Ready to adopt

The time has arrived for making holiday wishes come true.

Beginning Nov. 28, you can go to the USPS Operation Santa website to read letters from children and others who are less fortunate this holiday season. You can pick one or more letters to adopt and follow the directions on how to fulfil the writer’s requests.

For security reasons, you must complete a brief registration and ID verification process before adopting a letter.

If potential adopters are unable to obtain ID verification online, they will be provided a code and instructions on how to be verified in person at a local Post Office. Once verified, the adopter will receive a welcome email with detailed information on how to participate in the program.

The annual program began accepting letters Sept. 15 from those in need. The deadline to adopt letters is Dec. 19, which is also when adopters are encouraged to ship packages by Priority Mail.

The USPS Operation Santa program is 110 years old and continues to rely solely on the kindness and generosity of strangers. It allows people to help children and families have a magical holiday safely, securely and anonymously.

The Postal Service has also released a video that explains how to participate in the program. It is available with English or Spanish captions.

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Supervisor tutorial

The Occupational Safety and Health team wants field supervisors to know about a new video tutorial on Blue that offers training on their role in advancing workers’ compensation claims in the Employees’ Compensation Operations and Management Portal.

The portal, also known as ECOMP, is a web application used to process injury or illness claims that fall under the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act.

As the video explains, once a supervisor hears of an illness or injury, he or she should instruct the affected worker to self-register and file a claim in ECOMP. Employees will need an active ACE ID, which can be requested or reactivated through eAccess, as well as the supervisor’s email address to complete the claim.

When a claim has been successfully submitted, the supervisor will receive an email notification that a CA-1 (traumatic injury) or CA-2 (occupational disease) form requires his or her review, and a link to complete the process.

In addition to their role in advancing claims through ECOMP, supervisors should enter illnesses and injuries into the Safety and Health Management Tool.

“Supervisors play an important role at the time of injury and when an injured employee returns to work,” said Donna Gill, safety and health field operations executive manager.

“With the help of well-trained supervisors, we will create a culture of timely return to modified- or full-duty work, and employees will feel supported.”

Open season midpoint

You have two more weeks to change your health coverage for next year or enroll in a new plan.

Open season, the annual period when USPS employees can make benefits changes, ends Monday, Dec. 12.

Employees can choose from a variety of health, vision and dental coverage through the following programs and plans:

• Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program;

USPS Health Benefits Plan (USPSHBP), for noncareer employees;

Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP); and

Flexible spending accounts (FSAs)

The Open Season LiteBlue page has information and resources, including frequently asked questions, educational videos and a link to a health plan comparison tool from Checkbook’s Guide to Health Plans for Federal Employees.

A decade of good

The Combined Federal Campaign’s cause of the week is Giving Tuesday.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the observance, which takes place on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving.

What started in 2012 as a local endeavor in New York City is now a global movement dedicated to charitable giving and “radical generosity.”

The Combined Federal Campaign, or CFC, partnered early with Giving Tuesday, and federal employees have historically turned it into the biggest giving day of the campaign.

Giving Tuesday is what the military would refer to as a force multiplier for the CFC: a catalyst for increased performance.

Organizers are urging federal employees to seize the day and give generously to one or more of the thousands of charities under the CFC umbrella.

If you’re new to the CFC, there’s no time like Giving Tuesday to get started. The online CFC Donor Pledging System has more information about the campaign, along with a gateway page that allows participants to easily access their local CFC website. (Paper pledge forms are available for those who do not wish to donate electronically.)

And if you’ve given in the past, why not use Nov. 29 to increase your pledge or to donate to a new cause? Or perhaps make a special donation in honor of the observance’s 10th anniversary?

The goal for the Postal Service this year is to raise $5 million.

Most donations are monetary, but volunteer work can also be pledged and will count toward the USPS total.

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

Participation in the CFC is voluntary.

This is the 11th in a series of articles spotlighting the Combined Federal Campaign’s cause of the week. Next week: Human Rights.