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Offices put their mark on Valentine’s Day

Don Spillman, a volunteer for the Loveland, CO, Post Office’s Valentine’s Day postmark program, stamps his first letter at the recent kickoff ceremony.

The Loveland, CO, Post Office hearts Valentine’s Day — big time.

The office operates a program that allows customers from around the world to send pre-addressed Valentine’s Day cards and letters to Loveland to receive the city’s heart-shaped postmark before the pieces are mailed to spouses, sweethearts and others.

More than 110,000 cards and letters receive the postmark, which is applied by dozens of volunteers from the community.

“I think we have a lot of love in this world, and this is a great way of passing it on,” said Jeanne Perrine, a postal retiree who now volunteers for the program.

Loveland’s program, which began in 1947, is billed as the largest of its kind. Other communities across the nation — including Romeo, MI; Juliette, GA; and Bliss, NY — also offer special postmarks for Valentine’s Day.

In addition to promoting mail, the postmarks allow the Post Offices to strengthen their community ties.

For example, the Valentine, TX, Post Office, about 160 miles southeast of El Paso, receives about 12,000 requests annually for its pictorial postmark, which is selected from a design contest held each year with local schoolchildren.

“In this age of automation, it is very fulfilling to be the person who adds a human hand-stamped touch of love to valentines going all over the country and abroad to that special someone,” said Valentine Postmaster Ismelda Ornelas.

Likewise, Loveland, located about 46 miles north of Denver, introduces its postmark each year at a kickoff event that serves as a warm-up for the Sweetheart Festival, which the city holds every Valentine’s Day.

At this year’s kickoff event, volunteers applied the postmark to the first batch of mailpieces.

Additionally, a brief poem was stamped on the pieces: “Dan Cupid continues to play his part — though he doesn’t text or tweet — he knows a Loveland Valentine is a sweeter treat.”

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