Great Thoughts and Ideas from Louise Liffengren Hullinger

Monday, February 14, 2005

Louise is a computer guru. She now has her blog working, and will amaze people with her scintillating prose and brilliant insights

This Blog will be interesting if we can get enough people to post on it

This is my round robin blog. I encourage everyone to participate in blogging.

If you can't figure out how to send a message to your blog, send it to Craig@hullinger.com

He will put it on a blog for you.

Collecting used stamps is an obvious project for LWML ladies who cite Mark 12: 42-44 (KJV)
when collecting mites. LWML began collecting stamps in 1997. In the year of 2004 LWML
raised $563.42. Yet however small the amount obtained for a used stamp, which is often ½ cent, the princely amount of $5,355.21 has been “earned” to date. ( When LWML member Eunice Liere, Zion Lutheran, McHenry, contributed the stamp albums left to her by her late husband Arnold it was certainly appreciated.) Of the total amount raised 90% has been earmarked for Mission Projects..

According to Elvera Ruff, Vice President of Human Care, each LWML society has a receptacle
for stamps, and the stamps can/should be brought to any NID LWML event. The idea of carrying the stamps was seconded by Laura Latzke, Stamps Coordinator, who says, “We encourage ladies to bring the stamps rather than to mail them. The money spent on postage should be put into the mite boxes instead.” Latzke’s group meets monthly to sort stamps according to size, type, and country of origin. She says, “We have never run out of stamps to work on!.”

The most highly prized are foreign stamps, many of which come from countries where LWML
has funded mission projects. These include South Korea, India, Ethiopia, Ghana Liberia, and
others. Finding these stamps is almost like living vicariously and makes for great conversation
starters! Other prized stamps are those which originally sold for $1.00 or more, and/or
commemorative stamps which are often found on “old” letters or post cards!

The collecting of foreign stamps became possible only after The Universal Postal Union (UPI)
was founded in 1875 by Dr Heinrich von Stephan. As the first postmaster of the German Empire he was able to establish a union that would permit the flow of international mail with the same ease that existed for delivery of mail within a single country. For stamp collectors this is one of the greatest achievements in history. (We’d like to say that Stephan is of Lutheran ancestry! But we can’t be sure.)

In 1876 the first Commemorative stamps were issued to mark the US Centennial Exposition.
Years later, when Jim Farley was Postmaster General, under President Franklin Roosevelt, a
stamp series with portraits of the presidents appeared in order of succession. (Washington on the one-cent stamp, John Adams on the two-cent stamp, etc.) And so stamp collecting began!!

Collectors need to note that common stamps (called definitives) are printed in the billions and
are almost worthless to collectors. The following stamps should not be saved: common, air
mail, postage due, pre sorted stamps, torn or creased stamps, those with damaged
perforations, small USA stamps, or stamps on red or green envelopes. None can be sold or

Instructions for collecting stamps: Do not soak, pull, or otherwise remove stamps off paper.
Cut stamps from envelopes, trimming them carefully along the edges, leaving no less than a
margin of 1/4 inch. This provides a “handling edge” for the collector .( If stamps are trimmed
too closely they may be damaged and become worthless.) Nor should stamps be re-glued..
While it is common worldwide to soak off and reuse stamps, it is also illegal, which is why
LWMl members stopped collecting for a while.

The stamps collected by LWML members are handled in various ways, they may be auctioned
at a local stamp club, or sold in bulk to collectors and dealers. Those which cannot be sold for
LWML benefit are donated to not-for-profit charities.

Members of Stamp Clubs bring stamps to auction to one another. A member of the Greater
Naperville Stamp Club, James Garner, says, “It is disappointing to get a stamp which has been
torn or mutilated.” Occasionally he will find a stamp collector out of the area to market our
stamps. He adds, “Stamps haven’t been bringing in much money lately.” The gross amount
realized in Naperville Area Stamp Club is remitted to the LWML and the 10% club
commission is paid by Garner as a free-will gift.

(When buying through dealers normally the minimum cost would be 15-20 cents each. The
highest price stamp was recently auctioned off for $1,500,000 but that is very rare.)

I’ve said what stamps bring the most money, how they must be readied, how they are sold,
what the woman do who sort them, where they came from, how the woman live vicariously
as they find stamps from countries where we have underwritten mission projects.
How to prepare them, where to take them, how much money we have taken in, about the
lady who left her husbands collection, etc, about collecting mites