I saw a post the other day where someone asked their postal carrier what they could do to help the USPS. The carrier replied “buy stamps”. This got me thinking.

I have a bunch of stickers made with my inkyDays drawings. I was planning on giving them out at upcoming Art and SciArt events. And then Covid happened.

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I want to support the USPS, even if it’s in a very small way. I can buy stamps, and mail the stickers to people.

Most of my correspondence has been only online for many years. I don’t have current mailing addresses for a lot of folks. So, I set up a google-form for people to send me their postal address and request a sticker. So far, it’s working alright, and I’ve already received a few requests and plan to send out my first batch this week.

With the intentional slow-down of mail delivery, we don’t know how long it will take for a parcel (be it an envelope with a sticker in it or a ballot) to arrive at it’s destination. Perhaps we can conduct a crowdsourced experiment. With this in mind, I’m recording when I take the envelopes to the post office and then asking folks to let me know when it arrives. If I get enough participants, and data, I’ll post the results.

This is a tiny project. It’s probably not going to make any difference. But it’s helping me get past my frustrations and start looking for bigger things to do.

I encourage you to find some small way to make a difference yourself. We may not be TikTok kids, but we can think of all sorts of little things.

Happy bonus! While looking up stamps to buy for this project, I saw that there is a fantastic new set of stamps coming out: Ruth Asawa and her art!

Update August 22, 2020

Since starting this project, participants have been letting me know when their sticker arrives and a small data set is taking shape.

I’ve also added a new option to the signup form, so that participants can indicate if they’d like me to include a stamped envelope so that we can track how long it takes for it to get to me from their local post office. Can we map the removal of sorting machines to our personal interactions in this project?

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Update Sept 16, 2020

I’m starting to publish in-progress updates on my Patreon. So, if you can’t wait until the project concludes, and I publish my finished report and charts, you can keep up with how the project is going and check out my updates there.

Data Visualization Consultant. Generative and Data Artist. Creative Coder. Founder of GalaxyGoo. http://kristinhenry.github.io/

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