Sending Valentines via the Loveland Valentine Remailing Program? Avoid These Mistakes

by Dec 29, 2018Hyperhidrosis, other adventures0 comments

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Each year, The Sweetheart City of Loveland, Colorado routes over 100,000 valentines through its Valentine Remailing Program. For more than 70 years, the Loveland Chamber of Commerce and the U.S Postal Service, along with a team of dedicated volunteers, have hand stamped snail mail and sent it all across the globe.

If you’re sending valentines to Loveland to have the signature cachet stamp and postmark cancellation applied lovingly by hand, make sure you follow these tips. You’ll want your valentines to arrive looking their best so the Loveland volunteer stampers won’t have any trouble handling your precious mail.

Tips for Addressing Valentines for the Loveland Valentine Remailing Program

Avoid Super Small Envelopes

The signature cachet stamp (this is the stamp with the poem on it, and it changes each year) – along with the postmark cancellation – are each roughly the size of a credit card, give or take a couple inches. Volunteers prefer to place the cachet stamp on the front of the envelope, to the left of the recipient’s name, or toward the bottom left. 

Loveland Valentine Remailing Program 2017 cachet stamp


The 2017 cachet stamp from the Loveland Valentine Remailing Program

The valentine postmark cancellation goes over the postage in the upper right; smaller envelopes cause this cancellation to bleed over onto the return address in the upper left corner of the envelope.

If your valentine cards are small, this makes applying both stamps on the front a bit difficult for the volunteers. Ideally, try to find a more common size for your envelopes, such as first class size or greeting card size.

Clearly Address Your Valentines

via GIPHY

The sender’s name and address go in the upper left corner on the front of the envelope.

The recipient’s name and address go in the middle on the front of the envelope. Careful not to place their name and address too close to the bottom of the envelope! The U.S. Postal Service needs that area kept clear for their bar code once the mail is routed through the post office.

Affix the necessary postage in the upper right corner of the envelope.

Use Stickers, Washi Tape, and Other Envelope Decorations Sparingly

Who doesn’t love a good sticker? If you’re placing stickers on envelopes, do so minimally and ideally only on the back of the envelope.

Loveland Valentine Remailing Program envelopes

If you are decorating your valentines for the Loveland Valentine Remailing Program, place stickers and washi tape on the back side of the envelopes only.

Avoid: puffy stickers, those that have googly eyes or any other sticker designs that don’t lay flat when placed on the envelope; these stickers can cause problems for the post office’s mail sorting machines. Save those fun stickers for INSIDE your valentines instead if you must use them. For washi tape adornments, stick to the back of the envelope.

Leave that prime real estate on the front of the envelope for the Loveland Valentine Remailing Program volunteers. They have been stamping valentines for years, and this is their jam. Don’t jam it up for them!

Chunky Monkey

Yes, this is a bonafide term you might hear when sitting alongside the volunteers. And no, it’s not Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. A “chunky monkey” means the envelope is extra thick and chunky, most likely due to a lot of stickers or extras stuffed inside the envelope. These require special handling, which will be done with extreme care. But with 100k+ pieces of mail, it takes some extra time. Kudos to the volunteers who examine each valentine as they are stamping to make sure these chunksters arrive in one piece.

To Send Your Valentine(s) Through The Sweetheart City

  1. Address the valentine(s) with the recipient’s address
  2. Stamp the valentine(s)
  3. Place the valentine(s) in a larger first-class envelope
  4. Stamp and address the larger envelope to:
    Postmaster – Attention Valentines
    446 E. 29th St.
    Loveland, CO 80538-9998

Local Sending

Note: If you are a local, you can find drop-off boxes in the lobby of the Loveland Chamber of Commerce (5400 Stone Creek Circle in Loveland) and at both Loveland post offices. Drop off your valentines at these locations by February 8, 2019.

If you utilize these drop-off locations, you can skip the outer envelope and put your stamped and addressed valentines right inside these boxes.

Important Dates for the Loveland Valentine Remailing Program

February 1, 2019 International Mail Deadline
February 7, 2019 United States Deadline
February 9, 2019 Colorado Deadline
 
Mail for these destinations may be sent after the deadline, but it will not reach the recipient before Valentine’s Day. You’re encouraged to send your valentines to Loveland as soon as possible.
 

See the Loveland Chamber of Commerce website for the most up-to-date information.

The Irony of My Participation in the Valentine Remailing Program

For the past two years, I’ve spent a half day volunteering as a Loveland valentine stamper. I’ve had pen pals since I was a little girl and love the art of the handwritten letter. But since I have hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) and it affects my hands, I have to come prepared for when my hands start to drip.

I always wear jeans since they are the most absorbent piece of clothing for hyperhidrosis. A quick swipe of my palms usually does the trick to dry them off for the most part.

I also bring a stack of paper towels with me and place them on my lap. If I feel my hands getting sweaty, I’ll clutch the paper towels. By the end of my volunteer shift, I’ll have a pile of shredded paper towels on my lap.

Trust me – I’m super paranoid about ruining people’s valentines, so I take extra care not to get them wet.

sweat-soaked paper towels

The sweat-soaked paper towels I had on my lap while hand stamping during the 2017 Loveland Valentine Remailing Program.

If I feel like my hands are super sweaty, I will either get up and go run them under cold water, or simply stop for a few minutes until they get drier. I also try to sit as close to the outside door as possible; because there are so many people packed into a small room, they will occasionally open the door for a bit of breeze, which is a lifesaver for people with hyperhidrosis.

And, now that I’ve discovered Carpe lotion for hyperhidrosis, I apply that before I arrive. (Please note this is my affiliate link.)

Moral of this side note? Don’t let your hyperhidrosis – or whatever your circumstances might be – prevent you from doing something you want to do. Find ways to cope, plan ahead, and go out and live!

Remember These Tips For Addressing Loveland Valentines

  • Avoid tiny envelopes

  • Clearly address your valentines – leave room to the left and bottom of the recipient’s name and address for the cachet stamp and post office bar code to be placed.

  • Use stickers and other envelope decorations sparingly, ideally on the back of the envelope only.

  • Make sure your valentines arrive at the Loveland Chamber of Commerce by the dates mentioned above.

A special thank you to the Loveland Valentine Remailing Program volunteers and Loveland business sponsors who make this entire experience fun for everyone involved. 

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About the author: Maria Thomas is almost a Colorado native. She resides in northern Colorado and works full-time in marketing. Her blog, mylifeasapuddle.com, is her side hustle where you’ll find her creating hyperhidrosis hope and awareness one drop at a time and reaching sufferers all over the world. Maria is an ambassador for The Kindness Rocks Project (as seen on the Today Show) and was one of the 50 inaugural #OMagInsiders, brand ambassadors for O, The Oprah Magazine. She’s also collaborated with Women For One, Healthline Media, SELF Magazine, and the International Hyperhidrosis Society. She’s recently expanded her website to show some influencer love to Loveland and surrounding communities. Interested in working with Maria? Fill out the contact form using the subject line collaboration.

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