While email and text may now dominate our daily communications, Christmas is a time when the good old-fashioned mail comes back to the fore. Millions upon millions of Christmas cards arrive on our doormats, both from the UK and all over the world, and each will be accompanied by a stamp.
But what to do with these stamps afterwards? For many of us, be we collectors or not, simply throwing them away feels an alien concept. Many of us will have childhood memories of stamp appeals on programmes such as Blue Peter, raising much-needed funds for charity.
Do such appeals still exist?
The answer is very much yes. Scores of charities still use stamps as a source of vital funds. And they are out there in the sack-load.
The RNIB, for instance, uses stamps to enable more people with sight loss issues to access the information, support and advice they need. The charity offers a downloadable poster to advertise a collection. Stamps are sold by weight and raise the charity £20 per kilogram, providing them with one of the easiest ways to raise money.
Hearing Dogs For Deaf People, meanwhile, offer envelopes and boxes for collections to be made both personally and in office spaces. Some charities will even pick these boxes up.
What happens to the stamps?
Stamps are generally sold on to collectors, but care must be taken to make the stamp viable. Don’t just rip it from the envelope or attempt to peel it off, rather remove a small area of paper with the stamp on it. For a stamp to have any value it must be undamaged.
If you have a favourite charity, it’s worth having a quick check online to see if they have a stamp collection initiative – many do and they run all year round.
A time of goodwill
Christmas is a time of goodwill. Why throw stamps in the bin when they could be doing untold good for charities struggling for money?
Stick them in an envelope and see what good they can do!