I began my employment with Good Neighbor in July 2018. In the first few days when I had to send a letter, I found two small glassine envelopes with US postage stamps in them. Combining one stamp from each envelope added up to the current first class postage. I placed two stamps on the letter and sent it off, thinking it a bit odd that a business organization such as ours was using old stamps for postage. Later, I found the stash of current first class stamps, so put the small envelopes back in the desk drawer.
A few weeks later, as I was sorting and organizing everything in every drawer in the office, I found these glassine envelopes filled with stamps all over the place. there were literally thousands of stamps, usually bundled in groups that would add up to whatever the current postage was. I was not surprised when we received two more deliveries of stamps, anonymously through our front porch mail slot, in the next few months.
Some of the stamps looked very old and possibly valuable. I did what any person would do, I took them all home and spent a few evenings sorting through them, then Googling, to see if they were valuable. I realized that valuing the stamps was beyond a few nights on the internet, so I asked a collector friend to look at them.
In the mean time, I was asking people involved in Good Neighbor – volunteers and board member – if they knew who the donor was. Nope. No one did. This was a truly an anonymous donation.
The professional stamp collector reviewed that stamps and came back with this report: While there were several old stamps in the donations, none of them were rare or valuable. In fact, some of the stamps were not worth the value printed on them, to stamp collectors that is.
I did learn that no matter how old they were, the US Postal Service did have to honor them if glued to an envelope. So, beginning in September 2019, most of the letters and checks sent from Good Neighbor for thank yous, bills, and assistance had 2-4 stamps on them.
Recently, we sent out our end of the year thank you and appeal letters using this stash of old stamps. One of our volunteers, Vivian, spent hours putting the stamps on the letters. As you can see in the pictures, this made for a festive and meaning-filled mailing.
I am not asking for anyone to reveal themselves or anyone they know as the stamp donor – unless the person themselves wants to share their identity with me. I like a bit of non-dramatic mystery in life. Sorting stamp has been a joyous occupation while wondering who and what the circumstances of the donation could be.
Thank you R. Stamp Donor. Your gift is appreciated.