Autumn’s accomplishments

Mail processing clerk James Han

Postal Service employees demonstrated their dedication to their customers as 2018 drew to a close.

In October, employees marked Breast Cancer Awareness Month by promoting the Breast Cancer Research semipostal stamp and participating in events at USPS facilities across the nation.

Employees also delivered millions of ballots, voter registration cards, polling place information and campaign materials before the Nov. 6 midterm elections.

“We want to make sure voters have a chance to look at their mail to make informed choices when voting,” said William Connor, a mail handler at the Detroit Processing and Distribution Center.

Later in November, the Postal Service reported its fiscal 2018 year-end financial results and received regulatory approval to adjust prices for some products and services, beginning early next year.

The Oct. 1-Dec. 31 period also saw USPS employees respond to a hurricane in the Southeast, wildfires in California and an earthquake in Alaska.

Additionally, USPS honored employees who served in the armed forces during Veterans Day ceremonies across the nation, and the organization observed a national day of mourning to honor former President George H.W. Bush, who died Nov. 30.

As the holiday season got underway, employees were busy delivering an estimated 15 billion pieces of mail and 900 million packages.

“Your efforts during the holidays help us earn our customers’ trust and loyalty,” Postmaster General Megan J. Brennan wrote in her annual holiday message to employees. “As postal employees, we take great pride in serving our customers at every touch point.”

Pictures perfect

Yoko Ono Lennon and Sean Lennon

This was another year of moving images in Link.

Here’s a roundup of some of the best photos, including shots from delivery routes, postal plants, stamp dedication ceremonies and mailing industry events.

Select each thumbnail to see a larger version of the image.

Good work

USPS Historian Jenny Lynch

Postal Service employees discussed their contributions to the organization through Link’s “On the job” series this year.

Judy Huelsing, a custodian in St. Louis, talked about the pride she takes in keeping her workplace neat and orderly.

“I believe having a really clean facility promotes a good work environment and positively affects employees’ attitudes. It also helps give customers a good impression of USPS,” she said.

Two different kinds of mechanics — Fidel Aguliar, who repairs LLVs in San Diego, and Anthony Lattimer, who keeps equipment moving in Detroit — discussed their behind-the-scenes roles.

Said Aguliar: “No matter what, we have to keep the mail rolling.”

The series also featured Chris Hubble, a St. Petersburg, FL, letter carrier who makes all his deliveries by bicycle — and who wouldn’t want it any other way.

“It’s a great stress reliever and there’s a greater sense of freedom,” he said.

Several employees — including Riverdale, MD, Retail Associate Shannon Wilson-Ellis;  Columbus, OH, Retail Specialist Jim Hammar; and Pittsburgh Master Facilitator Gerry Papariella — talked about the importance of delivering excellent customer experiences, one of the Postal Service’s core strategies.

Another “On the job” subject, Acting Organizational Development Analyst Mark Wahl, explained a concept postal workers hear a lot about these days: employee engagement.

“When you’re proud of where you work, when you’re excited to have conversations with customers and co-workers, and when that feeling is part of everything you do, that’s engagement,” Wahl said.

Jenny Lynch has one of the coolest jobs of all: She’s an historian at USPS headquarters in Washington, DC, where she helps preserve the organization’s history and heritage.

“I love to research, write and learn new things, and I frequently get to do all three,” she said. “Postal history is so vast that opportunities for research are endless.”

Children’s choice

Child with stamps

Young people highlighted the mail’s ability to build relationships, uplift spirits and even right wrongs this year.

Dallas third-graders formed special pen-pal relationships after turning to a local retirement community for help with cursive writing lessons.

Meanwhile, students at a Foxborough, MA, charter school continued their efforts to collect postage stamps to honor Holocaust victims.

After Coetta Ramsey, a second-grade teacher in St. Thomas, PA, died, her daughter continued her mother’s tradition of writing letters to former students when they graduated high school.

Other students were also moved by the past.

After hearing the story of an African-American newlywed couple who was turned away from a resort in 1957, a group of Titusville, NJ, fifth-graders wrote the resort to request a do-over.

Children also turned to the mail for encouragement during their illnesses, including Finn Blumenthal, a 3-year-old with congenital heart disease who enjoyed visiting the Post Office, and Aspen Kelly, a 13-year-old with leukemia who wanted postcards from around the world.

Other requests came from sick children who wanted help celebrating the holidays.

Maddox Hyde, a 14-year-old who has terminal cancer, requested holiday cards to help celebrate his final Christmas, and Drake Quibodeaux, an 8-year-old who also has terminal cancer, received thousands of greeting cards.

“This is the most mail I have ever delivered,” said Lisa Langley, Drake’s rural carrier.