Political Issues

The USPS Is an Essential Wellness Service—Here’s How To Support It

Kells McPhillips

Kells McPhillipsAugust 17, 2020

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Photo: Getty Images/Maskot

The United States Postal Service employs more than 600,000 workers nationwide and delivers almost 50 percent of all mail, and yet most Americans take it for granted. At face value, it’s hard to see the USPS as a wellness service that helps countless people send and receive items that truly contribute to their well-being. And given that the Trump administration continues to threaten its functionality, it’s now more important than ever to fight to keep its doors open.

If you’re not convinced that the USPS contributes to anyone’s health, consider these stats: About 20 percent of people receive their medications exclusively via mail (a number that has likely increased during the pandemic). On the second Saturday of every May, the union that mail carriers belong to, the National Association of Letter Carriers, puts on the “Stamp Out Food Drive,” which is the single largest food drive in the nation that contributes to food pantries, shelters, and banks. And, in a politically charged year like 2020—in which both a general election and a pandemic have created a special need for mail-in ballots—the USPS will be tasked with protecting your right to vote.

In any other year, the latter point would be an important one—but it’s especially true in 2020, when the sitting president openly admits to blocking funding in order to undermine the USPS’s ability handle mail-in ballots. The right to cast a ballot is one that’s been hard-fought in American history, particularly for Black, Indigenous, and people of color, women, and the LGBTQ+ community. Voting isn’t just about the candidate; it’s about the set of morals, beliefs, and policy proposals attached to them. Mailing in your ballot this year could be the difference between electing someone who cares for your mental and physical health through policy—and someone who doesn’t. So make no mistake: voting by mail is a major wellness opportunity this year.

If you want to support the USPS in the coming months, you can text USPS to 50409 and they’ll send along letters that you can copy/paste and mail to your representatives. Purchasing stamps, envelopes, boxes, and other USPS items can also help to keep it open (since the post office doesn’t receive its funding from tax dollars). And, finally, you can support fundraisers that are gathering money to help keep the USPS in business.

Remember: What you do to save the USPS now will impact this election and every single one that comes after it.

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