Stamp collection aids cancer patients

Order of the Easter Star chapters across the province collect stamps as a fundraiser.

OES stamp collection fundraiser depends on public donations of stamps and other items.

Stamps are used less and less in business and personal communication but they still play a vital role in fundraising for the Order of the Eastern Star.

Since 1954, members from all chapters across B.C. have collected stamps, postcards, pre-stamped post office envelopes and dogsled mail run envelopes, which are then delivered to the stamp committee in Vancouver for further sorting and evaluation.

“Money raised from this fundraiser purchases materials for the making of cancer dressings,” OES’s Lynn Schwehr said.

“The dressings we create are sent to the cancer centre in Prince George.”

Any extra money is sent directly to cancer research, she added.

From 1954 – 2013, stamp collection has raised $435,013.14.

Although Schwehr doesn’t know exactly how much Cariboo Champter 71 has raised, she said on average they collect between 11 – 12 pounds of stamps per year.

The amount of money raised provincially dropped from $12,736.28 in 2001 to $8,439.26 in 2013 and Schwehr said this was in large part to the decrease in the use of stamps and postal delivery in general.

“Christmas is still a boom in stamp donations thanks in part to the continued practice of sending Christmas cards,” she said.

“However, the bulk of Quesnel’s collecting is thanks to local businesses who faithfully collect used stamps and call me to pick them up.”

Schwehr is asking local residents to consider collecting used stamps and dropping them off at any of the three locations around town.

The locations include Quesnel Cariboo Observer, the new Canadian Cancer Society office in the new Fireside Heating Building at the top of Dragon Lake Hill or at K-MAX on Reid Street.

“We depend on the public saving and donating stamps, so we are able to supply cancer dressings for patients,” Schwehr said.

OES also collects UPC codes from Campbell’s Soup labels which can also be dropped off at any of the three local boxes.

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