Show of strength

In a new video, the Fort Myers, FL, postmaster discusses the dedication of Postal Service employees following Hurricane Ian.

“I don’t have a good feeling about this one,” James Chambers remembers thinking as the storm approached.

Despite the devastation caused by Ian, Chambers describes how USPS employees continued to work, delivering important mail and packages to customers affected by the hurricane.

The one-minute video, which USPS released last week on social media and other channels, is the first in a series.

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

Native American Heritage Month

The Postal Service will observe Native American Heritage Month, which honors the Indigenous peoples and cultures of the United States, during November.

The monthlong observance’s theme this year is “Why We Serve: Native Americans in the United States Armed Forces.”

USPS has issued scores of stamps celebrating Native subjects over the years, beginning with a 4-cent stamp of a buffalo hunt in 1898. However, two recent Forever releases stand out.

April’s George Morrison stamps commemorate the Chippewa modernist artist, and 2021’s Raven Story references a mythological trickster character important to several Indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest.

In 2023, the Postal Service will issue a stamp honoring Chief Standing Bear, the Ponca chieftain who won his freedom in court, setting an important legal precedent for Native Americans.

More than 4,000 employees of the Postal Service identify as Native American or Alaska Native.

More information on the observance can be found at nativeamericanheritagemonth.gov.

The wild bunch

The Combined Federal Campaign’s cause of the week is animal welfare.

According to 2019 statistics from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals:

• About 6.3 million companion animals entered U.S. shelters.

• Around 920,000 didn’t make it out alive.

While those numbers are a big improvement from 2011 — when the figures were 7.2 million and 2.6 million, respectively — there is still lots of work to be done.

Pets and companion animals are only a small part of what falls under the umbrella of animal welfare, which also includes how farm and laboratory animals are treated, marine and wildlife conservation, and humane education, cruelty prevention and other topics.

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 “CFC Giving System” on the homepage, choose the “Online Charity Search” link.

• You will be brought to the “Find a Charity” page. The second field shown will be “Select a Specific Category.” Choose “Animal-Related.”

The Combined Federal Campaign is the federal government’s workplace charity drive. The latest campaign began Sept. 1 and runs through Jan. 14.

Participation in the CFC is voluntary.

The GiveCFC.org website has more information.

This is the seventh in a series of articles spotlighting the Combined Federal Campaign’s cause of the week. Next week: military and veterans.

‘Retirement 101’

Postal Service employees can participate in an upcoming webinar on preparing for retirement.

The session, “Retirement 101,” will be held Nov. 3 at noon Eastern.

An Aetna representative will lead the webinar, which will cover how retirement benefits work and will include tools and resources to help employees plan for changes.

Participants must register before the event on the webinar website. Following the session, every registrant will receive an email with a link to a recording of it.

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

The USPS Wellness LiteBlue page also has retirement planning information.

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