One way that you can help our veterans is to save / gather envelopes from the mail coming to your home, business, fraternal or volunteer organization, neighborhood, etc. You can then clip most of the postage stamps from the envelopes and send them to SFTW. We will send them to veterans to sort, soak and arrange for their own collections. Some stamps should be left on the envelopes without clipping because they are more collectible “on piece.”
What Stamps Can We Use?
Postage stamps, whether they are on paper or off paper.
Postage stamps from the USA or from any other country in the world.
Computer-generated postage labels.
Postal stationary : envelopes with pre-printed “stamps”; postal cards with a pre-printed “stamp”; aerogrammes. These should not be clipped, they are more collectible as entire pieces.
Philatelic material from stamp collections : stamps, covers, albums, and supplies.
What Stamps Can’t Be Used?
Damaged stamps : stamps with tears; stamps with staples or other fasteners in them; stamps that are missing perforations; stamps with mold, stains, or are otherwise discolored; stamps that reek of cigarette, cigar or pipe smoke
Stamps (recent) that are cancelled or defaced with pen, pencil, magic marker, crayon, heavy spray cancellations, etc.
Recent non-profit rate and bulk rate postage stamps from the USA
Extremely common definitive stamps — primarily flag stamps
Meter postage markings stamped onto the envelope
Printed envelopes with prepaid postage such as “Business Reply Mail” or “Postage Paid / Presorted Markings”
Clumps of stamps that have become glued together
How to Clip Stamps to Send to SFTW
Carefully clip, or tear the paper around outer edges of the perforations around the stamp. Do not clip off the perforations … this ruins the stamp. Please leave at least 1/4″ of margin around the stamp which makes it easier to soak the stamp from the envelope.
If clipping from an envelope corner, remove the back and side flaps.
Please do not try to steam, pull or peel the stamps off the paper. This will usually damage the stamps. Please don’t soak the stamps or sort them by country. That is part of the fun of working with stamps that we will leave for the veteran.
Please do not cut stamps from older envelopes (pre-1941) or from more modern envelopes if they have special markings, such as “First Day of Issue” cancellations, very interesting cancellations, routing markings or “Postage Due” notations, etc.
Postal stationary (postal cards, stamped envelopes, aerogrammes) should not be clipped.
Picture postcards should not be clipped.
If you have time, separate clipped stamps into stamps from the USA and stamps from the rest of the world. If there are any unused USA stamps – uncancelled with gum on the back, separate them from the cancelled stamps. This preliminary sorting is very helpful to us.
All the materials can be shipped together in one box or parcel. The separated groups of stamps can be kept separate using plastic bags.