Remembering

I often find that looking through old letters from friends and loved ones helps me remember bits of the past that slip my mind.  A school project in Massachusetts is using letters in a different way to remember the 11 million victims of the Holocaust.  Foxborough Regional Charter Schools is three years into an effort to collect a cancelled stamp representing each Jew, gypsy, homosexual or other “different” person slain during Hitler’s reign.

To date, they have over 300,000 stamps, but that is only a small fraction of what they’ll need to meet their goal!  This project will help students understand the horrific magnitude of the Holocaust and, in the process of perusing and counting each cancelled stamp, help them learn a bit more about the world we live in.

If you’d like to help these students reach their goal, they ask that you send trimmed, cancelled stamps to the address below. If you can note how many stamps are in your package, that also helps.

Holocaust Stamp Project
Foxborough Regional Charter School
131 Central Street, Foxboro, MA 02035

As you put together your own package of stamps, take a moment to reflect on the lives they represent–lives that were thrown away like garbage because of bigotry and hate.  Never forget.

Thanks to Lucas Writes for sharing this wonderful project on his blog.

 

Vegetarians on Stamps

PETA has just released a limited edition sheet of postage stamps featuring 20 famous vegetarians:

That’s quite a group–Ghandi, Steve-O, Bob Barker, Tolstoy and Natalie Portman among them.  And Ellen got on a stamp, even though it’s not the design she suggested.

You can pick up your sheet here. It’s a bit spendy at $20 for a sheet of 20 first-class stamps. If that’s too rich for your wallet, you can get a chance at winning a free sheet here.

Postage Stamp “Nail Polish”

Designer Reuben Miller shared some funny ideas for extreme repurposing (poking fun, it seems, as the repurposing/upcycling trends of late) on his wonderful blog.   One of his crazy ideas involved repurposing stamps as nail decorations!

Ochumel_ruchki_41

It’s actually a fun idea for some of the great stamp designs we’ve had lately.  I think the Garden of Love stamps might be perfect for this.

Thanks, Allison, for pointing me to The Improvised Life‘s post about this crazy idea!

Dachshund Stamp Roll Holder

My better half found this adorable little stamp-roll holder, featuring a mail-delivering dachshund.

Here’s a close up of him handing you the airmail envelope:

I don’t usually buy rolls of stamps, but this cutie makes me want to!

Commemorative Postmark for Pearl Harbor

To my fellow postal enthusiasts and history nerds, the West Point post office in New York is offering a commemorative cancellation for the 70th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack. The pictoral cancellation will feature a World War II helmet and rifle with bayonet affixed. To get your own (or to send some history snail mail love to a friend) just mail your self-addressed and stamped envelopes inside an envelope addressed to:

West Point Post Office
634 Swift Road
West Point, NY 10996

Be sure to include a note requesting the commemorative cancellation, and a note of thanks to the postal workers while you’re at it!

The envelopes will be cancelled and mailed on the 7th of December.

The Holidays are Upon Us

Beyond the Perf has a nice slide show of some Christmas stamps over the years and perusing through them got me all excited about getting my holiday cards started.

The holiday season has begun for my Jewish friends (Happy New Year!) and from now until January 1st, we have plenty of opportunities to celebrate.

I’m celebrating my favorite time of year by sending Halloween postcards, thank you notes at Thanksgiving, Christmas cards and New Year cards (for my non-Christmas celebrating friends).  That way, when I’m reconnecting with friends and family I can also help save snail mail!

What five living people should be on U. S. postage?

The U.S. Postal Service is breaking all the rules!  Now, stamps are going to feature living icons.  Until now, only dead folks could grace the face of postage.

What five would you like to see?  Well, you can tell the USPS by recommending people on their Facebook page (in the upper right hand corner of the page) or, my preferred method, sending them a letter to:

Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee
c/o Stamp Development
Room 3300
475 L’Enfant Plaza SW
Washington, D.C. 20260-3501.

Personally, I’d like my letters to sport these mugs:
David Sedaris, Jon Stewart & Ellen DeGeneres, because the world can always use a laugh and these folks never fail me.

and

Sarah Michelle Gellar and David Boreanaz as Buffy and Angel, because I have a sickness.

I’m sure I could come up with some amazing heroes who are saving the world who probably deserve to be on stamps, too.  But, right now, laughing and escapism seem worthy enough to earn a place on postage!

Pixar Stamps and Letter Writing Campaign

Even before Claire McCaskill’s recommendation for the U. S. Postal Service to implement a letter-writing campaign, the USPS issued the “Send a Hello” Pixar stamps and coupled the stamps with language encouraging folks to send more mail.

The back of the stamp pane says:

Think of your delight when you find a letter, greeting card, or package waiting in your mailbox.  It puts a shine on the rest of the day–even before you’ve opened it. Despite all the ways we communicate with friends and family today, there’s still nothing as personal as knowing someone took time to choose a card…write a letter…wrap a package…and even choose a special stamp simply to “Send a Hello.”

The stamps feature characters from five Disney-Pixar movies: Lightning McQueen and Mater from Cars; Remy and Linguini from Ratatouille; Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story; Carl and Dug from Up; and the robot Wall-E.

Use them to send a hello to someone in your life.  These seem particularly suited to share with the kids in your life.  Instill a love of letter writing in them early!

 

Vintage Postage Fun!

I recently posted about some great stamps currently available from the U. S. Postal Service.  While I regularly purchase new postage to help keep the USPS afloat, I also like to use old, unused stamps to send mail with a bit of flair, tailored for each recipient.

Here are some recent envelopes shipped from Save Snail Mail central.  A package to my grandmother (a former postal worker and nature lover who lives on the water) went out like this:

Here’s an monochromatic-ly decorated envelope carrying a letter to my pen pal Annie:

If you would like to send some mail sporting old, unused postage, you can get some from a great guy named Errol “Murph” Murphy. Murph sells the stamps at face value in increments of $20. Here’s a recent pile I received from him:

Murph even lets you request stamp types. This pile was sent in response to my request for stamps with “craft” “nature” and “women” themes.

If you’re interested in getting your hands on some fun stamps yourself, you can send Murph an email at: emurphy (at) cot (dot) net. He’d love to hear from you.

Speaking of great uses for old stamps, my pen pal Annie makes some lovely stationery, much of which features stamps.  She sells her gems at Curbside Treasure.    Here’s a set she made recently from oversized tags:

Hope these pics inspire you to send some fun mail today!

Merchant Marine and Owney the Postal Dog Stamps

I just picked up a couple more sheets of stamps at the post office (pics from U.S.P.S.’s Postal Store).

The merchant marine stamps provide a wonderful feel of maritime adventure to my envelopes:

And I just love the “Owney the Postal Dog” stamp.

 

The back of the Owney stamps sheet has the following story:

During the late 1880s, a dog, likely a terrier mix, appeared in the Post Office in Albany, New York, where clerks took a liking to him and named him Owney.  Fond of riding in postal wagons, Owney followed mailbags onto trains, where Railway Mail Service employees considered him their good-luck charm.  As Owney traveled the country, clerks affixed medals and tags to his collar to document his travels, and Postmaster General John Wanamaker gave him a special dog-sized jacket to help him display them all.  Owney later toured the world by steamer and became an icon of American postal lore.  His adventures highlight the historical importance of the Railway Mail Service, and today he enjoys a place of honor at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Postal Museum in Washington, D.C.

What a great story! Urban Hounds has a post on Owney with pictures of him on the train, in his fancy vest with medals, and of his display (yes, it’s him in all his taxidermy glory) at the National Postal Museum.