with Janda.

The postal employee is thankful to the neighbor, as well as co-worker Dan Mooney, the district’s retail manager, who came up with the idea of using Every Door Direct Mail in the first place.

“As he and I talked about the situation it dawned on me that … Every Door Direct Mail would be a great opportunity to target his neighborhood with a picture or two of Buzz with contact information,” Mooney said. “He could make up the flier himself and it would be a quick, inexpensive way to get the word out.”

Janda sees Buzz’s return as another Every Door Direct Mail success story.

“It may have happened anyway, but to my mind, Every Door Direct Mail made the difference, and that makes my wife and me very happy,” Janda said.

Source: LINK