If any of you out there haven’t heard of the amazing work done by the Kansas Sampler Foundation, consider this your invitation to learn.
The Kansas Sampler Foundation is perhaps the best example of grassroots activism and community service in the whole country and its co-founder, Marci Penner has my vote year in and year for “Person of the Year” in Kansas.
The Foundation has a mission to support and promote rural Kansas communities and help them thrive. It is the force behind the annual Kansas Sampler Festival, which will be held this year and next in early May in Wamego.
This year, Marci has outdone herself in recognizing that Feb. 22 to March 7 is a critical time period – it is the time frame of the annual rural “mail count,” an event that literally determines the future of rural mail carriers across the country.
How many letters, post cards and packages get delivered to rural mail boxes and post offices in this time frame determine which rural carriers get a raise, which get a pay cut and which may even be out of a job.
Penner, through Kansas Sampler Foundation efforts such as E-Blasts and the regular newsletter, along with regular press releases and blog posts, has been encouraging people to send letters, cards and packages to rural friends across Kansas.
Regular updates tell the stories of the rural mail carriers and their families who benefit from the outpouring of mail. On Wednesday, Feb. 26, Penner reported getting 36 letters supporting her mail carrier and friend, Chris.
Penner says it isn’t just about the impact on salary; it’s about letting rural mail carriers know that they are not alone, that people care about them and support them.
There is one thing that I can say without doubt and with total conviction: There is not a person in Kansas who can ever accuse Marci Penner of not caring.