Feeding the soul

Smiling people hold cans of food

Growing up in Detroit, Michael Swan remembers volunteering with his grandmother at a local food bank.

“I saw how families needed help,” he said.

Last weekend, Swan, a Livonia, MI, letter carrier with two years of USPS service, kept his family’s tradition alive by participating in the Stamp Out Hunger food drive.

“Through the food drive, I can continue to help feed families,” he said.

Swan was one of thousands of Postal Service employees who collected donations May 11 during Stamp Out Hunger, the nation’s largest one-day food drive.

The National Association of Letter Carriers organizes the annual event, which has collected more than 1.6 billion pounds of food since it began in 1993.

This year’s tally won’t be announced until later in the spring, but local numbers are being reported, including 13,000 pounds of food collected in Henderson, NC, and 3,100 pounds in Oskaloosa, IA.

Many postal workers say they look forward to the event all year long.

“It’s always nice to be a part of something that is so beneficial for our community. We see the needs of our community every day,” said Lubbock, TX, Letter Carrier Brandy Lowrance.

In Siloam Spring, AR, Elaine Carr, a rural carrier and longtime Stamp Out Hunger volunteer, received a surprise from her co-workers, who made a blanket for her using T-shirts from past food drives.

“I know we would not collect the amount of food we do without her dedication and love for the community,” said Postmaster Sharon Davis.

Meanwhile, Swan, the Michigan letter carrier who used to volunteer at a food bank with his grandmother, is already making plans for next year’s Stamp Out Hunger drive.

“This means a lot to me personally. My grandmother would be proud,” he said.

Gold key

Two smiling men display key-shaped poster with safety slogan

A Detroit letter carrier was recently recognized for submitting the winning entry in a local safety slogan contest.

Parris Gold came up with the slogan — “Safety is the key to be accident free” — after listening to a safety-focused stand-up talk at River Rouge, MI, Station, where he works.

“I always listen to the safety talks,” Gold said. “Even if I heard a topic before, there’s always something new I can learn from a safety talk.”

The contest, sponsored by Detroit District, is one of many that USPS districts hold each year to engage employees in workplace safety matters.

Robert Bayless, a letter carrier and safety captain at River Rouge Station, delivered the stand-up talk that inspired Gold’s slogan.

“I try to inspire everyone,” said Bayless, who hasn’t lost one day of work in his 34-year career due to an accident.

During a ceremony at the station, Detroit District Manager Karlett Gilbert presented Gold with a certificate and a key-shaped poster that displays his winning slogan.

In the know

Link mobile

The Postal Service wants managers, supervisors and others to tell craft employees about Link mobile, the Link site’s mobile-friendly version.

Link mobile offers the same content available on Link’s desktop version — including news reports, feature stories and informational videos — but in a format that’s easy to read on smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices.

The site is helpful to employees who don’t have regular access to postal computers but want to stay in the know.

Last week, for example, Link mobile offered coverage of the Postal Service’s latest quarterly financial report, the National Postal Forum and Mailbox Improvement Week.

Employees can access the site at www.usps.link, where they can also subscribe to weekly emails with the latest Link highlights.

Scanning snapshot

Scanning snaphot

Scanning snapshot. The Postal Service’s national scanning rating was 97.7 percent during the week ending May 10, down from one week earlier.

Western (98.06 percent) led the areas, while Dakotas (99.15 percent) topped the districts.

Scanning allows customers to track their packages and mail, and it helps USPS improve efficiency and network management.

To see the latest results, go to the Informed Visibility site and select “Customer Experience,” followed by “DES 2 Scan Performance.” Employees must request access to Informed Visibility through eAccess.

Flag reminder. Armed Forces Day, which honors men and women who serve in the U.S. military, is Saturday, May 18.

Facilities that are open this day are required to fly the POW-MIA flag, which honors the sacrifices made by members of the armed forces held as prisoners of war or listed as missing in action.

The POW-MIA flag must fly below the U.S. flag.

Keeping up appearances. The Postal Bulletin’s May 9 edition previews Mailbox Improvement Week, which will be held Sunday, May 19-Saturday, May 25, this year.

Postmasters must notify all rural and highway contract box delivery route customers before the annual campaign begins.

Got news? Email your submissions to uspslink@usps.gov.