Partners in Christian Mission

August/September 2020

August/September 2020

Your Used Stamps Can Make a Huge Impact

missions:

HELP RAISE FUNDS FOR GLOBAL INTERACTION

By Jill Ashdown, Gateway Baptist

For more than 50 years, Australian Baptists have collected and sold stamps to raise money for the work of Global Interaction. How much money? Read on!

My name is Jill Ashdown AKA "The Stamp Lady" for Tasmanian Baptist Churches.
Stamps have been a passion of mine for a very long time.
I took over the role when Mr Alan Gurr, who was "The Stamp Man" for many years, passed away in 2012.

Tasmanian Baptists ran a stamp collecting competition!

In Mr Gurr's time, there was a competition run between Baptist Churches with the Churches, Sunday Schools, Boys' and Girls' Brigades and other groups collecting stamps. The group with the most stamps was presented with a shield at the Annual Assembly. As well, a Certificate of Appreciation was given to all other participants. It was all very formal!

I have contacted several older members of Yolla and Newnham Churches who remember the shield and the competition. But so far, I have been unable to locate the shield itself. Maybe one of our readers will have some recollections? If so, I would love to hear from you!

The competition ceased in 2012, when I became responsible for the collecting of stamps to support Global Interaction's work in Africa, Asia and Outback Australia. I felt that the manpower generated in counting the stamps would be better utilised in cutting and gathering the stamps for sale.

How it happens now

The stamps from our churches around Tasmania are delivered to the Tasmanian Baptist State Office at Riverlands Longford, where I pick them up.

Once received, I trim and sort the stamps, although some churches trim and sort which saves me a huge amount of time. It is important to leave 5mm of envelope paper around the stamps, so it is disappointing to receive damaged stamps.

The stamps are weighed and sent to "The Stamp Man", Bryan Laurens, in Brisbane. Bryan is a long-time volunteer for GIA, who along with his committee, sells the stamps by weight to dealers around the world (approx. 4000 stamps in a kilo).

Accumulations, old stamp albums, postal history and other stamp memorabilia are also very welcome.

Yes, stamps are valuable!

As you would be aware, electronic mediums have replaced much of our posted mail, so these days used stamps are becoming harder to source. Thankfully, the ones we do accumulate are becoming more valuable owing to scarcity.

You may not realise the impact, but $70,000 was raised for GIA last year from stamp donations across Australia. WHAT A BLESSING!

Whilst some of our churches continue to be faithfully involved over many years, there are others that may need some encouragement to realise that a humble stamp can be used to improve the lives of needy people and help empower them to develop a relationship with Jesus.

You can help

After the stamps are trimmed and sorted, they are sold to local stamp dealers and collectors.

To participate in this ministry:

  • Prepare the stamps - Just cut the stamps off the envelope, leaving a 5mm border around the edge.

Trim stamps Please trim stamps with a 5mm envelope border

  • Collect a bundle in a box, envelope or bag
  • Drop them off to Riverlands Longford, 159 Wellington St, Longford
    The office is open Mon-Fri 9am-1pm. Or else, call to arrange a suitable time: 6391 2202
  • Other questions? Contact our Stamp Lady! Jill Ashdown: 0439 354 849 | mjashdown@netspace.net.au

STOP PRESS!

We have been searching the archives this week and have discovered that the last stamp collecting shield was presented at the Annual Assembly in 2011. The winner - as always - was George Town Baptist.

The hunt is now on to track the shield down, somewhere in the recesses of our George Town building!

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