Almost everyone has heard about the financial trouble of the U.S. Postal Service, largely created by Congress when it passed a law demanding a pension plan funding no other entity in the economy has to deal with.
But many of you may not have heard about the annual "mail count" that started Feb. 22 and continues through March 7. That count documents how many letters, postcards and packages are delivered by rural mail carriers and ties their salary to the volume of mail.
This year, the Kansas Sampler Foundation has initiated a campaign urging people to send to rural residents. Every letter or package that rural carriers pick up or deliver provides them points. Their total points determine how much of a pay raise they get – or even punish them with a pay cut if the volume drops.
Kansas Sampler Foundation co-founder Marci Penner is encouraging people to mail out cards and letters to their rural friends during this all-important week. Packages count even more than letters, so if there is a package you have been meaning to get in the mail, do it before March 7.
Penner said it is important not to put a rubber band around letters to the same address because it only counts as one item if you do.
During this week, you can send a car or letter to Penner, simply saying you support the effort. Her address is 978 Arapaho Road, Inman, Ks. 67546.
Other rural residents who are soliciting mail in support of rural carriers include Marieta Hauser, 2847 South Road B, Johnson, Ks. 67855; Melvina Harvey, 2164 Road 2, Protection, Ks. 67127 and Mark and Lora Bain, RR1, Box 78, Brownell, Ks. 67521.
Penner says it is not just about helping rural mail carriers get better pay, it is also about letting them know they are not alone, that people out there care about them and appreciate the job they do.