In April 2010, Hank Applegate and I started our Outreach Program with
our presentation of “Stamp Collecting is Fun” to about 155 students of
St. Cecilia School. Since then, we have made presentations in five (5)
different schools to more than 1,500 students. The number seems big
only because many of the students are repeat attendees as they move
from one grade to another. That gives us a challenge which is the
object of this note.
We use a two pronged approach for our Outreach Program. The one
described above is a “push” program where we make presentations to a
captive audience. The two objectives for this ‘push” program are
awareness (inform the students about stamp collecting as a hobby) and
excitement (get them interested via the fun and joy of philately). Our
main tool is a power point presentation showing various and interesting
stamps specially those with stories.
As you can imagine, these youngsters have great memories so we can not
use the same material every year. This is where you can help us. You
do not even need to give us any of your stamps. If you have stamp
“stories”, please share them with us especially if you have the
relevant stamps. You can tell us the story and provide a scanned copy
of your stamp. We can also do the scanning for you and if you do not
have the actual stamp(s) for the story, we will search the internet for
a picture of that stamp. Additionally, if you have “unique” stamps
(shape, color, size, design etc), allow us to scan them for sharing
with the students.
The second is a “pull” program called “Youth and New Stamp Collectors’
Program” that we run twice a month in the Pennsauken Public Library.
It is open to the public. This program gives the students who attended
our school presentations a venue to pursue their stamp interests and
attracts other potential stamp collectors. There is an educational
portion every meeting followed by a window where the attendees talk
about their stamp interests and are allowed to pick stamps free to take
home. We also give the regular attendees brand new stamp albums.
The “push” program is cheap but the “pull” program costs our club more.
Despite the more expensive pull program, I am pleased to report that
from the time we started our Outreach through to date, the program is
cash positive (i.e. we raised more money than what we spent). Many
thanks to all MSC members and friends who kindly donated money and/or
philatelic materials some of which have been turned into cash. Our
cumulative cash flow may turn to a net negative amount this year when
we make the $500 donation to the Pennsauken Public Library. Here’s
another way you can help our Outreach Program. If you have stamps
and/or other philatelic materials that you no longer need, just
occupying valuable space, can’t convert into cash and don’t have a
heart to discard them – donate them to our Outreach Program. We can
use them all.