Breast cancer stamp increases awareness, research revenues |

Breast cancer stamp increases awareness, research revenues

Susan Wood

People have apparently warmed up to the idea of giving back to the community when they’re sending mail.

The Breast Cancer Research Stamp has hit a milestone, raising $20 million nationally for research on the dreaded disease. It went on sale in August 1998. It’s still available for 40 cents. Six of those cents are earmarked to the cause.

The popular stamp is the first in U.S. history dedicated to raising funds for a special cause. More than 280 million have been sold. That’s the equivalent of the U.S. population.

“It’s very popular with probably 10 percent of our customers. They like the idea of being able to contribute in an easy way,” Twin Bridges Postmaster Alison Leonesio said Wednesday. “The post office has perceived it as a success.”

“This historic stamp has been a rousing success as so many Americans have contributed to this special cause,” U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said.

The stamp was the result of legislation authored by Feinstein in 1997, and the Golden State has contributed one-fifth of the amount raised. The law was reauthorized by U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas.

The funds raised from the stamp are channeled to breast cancer research programs at the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Defense.

“Each time we use the stamp – not only do we raise additional funds for research – we send a message of hope that we will find a cure,” Feinstein stated. “The bottom line is that every dollar we continue to raise will save lives.

Leonesio wants to remind stamp buyers that purchases can be made by telephone. If a buyer calls the post office in advance and agrees to leave a check for the amount in the mail box, the mail carrier will drop the stamps off.

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