Sunday, April 11, 2021

Post Office Goes Pink

USPS Employees Richard Barber, Brenda Brown and Nanette Watsonwith volunteers Salem Louwsma, Casey Henry, Everglades School Assistant Principal Jaes Ragusa and students Story Claybrook, Carl Nicholson, Chyann Nicholson and Kaylee Henry pose in front of the new pink Post Office. Photos by Natalie Strom

USPS Employees Richard Barber, Brenda Brown and Nanette Watsonwith volunteers Salem Louwsma, Casey Henry, Everglades School Assistant Principal Jaes Ragusa and students Story Claybrook, Carl Nicholson, Chyann Nicholson and Kaylee Henry pose in front of the new pink Post Office. Photos by Natalie Strom

By Natalie Strom

natalie@coastalbreezenews.com

“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” The inscription on the James Farley Post Office in New York City should be painted onto the Ochopee Post Office after torrential downpours almost cancelled its party to paint the Post Office pink.

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Nanette Watson, Postmaster of the “Smallest Post Office in the United States” – the Ochopee Post Office – decided she wanted to paint the 8’4’’ by 7’3’’ building bright pink. “I’ve been wanting to do this for many years,” she explains. “You see, people come here from all over the world to take pictures of the smallest Post Office. So it’s a great way to bring attention to breast cancer research.”

Nanette’s goal in transforming the building pink

Chyann Nicholson and Kaylee Henry highfive; hands and hair covered in pink paint.

Chyann Nicholson and Kaylee Henry highfive; hands and hair covered in pink paint.

is to encourage the purchase of the USPS’s Breast Cancer Research stamp. She hopes to sell more of these stamps than any other Post Office in the country. “With so many people coming from other countries, this could really become global. How cool would that be?” adds Nanette.

Enlisting the help of students from Everglades City as well as a few students from Naples, Nanette and her assistant, Brenda Brown, painted in between bursts of rain that just wouldn’t quit. Thanks to all involved, the paint job went rather quickly even with all the rain. But then again, it is a pretty small post office.

“Being the smallest Post Office in the U.S., it is a landmark,” adds Manager of Post Office Operations for Collier County, Richard Barber. “They get plenty of people and tour buses coming through for photo opportunities. This

Noble Gideon of Naples concentrates on the edges as he helps paint thePost Office pink.

Noble Gideon of Naples concentrates on the edges as he helps paint thePost Office pink.

will serve as a visual aid on a main thoroughfare to help promote knowledge and breast cancer research.”

Those who stop at the Post Office will be offered the opportunity to buy a sheet of Breast Cancer Awareness stamps at $11. Two dollars out of that will go straight to breast cancer research. Nanette knows that being the smallest Post Office with the greatest fundraising goal in mind won’t be easy. That’s why those who can’t make it out to Ochopee are encouraged to send in checks payable to Postmaster to: Ochopee Postmaster, 38000 Tamiami Trail E, Ochopee FL 34141-9998. Customers should include a return address and their purchase will be mailed to them in an envelope bearing the collectible, “Nation’s Smallest Post Office” postmark.

Those around the globe can now help the smallest Post Office make a big difference when it comes to breast cancer.

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