Stamp Out Hunger

Canned goods in a box

Stamp Out Hunger will occur online this year, beginning this week.

The annual campaign traditionally allows Postal Service employees to collect food donations that are then distributed to food banks and pantries.

The National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) usually organizes the drive on the second Saturday of May, but this year’s event was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The NALC is now holding the drive online, allowing customers to donate money — instead of food — to participating food banks and pantries.

“As letter carriers in every neighborhood in the country six and seven days a week, we see the need and we cannot wait while food banks struggle, demand grows and people remain hungry,” NALC President Fredric Rolando said.

The online drive began June 15 and will continue as needed to allow food banks to purchase the items they need to help address hunger and food insecurity, which have worsened because of the pandemic and the national economic downturn.

Individuals who wish to donate can search for food banks by state at www.nalc.org/food.

“Once it is safe, we will return to the traditional food drive,” Rolando said.

Beware of dog

The Postal Service is marking National Dog Bite Awareness Week with a new video to help customers guard against attacks.

The 50-second animated video, USPS Dog Bite Awareness,” shows a letter carrier delivering to homes where dog owners are taking proper precautions to restrain their pets.

The video reminds customers to secure dogs in another room until the delivery is complete and to keep outside dogs on a leash away from the mailbox.

“Dog attacks are 100 percent preventable when dog owners remain vigilant and properly restrain their dogs,” the narrator says.

The Postal Service is sharing the video on YouTube and its social media channels.

“Be Alert: Prevent the BITE” is the theme for this year’s campaign, which runs from June 14-20.

Top tools

To mark USPS National Dog Bite Awareness Week, the Postal Service is educating employees and customers about some safety features that can help reduce attacks.

The features include:

• Mobile Delivery Devices (MDDs). Letter carriers, rural carriers and others use these handheld scanners to confirm customer deliveries. MDDs have a feature that allows carriers to indicate the presence of dogs at an address. These alerts can offer a heads-up to substitute carriers who are filling in for regular carriers.

• Informed Delivery. This free feature allows users to manage their package deliveries. Customers can use it to plan when to secure their dogs ahead of a carrier’s arrival.

• Package Pickup. This free feature, available on usps.com, allows customers to schedule a pickup during their carrier’s normal delivery time. Customers can use the feature to let USPS know a dog is present at the address. A notification is then sent to the carrier’s MDD.

Employees like Hojung Lee, a Fairfax, VA, letter carrier who was once bitten by a dog, encourage customers to do their part to help create a safer delivery environment.

“Many times dog bites can be prevented if our customers are educated about dog safety. We shouldn’t have to worry about getting bit by a dog when we deliver mail,” he said.

The Postal Service is sharing additional tips through employee news articles, videos and other materials during USPS National Dog Bite Awareness Week, which is underway through June 20.

Talking … and listening

Juneteenth, an annual celebration of the end of slavery in the United States, is taking on added significance this year amid the nationwide protests regarding racial injustice.

The commemoration traces its roots to June 19, 1865, the day that Union soldiers told enslaved African Americans in Galveston, TX, that the Civil War had ended and they were free.

Juneteenth — which gets its name from blending the words “June” and “nineteenth” — is now celebrated throughout the United States and has also been marked in other countries, including France, Ghana, Israel, South Korea and Taiwan.

Although Juneteenth is not a federal holiday, it offers opportunities for people to learn more about the nation’s rich diversity and history.

This year, it can also be a time for conversations — including discussions in workplaces, according to the USPS Employee Engagement team.

The group offers these tips:

• Be open. Talking about the events that led to the protests can raise uncomfortable topics, but this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t discuss them. The most important thing is to listen respectfully to what colleagues have to say.

• Be mindful. Recognize that some colleagues might have trouble expressing themselves, particularly if the discussion takes place through video conferencing, which can present unique communication challenges. Give these individuals time and space to share how they’re feeling, and realize that silence — while uncomfortable — can also be necessary.

• Be ready. Be prepared to commit to do what you can to help everyone be better, as individuals and as co-workers.

The Employee Engagement LiteBlue page has general guidance on conducting workplace conversations, while the Diversity and Inclusion Blue page has multicultural resources.

News Briefs

Scanning snapshot

Postal employee scans a package outside.

Scanning snapshot. The Postal Service’s national scanning rating was 97.01 percent during the week ending June 12, up from one week earlier.

Western led the seven areas with a rating of 97.41 percent. The only area that improved its score from the previous week was Pacific, which ranked fifth with a 96.97 percent rating, up less than one-half of 1 percentage point.

Dakotas, with a 98.95 percent rating, dominated the 67 districts. The biggest gainer among the districts was No. 65-ranked Los Angeles, which had a rating of 95.24 percent, up 1.76 percent from the previous week.

Scanning data allows customers to track their mail and packages, which helps USPS deliver excellent service, boost loyalty and drive revenue.

To see the latest data, go to the Informed Visibility website and select “Customer Experience,” followed by “DES 2 Scan Performance.”

Retirement reminder. Postal Service employees can participate in a series of webinars this month to educate federal workers about the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP).

Each session will be held twice. The next sessions will be “TSP Post-Service Withdrawals” (Friday, June 19, at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. EDT) and “TSP Contributions” (Wednesday, June 24, at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. EDT).

Individuals who want to participate must register first. To register and for more information, go to the TSP website’s webinars section.

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