Staying connected

The Postal Service is working with Sandboxx, an app for military families, to help customers use Informed Delivery to connect with loved ones who have entered basic training.

Developed by military veterans, Sandboxx allows people to use their digital devices to write messages to friends and family who are in basic training. The app then converts the digital messages into physical letters, which are then sent to the recruits.

Through the new relationship with USPS, Sandboxx customers can preview and track incoming mail replies from the trainees using Informed Delivery, a free feature that allows users to digitally preview their incoming mail and packages from computers, tablets and mobile devices.

Additionally, Sandboxx will promote Informed Delivery on banners and notifications to encourage its users to enroll in the feature.

“The Postal Service is proud to work with Sandboxx to connect our military community through mail moments,” said Bob Dixon, USPS product technology innovation director. “The intersection of these two offerings creates a unique and patriotic brand-building opportunity, blending two highly innovative services digitizing traditional mailing.”

The Sandboxx website has more information about the app, while usps.com has sign-up information and other details about Informed Delivery.

Share your feedback at uspslink@usps.gov. Your comments could be included in the “Mailbag” column.

Annual Leave Exchange

The Postal Service is providing employees with corrected information about the Annual Leave Exchange (ALE).

Due to a technical error, some employees recently received letters that included incorrect dates for the benefits enrollment period and participation in the ALE program, as well as the incorrect number of hours that employees can exchange.

A letter with the correct information will be sent to eligible employees this week.

Employees can use PostalEASE to complete their ALE enrollment while they are waiting for the corrected letter. The correct dates and amounts will be displayed in PostalEASE.

The once-a-year enrollment opportunity for Postal Service employees to use the ALE program will end Dec. 14.

Fair share

Postal Service employees can participate in an online benefits fair throughout open season, which runs from Nov. 9-Dec. 14 this year.

The Virtual Benefits Fair offers information about the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program and Federal Long-Term Care Insurance Program (FLTCIP), as well as flexible spending accounts.

Employees can use the fair to explore and compare benefits in one convenient location. Participants can log into the fair site 24/7 during open season to download plan brochures for 2021, visit virtual carrier booths, watch instructional videos and participate in educational seminars.

Additionally, employees can participate in live chats with experts on four dates: Friday, Nov. 13; Friday, Nov. 20; Wednesday, Dec. 2; and Wednesday, Dec. 9; from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. EST each day.

Long Term Care Partners, the company that manages FLTCIP, is organizing the fair.

Participation is voluntary and off the clock. Employees can register at the 2020 Virtual Benefits Fair website.

The Open Season LiteBlue page has additional information about this year’s enrollment period.