How To Help The USPS By Buying Stamps, Signing Petitions & More
With the presidential election just around the corner amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, many Americans are depending on the United States Postal Service (USPS) to get their votes counted with absentee or mail-in ballots. Not to mention, families need essential items delivered to their homes. But, between financial woes and President Donald Trump's attacks on the post office, the agency is in trouble. Fortunately, though, there are a few ways you can help the USPS right now.
The USPS has been facing financial difficulties following a nearly $9 billion loss in revenue last year, according to USA Today. CNN has reported that restructuring as a result of cost cutting measures under newly appointed Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has led to increased delays in deliveries.
While the HEROES Act would provide $25 billion in relief for the USPS and, perhaps most importantly, help those who plan to vote by mail get their ballots delivered on time, it has yet not passed in the Senate.
Meanwhile, Trump has pretty much used the USPS as a political bargaining tool; according to Reuters, Trump said that he would agree with the funding if Democratic lawmakers "give us what we want."
"They want $25 billion for the post office," Trump said in an interview with Fox Business on Aug. 13. "Now they need that money in order to have the post office work so it can take all of these millions and millions of ballots. If we don't make the deal, that means they don't get the money."
It's also worth noting that Trump has also made false claims that mail-in voting leads to voter fraud. "Mail ballots are very dangerous for this country because of cheaters," he said at the White House earlier this month, as The New York Times reported. "They go collect them. They are fraudulent in many cases." According to the Associated Press, mail-in ballots are cast the same way as absentee ballots and voter fraud is incredibly rare.
While all of this is happening, families across the country are relying on the post office for a variety of reasons. So if you're looking to help, here are a few ways to do so.
1. Buy Stamps And Packing Supplies
The USPS is not taxpayer funded, so it partly relies on the sale of items like stamps and packaging for income. For example, you can buy a sheet of 20 Bugs Bunny stamps for $11 or a book of cooking-themed fruit and vegetable stamps, also for $11. No matter your interests or aesthetics, the USPS has a wide variety to choose from.
Another option? Buy boxes and shipping supplies to send out care packages to friends and family.
2. Contact Your Representative
Let your elected officials in the House and Senate know how important funding the USPS is to you. You can find your representative in the House and their contact information by entering your zip code here and you can find your senators here.
This form on the American Postal Workers Union website will also connect you to your senator to ask for their help in funding the USPS. And filling out this form from the Center for American Progress will send a letter to Trump urging him to not block funding.
3. Buy Merchandise
Did you know you can buy things like a mail-themed tote bag, shirts, and even toys from the USPS website? Indeed, you can find fun merchandise, like this cute kid's mail carrier costume. (Don't worry, they have a mail carrier costume for dogs, too.) Or you can purchase this toy mail van for your car-obsessed kiddo.
4. Send Letters
Sending letters through the USPS to a friend, loved one, or pen pal is a great way for you to use those brand new stamps and support your local post office.
If you need more people to write to, you can find pen pals online through websites like Pen Pal World or ask your local assisted living community if residents are looking for a pen pal. One senior care center in North Carolina received nearly 20,000 letters after putting out a call for pen pals in July, according to The Washington Post.
5. Sign A Petition
If you don't have much to give financially, signing a petition is a simple and great way to voice your concerns. This Change.org petition, for example, is asking representatives to save the USPS and has reached over 1.5 million signatures. And this petition on We The People is still accepting signatures, but already has enough to get a response from the White House. You can also sign this petition on MoveOn urging Congress and the White House to fund the USPS with the next stimulus bill.
6. Send A Text Message
Simply text the word "USPS" to 50409. After texting this number, Resistbot will send a letter to your representatives in support of funding the postal service.
7. Spread The Word
Start conversations with your friends and family about what is going on with the USPS and why it matters, especially as this election cycle nears. Post on social media, text your friends, or just pick up the phone.