Sweet charity

On Sept. 1, the Combined Federal Campaign, the federal government’s annual workplace charity drive, kicked off its 60th year of giving.

All Postal Service workers, contractors and retirees can participate.

Also known as the CFC, the campaign allows individuals to contribute to thousands of charitable organizations, here and around the globe. Pledges are accepted online, on paper or via mobile app.

Since it began in 1961, the campaign has raised more than $8.5 billion for its causes.

This year’s goal for the Postal Service is $6.9 million. Most donations are monetary, but volunteer work can also be pledged and will count toward the USPS total.

“Through the CFC, members of the federal family demonstrate that our commitment to public service extends far beyond the workplace,” Kathleen McGettigan, acting head of the Office of Personnel Management, wrote when announcing the 2021 campaign.

The online CFC Donor Pledging System has more information about the campaign, along with a gateway page that will allow participants to easily access their local CFC website. For those who prefer not to donate electronically, paper pledge forms will be made available.

This year, the CFC Giving mobile app has been updated to allow full payroll deduction options.

Employees with questions can email the Postal Service’s CFC team.

The 2021 Combined Federal Campaign runs through Jan. 15, 2022.

Goodwill payoff

A lead from a Texas employee has resulted in a shipping deal worth more than $132,000 for the Postal Service.

Irma Danner, a retail associate at the Grand Prairie Main Post Office, talked with a business customer who was looking for a cost-effective way to ship products.

Danner submitted a lead through Clerks Care, a program that allows retail associates, call center agents, and machine and distribution clerks to pass on sales tips.

Jenny Yoo, a Texas 1 District business development specialist, and James Allen, a field sales representative, followed up with the customer.

They closed a shipping deal worth $132,800 in new estimated annualized revenue for the Postal Service.

Sales generated from Clerks Care leads count toward the USPS Power of One campaign to raise revenue through sales leads from employees.

“Irma likes to talk with her customers, and she is able to identify ways to help them,” said Lou DeRienzo, small-business sales program specialist at the organization’s headquarters in Washington, DC. “The goodwill she has for her customers helps them and helps the USPS.”

The Postal Service is encouraging as many employees as possible to submit at least one lead through any of its six lead programs by Sept. 30.

The small-business team is tracking program participation rates through its weekly “Drive to 35” downloadable report.

The Small Business and Lead Generation Programs Blue page has more information about Clerks Care and the other employee lead programs: Business Connect, Customer Connect, Mail Handlers, Rural Reach and Submit a Lead.

Off limits

The Postal Service is reminding employees that they may not receive compensation from a source other than the government for teaching, speaking or writing about their official duties.

An employee’s official duties are involved if:

• The invitation is extended because of the employee’s USPS position rather than the employee’s subject matter expertise;

• The invitation comes from a person who has interests that may be affected by the performance of the postal employee’s duties;

• The employee is expected to convey nonpublic information;

• The subject concerns any matter the employee is assigned to, or has been assigned to in the past year, or any current or announced policy, program or operation of USPS.

There is a limited exception to this rule when it comes to teaching certain courses as part of an established school curriculum or when a training program is funded by a federal, state or local government agency.

Employees who have questions should call the ethics helpline at 202-268-6346 or send an email to ethics.help@usps.gov.

Here to help

National Suicide Prevention Week, an annual observance that highlights the importance of mental health care and early intervention, is Sept. 5-11.

The week includes World Suicide Prevention Day, which is always held Sept. 10 and aims to bring attention to global efforts to prevent suicides.

To help raise awareness, the USPS Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is offering updated resources for postal workers.

The EAP website has a section devoted to suicide prevention that includes handouts addressing several topics, including suicide during the coronavirus pandemic, as well as workplace posters.

Additionally, EAP field counselors work with USPS district leaders and advisory committees to highlight suicide prevention locally.

For more than a year, EAP has offered state-of-the-art telehealth options that allow employees to receive counseling services online — a particularly useful benefit during the pandemic, when many people are staying home.

For more information, go to the EAP website, EAP4you.com, or call 800-327-4968 (TTY: 877-492-7341).