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Spring strength

Remembering 2020’s top stories

Linthicum Heights, MD, Letter Carrier Edward Amoako delivers mail in April.

The Postal Service demonstrated its indispensability during the spring as the coronavirus pandemic upended daily life across the United States.

Employees offered a lifeline to people who were quarantined at home, ensuring uninterrupted deliveries of medicine, supplies, checks and other essential mail and packages.

“People are depending on us,” said Joseph Kittles, a mail handler at the Northern Virginia Processing and Distribution Center in Merrifield.

The public demonstrated their appreciation throughout the April-June time frame by naming USPS the most popular federal government agency in a Pew Research Center poll and, in a Harris Poll survey, ranking the Postal Service first among all organizations in its response to the pandemic.

Customers also began leaving handwritten messages of gratitude at their mailboxes, a phenomenon that the Postal Service documented in a series of videos distributed on social media.

It was a time for milestones, too, including the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, which USPS marked with a new stamp, and the conclusion of an extended Combined Federal Campaign charity drive, which raised more than $6 million from Postal Service employees.

As spring drew to a close, Megan J. Brennan retired as Postmaster General, concluding a five-year tenure that was marked by significant improvements to the quality and range of services that USPS provides the public.

Her successor, Louis DeJoy, took the oath of office as the nation’s 75th Postmaster General, expressing optimism for the Postal Service’s future and appreciation for the organization’s employees.

“Together, we will put the Postal Service on a successful trajectory for generations to come,” DeJoy said during a ceremony at USPS headquarters in Washington, DC.

Coming next: Link’s four-part review of 2020 continues Dec. 29 with a look at summer activities.