Monsters mash

The Postal Service’s Message Monster stamps — designed to deliver smiles, not scares — were dedicated Sept. 24 in Topeka, KS.

“This new collection of Message Monsters stamps is one of the most creative, fun and unique designs we’ve ever produced,” said Jeffery A. Adams, the organization’s corporate communications vice president, who spoke at the ceremony. “It’s our hope they will be a new favorite classic among stamp collectors and kids of all ages.”

The pane of 20 Forever stamps, available at and Post Offices, features four monster illustrations that can be dressed up with dozens of self-adhesive accessories located on the selvage.

The accoutrements include cartoony voice balloons and thought bubbles with exclamations and salutations, hats and crowns, hearts, stars, daisies and other fun flair.

Antonio Alcalá designed the stamps with original artwork by Elise Gravel, author and illustrator of popular children’s books.

The Message Monsters dedication ceremony coincided with Thinking of You Week, an annual campaign to encourage people to mail handwritten notes and greeting cards.

Thinking of You Week began in 2014 in the United Kingdom and later gained momentum in the United States due to the efforts of the Greeting Card Association.

Said Adams: “This is a great week to introduce the Message Monsters stamps. I can’t imagine a better way to celebrate than to include these playful characters on letters or cards to send to the important people in our lives.”

Paychecks change

The Postal Service is making a small change on employees’ paychecks.

Beginning with the checks dated Oct. 1, each employee’s mailing address will be printed below his or her name.

USPS will continue to mail paychecks to the facility where employees work.

Employees who receive paper paychecks should review the address on their check for accuracy and make corrections using the Change Your Address and Contact Information tool on LiteBlue.

Gifting students

“One child, one teacher, one pen and one book can change the world.” — Malala Yousafzai

The Combined Federal Campaign uses this quote from the youngest laureate of the Nobel Peace Prize to introduce the second cause of the week for the 2021-22 campaign: education.

The brave young Pakistani’s past is testament to how high the hurdles are for so many. And her brief statement elegantly sums up just how little is needed to change lives and, indeed, the world.

The interpretation of “education” for the campaign’s purposes is broad. There are the areas one might expect — early education and STEM, for example — as well as some that are less obvious.

Educational infrastructure is one. The dire physical conditions of too many schools hinder learning and even threaten students’ health. Continuing education is another. The desire to learn doesn’t end at any particular age.

Vocational training, an area that has been badly neglected in recent decades, is yet another.

If you are unsure of where to focus your giving in this category, the website for the campaign, also known as the CFC, makes it easy:

Under “Donors” on the home page, choose “Online Charity Search” from the drop-down menu.

The second field is “Select a Specific Category.” From there, choose “Education.” Page after page of education-related charities can help guide your choice.

The Combined Federal Campaign is the federal government’s workplace charity drive. The latest campaign began Sept. 1 and runs through Jan. 15.

Participation in the CFC is voluntary.

The website has more information.

This is the second in a series of articles spotlighting the Combined Federal Campaign’s cause of the week. Next week: housing and shelter.