National "Thank a Mail Carrier Day", also known as "Thank Your Mailman Day", is on Sunday, February 4th, 2024. I find this interesting since postal workers are off on Sunday, and most of us will not see our mail carrier.

If you're like me, you consider part of our "Texas heritage" as being neighborly and looking to thank our mail carriers for working hard six days a week, 52 weeks out of the year. Well, here's your chance. However, be aware of what we can and cannot give our favorite mail carriers.

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The United States Postal Service has certain limitations and guidelines for what your mail carrier can and cannot accept. If you're thinking of slipping them some cash, a check, or as I like to do, gift cards, don't even try it. Here is what the United States Postal Service Gift Acceptance Policy says:

Employee Tipping and Gift-Receiving Policy

All postal employees, including carriers, must comply with the Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Exec­utive Branch. Under these federal regulations, carriers ARE ALLOWED to accept a gift worth $20 or less from a customer per occasion, such as their birthday, or a holiday. However, cash and cash equivalents, such as checks or gift cards that can be exchanged for cash, must never be accepted in ANY amount. Furthermore, no employee may accept more than $50 worth of gifts from a customer in a calendar year. — Public Relations, Corporate Communications, 11-1-12

The gift cannot be worth more than $20, even though in my personal opinion mail carriers deserve way more than that. So now I have to come up with another gift idea that shows how much we appreciate what they do.

My neighbor is a retired postal worker and he told me, "The reason we have these policies is to avoid the risk of accepting a gift being misconstrued as bribery, conflict of interest, kickbacks, influence peddling, and more."

NO home-baked goodies either (I suspect this is for their safety). Nonetheless, I wish all mail carriers the happiest "National Thank A Mail Carrier Day" ever!

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