Blue streak

When Margaret Daniels read on social media that people were being asked to tie blue ribbons to their mailboxes to show support for Postal Service employees, she took the challenge to heart.

The Gardnerville, NV, retiree affixed more than 70 blue ribbons and bows to mailboxes in her neighborhood — far more than anyone else who is known to have participated in the challenge.

“Postal workers are the ones binding the country together right now,” she said.

Daniels understands better than most the importance of USPS: In 2012, she concluded a 37-year postal career, including a long run as Postmaster in Markleeville, CA.

“I absolutely loved my job,” Daniels said, adding that working for USPS was “more of a privilege than a job.”

The blue ribbon challenge was started by Lewisburg, WV, Postmaster Sean Acord, who took to Facebook in March to encourage people to attach blue ribbons and thank-you cards to their mailboxes to show their support for postal workers during the coronavirus pandemic.

The goal, Acord said, is to provide letter carriers, rural carriers and others with “a little bit of an uplift” when they collect and deliver mail each day.

People in about 25 states have participated, Acord said, adding that some customers have had to get creative about acquiring blue ribbons in a time when many craft stores and other retailers are closed.

In Arkansas, one customer ordered a blue ribbon from a local florist. When it arrived, it read, “Congratulations. It’s a boy!”

Daniels said she also experienced limited resources when she made her ribbons, adding that the bows she made “are not as big as I would like.”

Nevertheless, she’s glad she got to show her former postal colleagues how much they mean to her.

“The expression ‘thank you’ goes a long way and people need to use it more often than they do,” she said.

Right place

A letter carrier’s keen eye has led to a sale that brought in nearly $400,000 in revenue for the Postal Service.

West Columbia, SC, Letter Carrier Jamara Rozier sprang into action when she saw vehicles from USPS competitors at an auto parts dealer along her route.

She talked with the business owner, who was seeking affordable shipping rates and who wanted to know if the Postal Service could offer better shipping prices for his company, which sells auto parts through several online retailers.

The company’s sales have doubled since the coronavirus pandemic began, and the customer was looking for ways to reduce shipping costs and eliminate surcharges.

Rozier submitted a lead through the Customer Connect program. Theophilius Crawford, a Greater South Carolina District business development specialist, then contacted the customer.

The resulting deal is expected to bring in $398,600 in revenue, which has been added to the Postal Service’s Race for a $Billion campaign total.

The initiative — which is at $738.3 million, according to a June 4 ranking of all district contributions — aims to raise $1 billion through employee-provided sales leads before the fiscal year ends Sept. 30.

“Jamara Rozier spotted an opportunity for one of her business customers to get the help he needed,” said Mary Anderson, small-business engagement director at USPS headquarters in Washington, DC. “Main Street USA businesses are facing all kinds of challenges from the coronavirus pandemic. For some of these businesses, the challenge is a rapid increase in sales and shipping. Carriers such as Jamara are in the perfect position to see that.”

In addition to Customer Connect, employees can submit leads through the Business Connect, Clerks Care, Mail Handlers, Rural Reach and Submit a Lead programs.

The Sales Blue page has more information about the lead-sharing programs, including instructions on participating.

Hip-hop G.O.A.T

Music has a way of providing a temporary escape that helps us through unsettling times. To help mark the arrival of the Hip Hop stamps next month, Link wants to hear from Postal Service employees who are big fans of hip-hop.

Since the inception of hip-hop more than four decades ago, the electrifying music, dance and art movement has profoundly influenced American and global popular culture.

With roots in African American and Afro-Caribbean music, dance and verbal arts cultures, hip-hop has given artists all over the world a platform to tell their own life stories and speak about their communities’ experiences.

So who gets your vote for the best hip-hop artist of all time? Biggie? Tupac? Jay-Z? Nas? Drake? Nicki Minaj? Someone else?

Cast your vote at uspslink@usps.gov and tell us what makes your choice stand out from the rest.

Link will crown a winner and possibly use your comments in an upcoming story.