Ounce of prevention

Colorful stamp depicting star

The Postal Service will release a Drug Free USA stamp in October 2020 to focus attention on the nation’s drug abuse crisis.

USPS announced the stamp Oct. 31 in conjunction with Red Ribbon Week, the nation’s oldest and largest drug abuse prevention campaign. The planned release next year will coincide with National Substance Abuse Prevention Month, observed annually in October.

“This Drug Free USA Forever stamp will help further raise awareness about the dangers of drug abuse, and the toll it is taking on families and communities around our country,” said Robert M. Duncan, chairman of the USPS Board of Governors.

“The Postal Service is glad to do its part in marking Red Ribbon Week, and renewing our commitment to helping these efforts to educate youth about the dangers of illegal drugs.”

In 1988, the National Family Partnership coordinated the first National Red Ribbon Week with President Ronald Reagan and first lady Nancy Reagan serving as honorary chairpersons. The week runs Oct. 23-31 and coincides with National Substance Abuse Prevention Month each year.

Red Ribbon Week was started after the death of Enrique “Kiki” Camarena, a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) special agent who was tortured and murdered in 1985 by drug traffickers that he was investigating in Mexico. After Camarena’s death, people began wearing red ribbons to honor him.

“I am very pleased that the U.S. Postal Service will issue a stamp affirming our commitment to a drug-free America,” said DEA Acting Administrator Uttam Dhillon. “This stamp will help raise awareness of the fight against drug addiction and honor those who have dedicated their lives to that cause.”

Drug Free USA will be issued as a Forever stamp and will feature a white star with lines of red, light blue and blue radiating from one side of each of the star’s five points, suggesting the unity necessary at all levels to effectively address drug abuse.

Greg Breeding designed with stamp with original artwork by Aaron Draplin. USPS Acting Stamp Services Director William J. Gicker was the art director.

More details will be announced later.

Peak peeks

The Postal Service is highlighting employees and what they contribute to the organization during the holidays.

Peek into Peak, a #PostalProud communications initiative that launched last year, has returned with new images and quotes from employees who discuss how they spread holiday joy at work.

“Holidays are hectic at the Postal Service, so I like to bring extra cheer to employees and customers,” Cheryl Reko, a Minneapolis secretary, says in one post.

These messages will be offered each weekday through multiple communication channels, including Postal Vision monitors inside USPS facilities, the Lead to Win newsletter and the Peek into Peak LiteBlue page.

Peek into Peak is part of the organization’s broader efforts to empower and engage employees and deliver world-class customer experiences, two core strategies.

Similar #PostalProud communications initiatives this year have featured employees sharing their team contributions, their pride in their work and their efforts to serve customers.

Opening soon

Woman receives eye exam from smiling technician

Open season, the annual period when Postal Service employees can change their health benefits or enroll in a new plan, begins Monday, Nov. 11.

A variety of health, vision and dental coverage is available through the following plans and programs:

  • Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHB)
  • USPS Health Benefits Plan (USPSHBP) for non-career employees only
  • Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP)
  • Flexible spending accounts (FSAs)

The Open Season LiteBlue page has resources to help you prepare, including FAQs, informational videos and a link to a health plan comparison tool from Checkbook’s Guide to Health Plans.

Additional information will be provided throughout open season, which concludes Monday, Dec. 9.