The U.S. Postal Service is one of the oldest public institutions in the country. It’s self-funded and requires no taxpayer dollars for its operating expenses, instead relying on the sale of stamps and other products. It’s also legally mandated to serve every single community regardless of cost. Rain or shine, the USPS serves Americans in every ZIP code, delivering everything from postcards to veterans benefits and lifesaving medications.
The USPS has struggled financially in recent years, in large part due to a 2006 mandate that required it to pre-fund retiree health care costs 75 years in advance. The coronavirus pandemic has only accelerated the financial troubles faced by USPS; the vast majority of mail is sent by businesses, many of which halted operations. Without financial help from Congress, the agency could be bankrupt by next year.
Recently, President Donald Trump seemingly admitted that he is withholding funds from the USPS in order to hinder mail-in voting in November. That, along with alarming moves by Trump’s appointed postmaster general, prompted concerned citizens to flock to the USPS online store in hopes of giving the agency a financial boost. And there’s a whole lot more than just stamps for sale ― the USPS released a wide variety of products that had the internet shook. Among them was this rather fabulous crop top.
Not surprisingly, the top sold out quickly. We can only hope that it gets restocked soon. In the meantime, there are plenty more items still available from the USPS store and third parties that allow you to show your support for the postal service, financially and otherwise.
U.S. Mail Carrier Dog Costume
Halloween is coming up ― if you haven’t already picked the perfect costume for your dog, the USPS you covered. This mini mail carrier outfit is equal parts adorable and hilarious. Currently, only the extra small is available for $17.99.
There’s never been a better time to work on your magic skills. The USPS teamed up with magician Mac King to design The Art of Magic kit, which will help you learn five card tricks. The kit costs $34.95 and includes a set of The Art of Magic Forever stamps, which served as the inspiration.
3-D T. Rex Puzzle
If you’re looking for more quarantine activities, this 3-D puzzle should keep you occupied. It comes with a set of notecards and, of course, stamps. The set costs $16.95.
APWU Varsity Jacket
Crop tops are out, varsity jackets are in. This jacket offered by the American Postal Workers Union is one of many fashion-forward items it has for sale. It’ll run you a cool $50 ― a reasonable price to help save the Postal Service.
Retro Mr. Zip T-Shirt
Mr. Zip ― aka Zippy ― was a mascot used by the USPS in the ’60s to introduce the ZIP code system. Today he’s become synonymous with the dedication of postal workers, who trudge through rain and snow to ensure Americans receive their mail. This shirt from Tee Luv is officially licensed by the USPS and available from Walmart starting at $19.97.
USPS Face Masks
Show your support for the U.S. Postal Service from a safe distance with these handmade face masks. Proceeds don’t actually go to the USPS, but no one you see will miss your show of support. These masks come with a filter pocket and optional nose wire and adjustable ear straps. Pricing is $12 to $15 per mask, depending on customizations.
Email and texting may be the preferred modes of communication these days, but it’s still nice to receive a letter every now and then. Add a little flair to your mail with one of the many fun Forever Stamp collections, including Hot Wheels, the Tyrannosaurus Rex, frogs or my personal favorite, spooky silhouettes. A book of 20 stamps will run you $11.