HOISINGTON — Raising awareness is a crucial step in finding a cure for diseases like breast cancer, because without it a lot of research would go unfinished. With the help of some local people the fight to finding a cure for breast cancer can march forward with great stride.
During October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Hoisington Post Office sold 2,712 Breast Cancer Research semi-postal fundraising stamps, ranking it 13th among the nearly 1,000 post offices in the Central Plains District, which includes all of Nebraska, most of Kansas, and southwest Iowa.
“Our customers are the best,” Hoisington Postmaster Rebecca Espinosa said. “They have turned the simple act of purchasing postage stamps into a meaningful and effective way to participate in the fight against breast cancer.”
The post office set a goal to sell one stamp for every person that lives in Hoisington, which is 2,706 according to the most recent census. With the help of the support group the post office surpassed that goal by six stamps.
“As a group here in Hoisington we really wanted to do something for the community,” Espinosa said. “And after talking with the employees and with October being Breast Cancer Awareness month, we decided with our breast cancer research stamp that it would be a good opportunity to get more involved with the community and do something positive.”
The post office teamed up with a local support group called Breast Friends. The effort was so successful, members hope it can be done every year and perhaps more communities will get involved.
“We have had great response from the community and from our employees, so we plan on raising our goal next year and making it even better to raise even more awareness for this cause,” Espinosa said.
According to Espinosa, the amount the Postal Service contributes to Breast Cancer research is determined by the difference between the First-Class rate in effect at the time of purchase (currently 47 cents) and the 60-cent purchase price, minus a nominal amount to offset costs incurred by the Postal Service.
The distribution of the Postal Service contribution is specified by law, with 70 percent given to the National Institutes of Health and the remainder to the Medical Research Program at the Department of Defense. As of October 2016, the sale of more than 1 billion stamps since its 1998 inception has raised more than $83 million for breast cancer research.
“The Postal Service has a proud tradition of issuing stamps to help raise awareness of social issues. The Breast Cancer Research semi-postal stamp takes this wonderful tradition a step further by providing funds for a worthy cause.” Espinosa said. “We encourage everyone to purchase and use the Breast Cancer Research semi-postal stamp on their cards and letters.”
The semi-postal stamp was designed by Ethel Kessler, a breast cancer survivor in Bethesda, Maryland, and was illustrated by Whitney Sherman of Baltimore, Maryland.
Customers can purchase Breast Cancer Research semi-postal stamps all year long at their local Post Office.