Love is all around

The Postal Service dedicated this year’s Love stamp Jan. 14 during a virtual ceremony that highlighted a Colorado community that bills itself as the nation’s “Sweetheart City.”

For 75 years, Loveland — a city of 66,000 residents located about 45 miles north of Denver — has operated its internationally renowned Valentine Remailing Program.

Every year, more than 100,000 valentines, packaged inside larger envelopes, are sent to Loveland, where volunteers handstamp them with a special postmark and Valentine’s Day verse and send them on to the intended recipients.

“Many of our volunteers, they schedule everything they do in a year around the two weeks at Valentine’s so that they are actually able to be in that room and sending love all over the world,” Mindy McCloughan, president of the Loveland Chamber of Commerce, said during the ceremony, which was streamed on USPS social media sites.

This year’s Love stamp, available at Post Offices and usps.com, features a group of graphic hearts and simple shapes in bold colors arrayed playfully around the word “love” on a dark blue background.

It’s the latest entry in a series that began in 1973.

During the ceremony, Bailey Sullivan, the artist who designed the stamp, recalled her reaction when she learned the Postal Service wanted to showcase her artwork.

“I immediately burst into tears. I’ve definitely never had that reaction about a project before,” she said.

The eight-minute ceremony can be viewed on the Postal Service’s Facebook and Twitter pages. Employees who are unable to stream video from external sites on postal computers can use a personal smartphone, tablet or other device to watch the event off the clock.

Other participants in the event included Pritha Mehra, the Postal Service’s chief information officer, who said the stamp will add “a special touch to cards and letters. It shows thoughtfulness and care have been included, inside and out.”

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

Mail safety

The Postal Service wants employees to remain vigilant about mail safety.

If you encounter a suspicious mailpiece, remember the three Ps:

• Package. Don’t bag it, containerize it or send it to another location. Leave it where it is and isolate the area.

• People. Clear people from the area and immediately notify a supervisor.

• Plan. If a supervisor isn’t available, call the Postal Inspection Service at 877-876-2455. Follow your facility’s emergency plan. If there’s an immediate threat — such as smoke, noxious fumes or vapors — or if employees are injured or show signs of illness, evacuate the area first and then contact local responders.

Poster 286, Suspicious Mail, has additional recommendations.

The Postal Service recently distributed a stand-up talk to remind employees of these guidelines.

‘Retirement 101’

Postal Service employees can participate in an upcoming webinar on preparing to use their health benefits during retirement.

The session, “Retirement 101,” will be held Thursday, Jan. 21, at noon EST.

Aetna will conduct the webinar, which will provide a better understanding of how health retirement benefits might work nationwide and overseas. Tools and resources that are available before and after retirement to help plan changes will be offered.

Aetna will also discuss Tricare dental insurance enrollment and provide time for questions.

Participants must register before the event on the webinar website. After signing up, directions will be emailed to each registrant.

Participation is voluntary. Nonexempt employees may only participate off the clock or during authorized breaks.

The Financial Wellness LiteBlue page also has retirement planning information.

For more information, email the USPS Health and Wellness team.

In due time

“News Quiz” is a weekly feature that lets you test your knowledge of recent Link stories. The correct answers appear at the end.

1. True or false: Many Combined Federal Campaign member charities allow people to pledge volunteer hours instead of financial contributions.

a) True
b) False

2. Fill in the blank: Two months — April and (blank) — will each have three paydays for USPS employees in 2021.

a) September
b) October
c) November
d) December

3. Which of the following is not one of the tiers recently added to the USPS Loyalty Program?

a) Gold
b) Silver
c) Platinum
d) Base

4. Why is it best to avoid posting images of USPS workplaces online?

a) Photos or videos may contain information that isn’t meant for public viewing
b) Workers and customers have a right to privacy
c) All of the above
d) None of the above

5. Columbus, OH, Mail Expeditor Joseph Clark has 65 years of postal service, but how many years of total federal service does he have?

a) 66 years
b) 67 years
c) 68 years
d) 69 years

Answers: 1) a. 2) b. 3) c. 4) c. 5) b.

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