Art appreciation

Like many USPS employees, Marguerite Hughes feels proud that she and her colleagues have served the public throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

To show her pride, Hughes, a Georgetown, IL, customer services supervisor, decided to create posters that celebrate the Postal Service’s commitment to its customers.

Then it occurred to her: Why not get her co-workers involved in the project, too?

“That would have much more meaning,” she said.

Hughes and postal workers from four neighboring Illinois towns — Chrisman, Ridge Farm, Indianaola and Sidell — created posters with illustrations of letter carriers, delivery vehicles and mailboxes. The employees had their children and grandchildren color the posters, which were then hung in each town’s Post Office.

“I adore children, so I thought it would be fun to have everyone take items home and let their kids join in,” Hughes said.

Across the nation, other postal workers are also using artwork to show their solidarity with the communities they serve.

In Utica, IL, Joe Stanbary, a retail associate, tapped his 13-year-old daughter, Abbie, to create a flag made of hearts that filled the Post Office’s front window.

“It has our whole town talking. They are so proud that their Post Office [did this],” said Postmaster Patti Sadnick.

In Shelbyville, KY, Brandy Mims, a rural carrier with an artistic streak, received permission from her Postmaster to paint a temporary display in the Post Office’s window.

Mims created the silhouette of a superheroine wearing a cape and a belt that reads “USPS.” A nearby starburst proclaims “Postal Heroes.”

“I just wanted to make a point of showing how important the work we do is,” Mims said. “When the virus first started, nobody knew what would happen next. I think it’s pretty heroic to get people all their medicines and packages.”

In some communities, employees themselves have become the subject of art projects.

A new mural in Chicago honors police officers, firefighters, sanitation workers, food delivery drivers and a real-life letter carrier: Terrence Richard, who works at Irving Park Station.

“I was pretty amazed how much it looks like me,” Richard said. “It is an honor to be thought of with others as essential.”

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Seeing, saying

A South Carolina letter carrier’s sharp eye has led to almost $400,000 in new revenue for the Postal Service.

Rachel Bradley noticed a new business customer on her route in West Columbia. She submitted a lead through Customer Connect, a partnership with the National Association of Letter Carriers that encourages letter carriers to share sales leads with USPS.

Business Development Specialist Theophilius Crawford followed up with the company, which makes face shields and other personal protective equipment.

The Postal Service inked a shipping deal with the company, valued at $392,000.

Revenue generated from Customer Connect leads is counted toward the Postal Service’s Race for a $Billion campaign goal.

The initiative — which aims to raise $1 billion through employee-provided sales leads before the fiscal year ends Sept. 30 — recently passed its goal and stands at $1.09 billion, according to a Sept. 3 ranking of all district contributions.

“Rachel’s lead demonstrates that letter carriers see and know who their customers are,” said Mary Anderson, small-business engagement director at USPS headquarters in Washington, DC. “That knowledge is important for the Postal Service to be able to help our customers with their businesses.”

The Sales Blue page has more information about Customer Connect and the Postal Service’s other lead-sharing programs, which include Business Connect, Clerks Care, Mail Handlers, Rural Reach and Submit a Lead.

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Safe space

During National Preparedness Month in September, the Postal Service is reminding employees and contractors to help keep USPS workplaces safe and secure.

Employees should always secure entry points when not in use, wear their postal photo ID badge and watch for individuals not wearing badges.

To further protect workspaces:

• Secure unattended USPS vehicles and trailers. Immediately report stolen or missing vehicles to the Postal Inspection Service.

• Ensure alarms and security camera systems are operational.

• Ensure all keys are accounted for at the end of every day.

• Follow all procedures for mail acceptance. Report any suspicious items to the Postal Inspection Service.

• Confirm all collection boxes, lobby mailboxes and collection receptacles have current, legible Aviation Mail Security Decals (DDD-1s).

For additional information, contact your facility’s security control officer.

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Suicide prevention

The Postal Service’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is highlighting National Suicide Prevention Week, which is Sept. 6-12.

The week calls attention to the importance of mental health care, early intervention, proper diagnosing and regular treatment to prevent suicides.

The EAP website has several resources, including a video on suicide prevention and a downloadable book, “Suicide Prevention Through Awareness, Sensitivity and Knowledge.” The title of the book includes the acronym for “ask” — an important thing for people to do when they are concerned about someone else.

In addition to the online resources, EAP field counselors are working with USPS district leaders and advisory committees to highlight suicide prevention locally.

The Sept. 6-12 week is part of National Suicide Prevention Month, which is held every September and includes World Suicide Prevention Day on Sept. 10.

For more information, go to the EAP website or call 800-327-4968 (TTY: 877-492-7341).