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In 1997 the Stamp Out Breast Cancer Act, P.L. 105–41, authorized the issuance of the first semipostal stamp to raise funds to help in finding a cure for breast cancer. The stamp is sold for 45 cents and is valid for the current cost of a 1-ounce, single-piece First-Class Mail letter. Congress directed that the difference between the price of the stamp and the First-Class Mail rate, less program costs, be directed to two designated research agencies: the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Defense Medical Research Program.
From program inception through the end of 2005, approximately 657 million Breast Cancer Research stamps have been sold. Semipostal stamps sold during that 7-year period have raised a net voluntary contribution of $48 million. The costs associated with the Breast Cancer Research stamp include design, printing, packaging, advertising, promotion, training, legal fees, market research, programming for retail automation, and receipt printing costs. The Postal Service deducts selected incremental costs from Breast Cancer Research stamp revenues and then pays the proceeds to the research agencies. During the life of the program through the end of 2005, approximately $1.1 million has been withheld to cover these incremental costs.
The Heroes of 2001 semipostal stamp, authorized by the 9/11 Heroes Stamp Act of 2001 legislation, provides assistance to the families of emergency relief personnel killed or permanently disabled in connection with the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The stamp was issued in New York City on June 7, 2002, and sold for 45 cents. Like the Breast Cancer Research stamp, valid for the then current cost of a 1-ounce, single-piece First-Class Mail letter. It was offered for sale through December 31, 2004. A total of 133 million Heroes of 2001 stamps were sold. This resulted in a contribution of $10.6 million to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which is responsible for disbursing payments to eligible participants. The Postal Service recovered $0.5 million in costs for this semipostal stamp.
The Stop Family Violence semipostal stamp, authorized by P.L. 107–67, the Stamp Out Domestic Violence Act of 2001, provides assistance to the programs and organizations fighting domestic violence. The stamp was issued on October 8, 2003. Like the Breast Cancer Research and Heroes of 2001 stamps, it sells for 45 cents and is valid for the current cost of a 1-ounce, single-piece First-Class Mail letter. It will be offered for sale through December 31, 2006. Since inception, 31 million Stop Family Violence stamps have been sold. This has resulted in a contribution of $1.8 million to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to help fund domestic violence prevention programs. The Postal Service has recovered costs of $0.2 million.