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The World of Stamp Collecting

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Stamp Collecting Fun: A Beginners Guide





National Stamp Collecting Month Ideas!

Celebrating National Stamp Collecting Month in your local Community By Phil A. Telic, for the Membership Committee of the American Philatelic Society

Document in Printable format

We have put these ideas together because we believe that every stamp collector in the United States has the ability to reach out into his/her hometown community to bring October’s National Stamp Collecting Month (NSCM) into your town. These ideas are here to spark your own creativity, as each can be implemented in a myriad of ways. We would be honored to add your idea(s) to this ever growing list.

Start everything you think about and do with the Universal Pitch that “Stamp Collecting is easy, it’s fun, it’s educational and it’s inexpensive…sometimes even free!”

Local Post Office - Start with your local post office and its officer-in-charge (who may still be called Postmaster in your PO). Visit with the OIC/PM of your local post office in August or September, introduce yourself, explain that you are a MEMBER of the American Philatelic Society, and that you wanted to VOLUNTEER to help the (Your Town) Post Office celebrate National Stamp Collecting from October 1 through October 31 every year.

Walk the lobby and public area of the PO, and present a document you have previously prepared prior to the visit which explains the kind of displays you want to install for the month of October. Stress that he/she will be receiving information about NSCM via the Postal Bulletin sometime in September (very late!!!)

Use your phone or iPad to show him/her some of the 8.5 x 11 posters you will order for the lobby displays. These posters are available to you at www.stamps.org/NSCMposters. Explain that while you would love to exhibit “real US stamps,” for security all of your pages will be fine color copies.

Local Public Library - The next best place to work with is your local Public Library. In the best of all possible worlds (which isn’t easy), arrange to meet with the Librarian and the OIC to introduce them both to the concept of celebrating NSCM together. This meeting should take place during the summer. (Please see the video on You Tube entitled “South Orange Public Library Celebrates Stamp Collecting Month 2013” The purpose of this video is to show how many different ways you can create displays in a library setting.

Local Merchants - Work with your local merchants. Visit with your local retail shops and ask them to give you some counter space or better, window space during the month of October. The following are examples of accumulations recently found on eBay.

50 “Jewelry on Stamps” for $3.50,
100 “Dogs on Stamps” for $4.50.
50 “Doctors & Medicine Stamps for $6.50

After getting agreement from the merchant that you can place a “Name of Business” loves “National Stamp Collecting Month” display, order the stamps on eBay, mount them neatly on 8 ½ by 11 black clear acetate stock cards, along with some text and very clear ways to get more information www.learnaboutstamps.com.

Local Veterinarian - Visit your local Veterinarian Office/Clinic/Hospital. Present them with a stock card of five beautiful dogs and five beautiful cats on stamps. Have the name of the Clinic/Doctors on the stock card, and the statement that at “Dr. (Name of Doctor) Office cats and dogs have our stamp of approval.” Present it as a frameable gift with the small tag line for more information about stamp collecting, go to www.learnaboutstamps.com.

Suggest that you and a fellow collector would be happy to run a contest for all of their patients in the month of October. Choose two of the cat stamps and two of the dog stamps, or all five; and run a contest for all patients: “We are looking for the dog that looks most like the dog/cat on one of these stamps!” Prize for the winning cat — winning dog will be ------.

Local Hospital - Visit with your local Hospital’s Pediatric Director. Explain that you and a number of your fellow stamp collectors want to volunteer for two Saturdays and two Sundays in the month of October in celebration of National Stamp Collecting Month. Have signs posted on bulletin board that you are inviting the young patients to join you in room #----- to receive 100 free stamps for collectors, and information on how to start a postage stamp collection. Work with the Volunteer Director of the Hospital to find out what safety and health protocols you will need to follow in order to accomplish this.

Assisted Living Facility - Visit with the Director of your local Assisted Living Facility. Show them Wade Saadi’s article on National Stamp Collecting. (www.stamps.org/userfiles/ file/AP/president/President1012.pdf). Suggest that you and your fellow stamp club members want to come in every Wednesday in the month of October and have as many residents as possible attend your “collecting postage stamps” demonstration. Request beginner packets from Mystic Stamp Company and develop a schedule for which you will be present each week, which can be posted on bulletin boards throughout the facility.

Local Shopping Mall - Visit with the Marketing Director of your local Shopping Mall. Present him/ her with Wade Saadi’s article about National Stamp Collecting Month (see 6.) and suggest that you and your fellow stamp club members can install a unique display in some of their locked showcases during the month of October. Order “learnaboutstamps.com” bookmarks and “How to Collect Stamps” flyers from the APS Education Department at Education@stamps.org.

Local Museum/Art Gallery - Contact a local museum and/or art gallery. Make an appointment with the Director and bring a pane of the Hudson River School art stamps issued on August 21, 2014. Tell them you would like to plan a special afternoon at the museum or gallery the first week in October, to observe NSCM, sponsored by the USPS, and promote “Art on Stamps”. Invite the local postmaster to kick off the event by presenting a special (Your City) Debut of the Hudson River Art Stamps to the museum’s director and curator. Have a display of all United States stamps featuring great art. Lemonade and cookies always works.

Local Offices - Organize National Stamp Collecting Displays in the lobby of local office buildings; ask for permission to mount one page in each elevator car in the building. Banks are particularly hospitable to NSCM displays, and you can use “Google Images” to create a one or two page display for banks with all of the US stamps that have had banks, banking or money on them. Again, always with the cut line of where to get additional information about stamp collecting.

Local Arts Program - Have a local arts program or arts school run a contest for grade school children to design a postage stamp that tells the story of what kids think about collecting postage stamps. Make sure all entries are on display, and a jury to award the best art. Pick any topic for the subject of the stamp design that floats your boat, or better, appeals to the institution you are partnering with. (e.g. a children’s hospital’s wellness program on obesity; and the YMCA Children’s Arts program on fitness, etc.)

Local Motel or Hotel - Visit with your local hometown Motel or Hotel Manager and offer to provide a packet of 25 stamps and an Intro Brochure to each guest checking in during the month of October. Include a special welcome to our town note from our town stamp club.

Local Elementary School - Visit with the principal of your local elementary school and offer to install posters in the school and talk to classes of kids about stamp collecting. Give them each a small packet of stamps. While there, introduce the principal and teachers to the APS Stamps Teach program.


Valuable Resources

One of the most valuable resources is www.learnaboutstamps.com

The Smithsonian National Postal Museum’s website at www.postalmuseum.si.edu/ and their unique Arago site at arago.si.edu/ bring the world of stamp collecting to your computer screen. Start your first stamp collection by creating your virtual stamp album at the Arago site… it’s so much fun!

The American Philatelic Society, through its Young Stamp Collectors of America Program (www.stamps.org/YSCA) offers a once a month interactive virtual stamp club meeting that you can attend in the comfort of your own home.

Just for Kids at www.stamps.org/Young-Collectors is an excellent resource for Collecting Tips, Activities (free for the printing), Did You Know?, and Clubs and Links.

Thank you for whatever promotional steps and programs you choose to initiate. Please be sure to tell us about them so that we may share your programs and ideas with others.
For more information, or if you have any questions, please write to me,
Phil, at membershipcommitte@stamps.org.

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