As issues pile up for the U.S. Postal Service's new leader, many are looking to find ways to support the mail service. The USPS, an independent agency which survives in part by the sale of services and products like stamps, doesn't received tax dollars.
Mail is piling up in warehouses, mail processing machines have been decommissioned and overtime is being cut. In addition, the U.S. Postal Service has warned states that ballots might not arrive on time because of the need for additional funding.
President Trump acknowledged that he doesn't want to provide the agency with extra money. Trump said that if that undercuts the agency's ability to process what is expected to be a record number of mail-in ballots this fall, then so be it.
At the same time, Trump's reelection campaign has legally challenged various aspects of mail-in voting in states that could help decide the election.
Making the connection between his famous mailman character Cliff Clavin from "Cheers," actor John Ratzenberger suggested ways to help the Postal Service raise funds.
"The Post Office is in a little bit of a pickle right now," Ratzenberger said in a video posted to Cameo, a custom video message website. "So I had an idea, why not do all your Christmas shopping early in the post office store."
While you would think the post office would only sell items related to shipping, its online store also sells items including mail carrier costumes, tote bags and framed stamps.
“Why not translate the dollar amount you’re gonna pay for Aunt Tilly’s new hat and just buy her that amount of stamps?" he added. "Easy to carry, easy to mail, easy to ship and it’s worth something and it’ll be worth something for a long time. And how many times is Aunt Tilly gonna be wearing that hat? Once, twice? But how many times will be she using those stamps? That’s right, always thinking. So help your local post office; go down there and buy something."
Actor Mark Hamill has also supported the idea of sending mail to "protect the post office." Hamill shared a tweet Sunday featuring a picture of Princess Leia in a mask placing a piece of mail in a blue mailbox. The picture is captioned "join the fight for the resistance."
Politicians including New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has suggested a pen pal program.
"One of the best ways to support the post office is to buy stamps," Ocasio-Cortez said in a video posted to her Instagram story. "Would you all be down and excited if I set up a national progressive pen pal program?"
The agency's new leader, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a major Trump donor, first moved to eliminate overtime and late delivery trips, stressing that the cost-cutting measures will make the service more profitable. Next, word went around that retail post offices were cutting business hours. Then, mail processing machines started getting dismantled, and the agency's iconic blue mailboxes began to get removed from American streets.
Postmaster General Louis DeJoy is expected to testify Friday in front of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee regarding recent issues plaguing the U.S. Postal Service ahead of the November presidential election.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.