The nation is battling Covid, and as a result people are suffering serious economic and social effects. Another effect is that some mail is not getting delivered in a timely way. Philadelphia Yearly Meeting (PYM) staff have seen mail delays affecting our grant disbursements and other checks we’ve sent out. We’ve also noticed that incoming mail to PYM at 1515 Cherry Street, Philadelphia has been delayed or has not reached PYM at all.
This month we learned that no Philadelphia-based bulk mail was processed from December 8th to the 19th. This specifically impacted our December appeal, a mailing that invites some 6,800 members of our faith community to support PYM with a gift. This appeal generates important financial support that helps keeps the lights on at PYM.
In addition to this holding of outgoing bulk mail, and slowing of first class mail delivery, we’ve also seen a much lower inflow of mail to PYM from Friends around the region.
The mail slowdown is not new; an exceptionally large number of mailed pieces went astray last summer. One Friend in Quakertown, NJ mailed an important correspondence to PYM at their local post office. This letter then took almost two months to make its way to PYM offices. Similar issues happened with correspondence sent within Philadelphia.
Due to high volumes of holiday mail, and increased Covid-related illness among postal workers, the distribution center that normally processes PYM’s large mailings in Philadelphia and the suburbs chose to not distribute our December 8th mailing. Instead, it held it. Here is what we finally learned from the post office this week:
Temporary Embargo of Destination Network Distribution Center (DNDC) Marketing Mail letters and DNDC/DFSS Marketing Mail flats (will be lifted) Saturday, December 19, 2020 at 09:00 AM
We expect that this is not the only time this will happen: future mailings may also be affected as the US Postal Service continues to face impediments to mail delivery.
What we sent/send via mail
Our December mailing is a colorful, seasonal piece. It offers an opportunity to make a contribution and a chance to share information about how members have been worshiping during the pandemic. It also asks Friends to tell us how they are doing.
Email is great, but there are many reasons we continue to send out paper mail:
- Friends tell us they like to have some print material mailed to them; they keep it on hand, and enjoy reading the PYM news, information, and stories.
- Not all Friends have internet, computers, or cell phones. Some have email, but do not enjoy the email experience. Many report they prefer time away from screens, and enjoy an opportunity to be reflective by holding print piece in their hands and spending time reading and considering it. We try to honor all preferences.
- While we do not automatically email Friends, we do send the weekly PYM News and Events email (each Thursday) to 2800 Friends who’ve chosen to receive it. We invite you to subscribe if digital communication is something you enjoy, but we also understand that everyone is different and some people really want to receive communication in print formats.
- We continue to mail newsletters, publicity postcards for key events, and three fundraising appeals each year (December, Spring and September). More than 2/3 of our donations come by mail. That generosity helps keep PYM going.
December is a time of giving, and about 300 gifts come in during this critical month. Each donation has impact and all of our supporters are important to PYM. The financial support allows us to continue our work at PYM, and it’s greatly appreciated.
If you normally give at this time of year and have not done so yet, you can give most efficiently online at www.pym.org/nurture
If you cannot give at this time – please don’t worry. Stay well, and know we support you in your decision-making.
If you want to mail a check, please make it out to Philadelphia Yearly Meeting. Write “Annual Fund gift” in the memo line. Mail it to: PYM Development Office, 1515 Cherry Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102
You can learn about tax-wise giving strategies in this recently published PYM article.
Our Philosophy on Giving
It helps grow faith when people give, but we also understand that intentions to give are tied to resources. If a Friend cannot make a gift today, we understand.
It’s very helpful when all Friends are generous. The generosity of many is powerful and builds a sense of equality in that all are invested in lifting up our faith. Gifts of all amounts are valued and cherished.
Quakers have always engaged in raising funds for a purpose; our minute books show these as subscriptions for schools and campaigns to raise funds for Meetinghouses. Old Kennett Meeting, an historic meetinghouse and peaceful worship space that opens each summer, was built of the rocks and timber Friends personally gathered and harvested from their wood lots.
By giving as they are able, Friends today can likewise help sustain our faith for future generations.