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Postcrossing Blog

News, updates, and all kinds of goodies and stories from the postal world!

Posts tagged "charity"

If you’re anything like me, you cannot bear the thought of throwing stamps away — not even used ones. Luckily, there are many organizations out there that collect them to finance good causes or bring awareness to important issues. Today we’re choosing to highlight one of them that was brought to our attention by Charlotte (aka maxcat1) from the USA.

The students at Foxborough Regional Charter School in Massachusetts have a longterm project called the “Holocaust Stamp Project”, through which they are attempting to collect 11 million cancelled postage stamps. You can probably guess why such a big number, but we’ll let them explain in their own words:

Each stamp that is collected symbolizes one wasted life, “thrown away” as having no value, much the same way as an envelope bearing a cancelled stamp postage stamp is tossed in the trash.

Begun in 2009, the Holocaust Stamps Project is a component of community service learning (CSL), at Foxborough Regional Charter School. It is a unique educational initiative that provides opportunities for students to gain a deeper understanding of how important it is to demonstrate acceptance, tolerance, and respect for diversity in their own daily lives.

The goal is to collect 11,000,000 postage stamps as a way to symbolically honor every victim of the Holocaust. Students and community volunteers trim and count the thousands of stamps that arrive daily from across the country and the world. The wide range of themes depicted – people, world history, places, flora and fauna, inventions, ideas, and values – leads to discussions about what makes our diverse world so special.

Eleven million is an unfathomable number.

According to the last update from May 2nd 2017, over 9 million stamps have already been collected, so they’re well on their way to reaching the goal they’ve set.

FRCS Holocaust Stamp Project

Over the years, classes have been using the stamps to craft meticulous collages showcasing certain aspects of the holocaust. The resulting pieces of art are a thoughtful reflection of the lessons learned from this dark period of humanity’s history, from the viewpoint of the students.

So… care to send them your old stamps and help build a more tolerant and inclusive future for everyone? Put them on an envelope (preferably with a count of how many you’re sending) and mail them to:

Holocaust Stamp Project
Foxborough Regional Charter School
131 Central Street
Foxboro, MA 02035
USA

Feel free to include a message of encouragement too, if you’d like — I’m sure it’ll be appreciated. And if you know of other worthy causes, please share them in the comments! 😊

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Receiving lots of mail definitely has its perks, and one of them is all the pretty stamps you get from all over the world. I carefully cut them off envelopes and end up stashing them somewhere, waiting for that one person who collects stamps, or for the inspiration for a crafty project to strike. Sadly, most of the time they just end up forgotten, waiting for Marie Kondo to come around and ask whether they spark joy…

Bethel stamp initiative

But they can bring joy! Patrick (aka patric) from Germany brought Bethel’s stamp initiative to our attention and we wanted to share it with you, in case you’d like to make your stamps work for a good cause. Here’s Patrick, explaining the concept:

Some time ago, I became aware of the Bethel charity here in Germany. They have a simple concept: the charity employs 125 adults with different handicaps. Members of the public make donations by sending in stamps. New stamps, old stamps, German stamps, foreign stamps… The workers there open the incoming mail and sort the different types of stamps into categories. These are then weighed and put into packages and are sold to dealers and collectors. Because of the stamps being sold by weight, they have the name “kiloware”. Believe it or not, the charity gets 400 shipments a day! That is 29 tons a year!"

Simple, right? You too can help Bethel thrive! Make a pile of stamps, or set up a collection box in your office or somewhere people might contribute. When it’s full, send it to:

Briefmarkenstelle Bethel
Quellenhofweg 25
33617 Bielefeld
GERMANY

And that’s it! Bringing joy and cleaning up in one fell swoop… Marie Kondo would be proud!

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