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the mail ... and more

11 a.m....yep...nice 'n' quite out here...just how we like with the rest of the world?  Well, that's what the Postal Service is for.

11 a.m....yep...nice 'n' quite out here...just how we like with the rest of the world? Well, that's what the Postal Service is for.

     Is the mail important? No doubt about it. It's the center of a huge part of the American economy. The Postal Service is the heart of a $900 billion industry that employs 9 million of your friends and neighbors.

     But numbers only tell part of the story. For more than 225 years, the mail has been a:

     Messenger of sympathy and love,

     Servant of parted friends,

     Consoler of the lonely,

     Bond of the scattered family,

     Enlarger of the common life,

     Carrier of news and knowledge,

     Instrument of trade and industry,

     Promoter of mutual acquaintance,

     Of peace and of goodwill among
     men and nations.

     Stirring words. In fact, they're carved into the cornice of the former Washington, DC, City Post Office, now the site of the Smithsonian Institution's National Postal Museum. They describe the power of the mail. They just as accurately describe the caring men and women of the Postal Service.

     These are the men and women who this year collected almost 62 million pounds of food to help "Stamp Out Hunger" as part of the eleventh annual National Association of Letter Carriers Food Drive. Since 1993, they collected an incredible 587 million pounds of food from caring customers along their routes.

     These are the men and women who deliver the gift of life through their participation in the National Marrow Donor Program. Since 1997, some 18,000 postal employees have volunteered as marrow donors. And more than 40 have delivered the gift of life to someone in need.

     These are the men and women who, in cities large and small, take the time each holiday season to help Santa with his mail. They work to bring the magic of the season to thousands of children and families whose dreams might otherwise be unfulfilled.

     These are the men and women who are the caring and watchful eyes for the elderly and disabled in their communities. On some days, they're the only point of human contact for home-bound customers. Through the Carrier Alert program, postal employees work with local agencies, such as the United Way, the Red Cross or the Agency on Aging, when they notice changes in routines that could mean a customer is in distress.

     These are the men and women who rode with or supported the Tour of Hope, whose one-week, cross-country cycling journey inspired thousands to learn more about cancer research and the importance of clinical trials. The Team's journey took them through 14 states, beginning in Los Angeles and ending with a triumphant entry into Washington, DC, led by Lance Armstrong, cancer survivor, leader of the U.S. Postal Service Pro Cycling Team and five-time winner of the Tour de France.

     We're serious about the mail. We're just as serious about helping to make the communities we serve — the same communities where we live — as good as they can be. That's why we care so much about our role as "enlargers of the common life." It's what we do.