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Day 51: Ms. Brennan, US Postmaster General

On this day in 1792, President George Washington signed the Postal Service Act which created the U.S. Postal Service and outlined the congressional power to establish mail routes. So, it seemed appropriate to write to our new Postmaster General. Megan Brennan took over the 500,000 employee organization on February 1st.


Day 51

Dear Ms. Brennan,

Congratulations on becoming the 74th, and first female, Postmaster General!

Today marks the 223rd anniversary of President George Washington signing the Postal Service Act into law and outlining the congressional power to establish mail routes in our country. In observance of this occasion, I took this opportunity to reflect on our postal system and the how it has changed in the recent years.

I’m just another one of your 300 million customers. That said, I’m responsible for generating at least one first class single piece mail item every day (you’re welcome). I know that’s not much when you consider the 513 million mail pieces that you deliver every day, but perhaps I can suggest a way to increase your first class single piece mail business.

Day 51I’ve committed to sending one handwritten letter every day for a year – you’re Day 51. Many people tell me that they have been inspired by my project to write more letters. This is a good thing for you. Now, my platform isn’t such that the ripples of my project alone are likely to make a noticeable difference for you, but from someone who specializes in helping organizations strategically use story to achieve business objectives, I see an opportunity for you to invest in nontraditional marketing efforts to fuel more of these kinds of endeavors. It’s not that Americans lack a desire to write and send letters, we lack inspiration. And inspiration can be created.

Just an idea. If you share my vision that an opportunity exists and want to explore this further, you know where to find me.

Reed Sandridge

PS. I grew up “down the road” from you in Mechanicsburg.

Day 40: Kimmy

I was a huge fan of the New York Mets when I was growing up. I have every baseball card made from 1984-1988 and a ton of memorabilia of the Mets. A hero of mine was Gary Carter who wore number 8 and played catcher for the Mets. I wrote to him as a kid and he wrote me back and sent me autographed card.

Gary Carter after winning the World Series in 1986. Photo: Newsday

Gary Carter after winning the World Series in 1986. Photo: Newsday

In May of 2011 Carter was diagnosed with an aggressive case of brain cancer known as glioblastoma multiforme. He lost his battle with cancer on February 16, 2012. The 57-year-old was married and had three adult children.

I had found Carter’s address a few years before he died, before he was diagnosed with cancer, and I thought I would write him a note to let him know how much I looked up to him as a young person. I put it off and sadly he died before I ever sent the letter.

As we get close to the anniversary of Carter’s passing I thought I would write his daughter Kimmy a note. I’ve struggled around the anniversary of my mother’s death and find comfort when people reach out to say something nice about her. Hopefully my letter to Kimmy will brighten her day to know how much I admired her father.

Year of Letters-6

Dear Kimmy,

As a kid, your father was my hero. I was 12 when he led the New York Mets to the 1986 World Series victory against the Boston Red Sox – in fact my Dad took me to the NLCS Game 5 where your father hit a single up the middle off of the Astros’ Charlie Kerfeld in the bottom of the 12th that scored Wally Backman to win the game. It was truly amazing.

As an adult, I learned about your father’s work ethic and unwavering character. His comments at the the 2003 Hall of Fame induction touched my heart.

I imagine that this time of year must be tough for you and your family but I hope that somehow it is comforting to know that he is remembered fondly by so many – not only as a Hall of Famer on the field, but as a role model off the field as well.

With warm regards,
Reed Sandridge