18 Not So Obvious Ways the Post Office Helps Americans

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For all the talk about the issues that divide Americans, there are still institutions that tie this vast nation together, and the United States Postal Service is one of them. Besides delivering mail, you might be surprised at the things the USPS does for us.

To compile a list of 18 direct and indirect services the US Postal Service provides to Americans, 24/7 Tempo reviewed fact pages and other information on the official USPS website. 

The USPS has connected Americans even before there was an America. The predecessor of our mail-delivery service was founded in 1775; Ben Franklin was its first postmaster general. (The USPS, an independent government agency, dates only from 1971, when it succeeded the U.S. Post Office Department.) You might be surprised at the age of the oldest post office in every state.

The agency is bound by what is called a universal service obligation. This requirement ensures that the USPS provides mail services to everyone, regardless of where they live, and for at least one mail product, at a uniform price. This is why you get mail six days a week.

Mostly self-funded, the USPS processes and delivers 167.3 million pieces of first-class mail every day, thanks to 74,000 letter carriers (who fended off 5,448 attacks from dogs in 2021; these are the cities where postal workers get attacked by dogs most often). 

Besides delivering the mail, the USPS has law-enforcement responsibilities that include interdicting illegal drugs, protecting military veterans from scams, upholding the integrity of mail-in voting, and helping people copyright their work. 

The USPS also is trying to set an example for moving into a more sustainable world by reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 25% by 2025.

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