special delivery: how to celebrate postal worker day

Courtney Takabayashi
Megan Wakayama
June 24, 2024

Rain or shine, our postal workers ensure that homes and businesses across the nation receive their mail. At HMSA, we value this dedicated workforce. We talked to Kehau Giles, AVP, Strategic Executive Office, and Angie Mizushima, senior manager, Commercial Program Office, about the U.S. Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM) new Postal Service Health Benefits Program for Postal Service employees, annuitants, and their families. And in honor of Postal Worker Day, we have some fun ideas to say mahalo on this special day and throughout the year.

Taking care of those who take care of us
Before the era of emails and social media, the United States Postal Service (USPS) kept us connected. “Living in Hawaii, we know there’s going to be extra steps when it comes to receiving our mail,” says Giles. “And the postal service has always been there for us. That’s why when HMSA was given an opportunity to participate in the new program, the question wasn’t ‘Should we?’ it was, ‘How do we make this happen?’”

The Postal Service Reform Act of 2022 created a Postal Service Health Benefits program unique to postal workers that goes into effect in 2025. “HMSA has been conditionally approved to participate so that we can continue to take care of our postal service members. This was a very thoughtful decision made by our executive leadership,” Mizushima says. “And we’re working to make sure the transition goes as smoothly as possible.”

During the pandemic, we relied on USPS and other delivery services to bring us everything from masks and hand sanitizer to toilet paper and cleaning supplies. “In 2020, the world changed, and USPS was able to adapt,” Giles says. “They’re in our neighborhoods, early in the morning to late at night, six to seven days a week, tirelessly making deliveries. Offering this new plan was a way for HMSA to thank our postal workers and let them know we appreciate them.”

For more information about the Postal Service Health Benefit program, visit their website.

Ways to say “mahalo”
July 1 is Postal Worker Day. Here are a few ways you can show your appreciation. Please keep the USPS ethics guidelines in mind:

Gifts postal workers can’t accept

  • Cash or cash equivalents such as money orders, checks, Visa or American Express gift cards, etc.
  • A retail gift card with a value over $20.
  • Tickets to sporting events with a value over $20.
  • Any other item worth more than $20.

Gifts postal workers can accept

  • A greeting card.
  • A retail gift card valued at $20 or less.
  • Modest food items, such as a cup of coffee, donut, or an appetizer not offered as a part of a meal.
  • Any other non-cash item valued at $20 or less.

We created a template of printables so you can say "mahalo" to your favorite postal worker now and any time of the year! 

On page 1 of the template, we have two options for you. One in color and one your keiki can color in. If you want, you can write a personalized note on the back of the card.

On page 2 of the template, you’ll find a few gift tag options. Go wild!

You can attach the gift tag to a small gift (valued at $20 or less!). 

On page 3 of the template is a keiki activity. They can draw a picture for their favorite postal worker, write a thank you note, or both! 

Pets can show their appreciation, too! 

This idea was inspired by Tina Sybinsky, an HMSA senior plans sales consultant. She and her sister leave out snacks and cool drinks for delivery drivers. “At the height of the pandemic, our postal workers and other delivery carriers were working overtime and putting themselves at risk to bring us our mail and packages,” she says. “We wanted a way to show them our appreciation and the snack basket was our small way of saying thank you.”

As a result of countless positive interactions throughout the years, Sybinsky has always held postal workers in high esteem. “They’re an integral part of our society,” she says. “USPS delivers six days a week, sometimes even on Sundays, braving the weather to get us items as important as medications and as uplifting as birthday cards from old friends.”

On page 4 of the template, you’ll see a sign you can print out to let delivery drivers know the snacks are for them.

A big mahalo to our hard-working postal workers! 

More crafty ideas
In the mood for gratitude? Here are more ways to show thanks to anyone special in your life.

diy bunny crayons – These adorable crayons are great for class gifts. It’s also a good way to give new life to broken crayons.

floral lei alternatives – Instead of using flowers, use snacks around the house to make a thoughtful, customized lei!

homemade lip balm – Moisturized lips are important for everyone! Our homemade lip balm uses ingredients you may have around the house: petroleum jelly, coconut oil, and flavored gelatin.

mini snow globes – This whimsical gift is perfect for using (and preserving) small trinkets or figurines you’ve collected over the years.

self-care kits – Know someone who takes care of everyone else before themselves? If so, this customizable and pampering gift is perfect for them! 

Craft template designed by Megan Wakayama.

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