Making holidays bright at the post office

Making holidays bright at the post office

by Stacy Roman
Stripes Europe

The gift giving season is upon us. With so many shopping restrictions in place this year, more and more shoppers are turning to online storefronts for their seasonal buying. With an uptick in internet sales comes a related uptick in mail volume. While we are busy decking the halls, the mail warriors in the overseas mailrooms are gearing up for what is arguably the busiest time of year. Every year, thousands of packages are sent to APOs and FPOs around the globe. This year will prove to be an exceptionally busy time thanks to the current pandemic. How can we help our brethren at the post office? Volunteer.

What it entails

Volunteering at the post office is actually a lot of fun — my family does it every year during the holidays, including on Christmas Eve. Volunteers often work in small shifts — most places will take whatever time you’re willing to give. You’ll be given a short briefing on the rules and expectations before you begin. Once you’ve been given the rundown, postal workers will assign different duties. Most often, volunteers will help unload the trucks, sort the packages and letters, pitch mail into individual boxes and deliver packages to customers at the parcel window.

How do I volunteer?

Signing up to be one of Santa’s mail helpers is easy! Many post offices will advertise a need for volunteers during this time of year. You can go into the office and inquire, send them an email or give them a call. Some organizations have been advertising online with scannable QR codes to SignUpGenius forms. Because of the ongoing pandemic, time slots may be limited in quantity in order to adhere to host nation and base guidelines.

Can my kids volunteer?

Because of the potential risks involved, young children are not allowed in the mailrooms. However, older teens may be able to volunteer with parental supervision. If your child needs community service hours for school organizations, it’s a great way to help fulfill those requirements. Be sure to contact your local post office for age restrictions before signing up.

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