Are You Missing the U.S. Semi-Postal Stamps?
Semi-postal stamps are issued to serve a double purpose. Priced higher than regular postage, they pay the current postal rate, but they also contribute a portion of their cost to a charitable cause.
In 1997, the U.S. Congress enacted a bill authorizing the Postal Service to issue the first US Semi-Postal stamp in 1998, to benefit breast-cancer research. Discover the six US semi-postals and their important causes below:
Breast Cancer Research – 32¢ + 8¢, when issued: Breast cancer claims the life of one woman every 12 minutes in the United States, and more than 2.6 million women are living with the disease. One out of eight women are expected to develop breast cancer by the age of 80. In recognition of these statistics, the US Postal Service issued the first stamp in its history to have its proceeds earmarked for research organizations.
The Stamp Out Breast Cancer Act, which was signed into law on August 13, 1997, by President Bill Clinton, directed the Postal Service to create a special first-class postage stamp. This issue could be priced at 25 percent above regular first-class rates. Seventy percent of the value above the postal rate was for the National Institute of Health, and 30 percent for medical research by the Department of Defense.
Heroes of 2001 – 34¢ + 11¢, when issued: Before September 11, 2001, the most New York City firefighters to have died in a single disaster was twelve. The terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center claimed the lives of over 300 firefighters. At the stamp’s unveiling, Postmaster General John E. Potter said, “The Postal Service is proud to honor the men and women who gave their all in the rescue efforts following the terrorist attacks of September 11th.”
This second US semi-postal stamp is valid for first-class postage at the current rate. The stamp price includes a portion that goes to the Federal Emergency Management Agency to assist the families of emergency personnel killed or permanently disabled during the September 11, 2001, attacks.
Stop Family Violence – 37¢ + 8¢, when issued: Funds raised by the sale of this stamp were directed to the Department of Health and Human Services to support domestic violence programs, in accordance with the provisions of the Stamp Out Domestic Violence Act of 2001.
Domestic violence is a serious crime that often results in serious injury, even death. In addition, child abuse is also present in over half the households where violence occurs between the adults. Even when they are not physically harmed, children suffer emotionally from witnessing such violence. The artwork on this stamp is a child’s drawing of the sadness caused by domestic violence.
Save Vanishing Species – 44¢ + 11¢, when issued in 2011: The Multinational Species Conservation Funds Semipostal Stamp Act of 2010 allowed for the creation of America’s fourth semi-postal stamp. The net proceeds from the sale of the stamp go to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to support the following funds: African Elephant Conservation Fund, Asian Elephant Conservation Fund, Great Ape Conservation Fund, Rhinoceros and Tiger Conservation Fund, and Marine Turtle Conservation Fund. The stamp pictures an Amur tiger cub.
Breast Cancer Research – 49¢ + 11¢: Between its original issue date in 1998 and June 2014, the Breast Cancer Research stamp raised over $78.9 million. Its reissue in 2014 continued to benefit the cause. Seventy percent of the net amount raised goes to the National Institutes of Health and 30% is given to the Department of Defense’s Medical Research Program. The 2014 stamp features the same design as the original issue, but was produced using offset printing.
Alzheimer’s Disease – 49¢ + 11¢: The USPS announced a new 10-year semi-postal program with the release of the Alzheimer’s stamp. It has the same design as the 2008 Alzheimer’s Awareness stamp, but with the woman facing right on the new Semi-Postal instead of left. President Ronald Reagan declared November National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month in 1983, so it’s only fitting the 2017 stamp’s First Day of Issue was in November. Proceeds from the Alzheimer’s Semi-Postal went to the US Department of Health and Human Services.