‘Tis the Season for holiday cards and packages. Many of those envelopes and wrappers will have postage stamps on them. You can do something that will help our veterans, some disabled, some who are recovering or convalescing from service-related injuries in VA hospitals or rehabilitation facilities. This is something that will cost you no cash, just a little bit of your time.
What Can You Do?
Save those postage stamps and donate them to Stamps for the Wounded (SFTW). SFTW is a 501(c)(3) charity, a service activity of Lions International, that has been helping service men and women avoid boredom and isolation by providing an activity that can keep them engaged and mentally active, even if bedridden.
If you take a minute or two to save postage stamps from your incoming mail, you can help make a difference in someone’s life. I will receive and aggregate all the stamps (or whole envelopes if you don’t have time to cut the stamps from them) from local households, and deliver them to SFTW.
If you live relatively close to my home – let’s say within Bethesda, Glen Echo, Cabin John or Chevy Chase, I am even willing to arrange to come pick up what you save for SFTW. If not, you may drop off packages of stamps at my house in Bethesda, near Glen Echo (contact me for address information) at your convenience.
This link displays the SFTW brochure. SFTW has been helping service men and women avoid boredom and isolation since 1942.
Saving stamps or envelopes with stamps on them should take very little time, and not consume much space – a small cardboard box labeled “Save Stamps for SFTW” in a corner or closet somewhere should do.
If you have time to trim the stamps from the envelope, instructions follow. If you do not have time, just toss envelopes into a cardboard box. We will find young volunteers to trim the envelopes, which reduces shipping costs to the veterans.
Other Donations to SFTW
SFTW can also use donations of unwanted stamp collections and philatelic supplies. Cash donations can also be used by the charity. Contact me if you have questions about donating. Cash donations are used to buy stamp albums, hinges, magnifiers, catalogues and accessories and help to cover the costs of delivering the stamps and supplies where they are needed.
All donations of cash, stamps, covers and stamp supplies are deductible. Make sure that I have your name and address if you make a donation and want a tax receipt.
Instructions for Trimming Stamps
- If the envelope has interesting cancellations or marking (e.g., “First Day of Issue” cancellation), do not cut it, save the entire piece intact.
- For best results, use scissors. You can simple tear around the stamps to remove them from envelopes. Take care not to damage the stamp if you are tearing.
- Leave at least a quarter-inch margin of paper around stamps from envelopes or packages.
- Do not try to peel, soak or steam the stamps from the envelope. This is part of the activity for the hospitalized collector.
- If you want to separate U.S. stamps from foreign stamps, that will be helpful. Please do not sort stamps by issue. Again, sorting stamps is part of the activity to keep the hospitalized collector engaged.