WHAT CAN I DO FOR PHILATELY
The way that most of us get introducted to stamp collecting and philately has changed over the years. For most of us, it was an introduction along with our first stamp album as a child by a family member.
Now that there are few local stamp shops and less introduction, there are still many ways that we can let others know about our wonderful hobby. Here are a few ideas - if you have more, please let me know and I will add them!
1. Get Stamps Into The Hands Of Kids And Adults
Nothing beats actually handling stamps. There are a number of ways to get stamps into peoples hands so that they can look at them in a whole new way. I have had amazing success with talking to folks about stamps and then having a bowl of free stamps that they can go through, play with and take for their own:
a. Give your extra stamps (or you can get free ones for this very purpose from organizations such as the APS) to school teachers to give out as rewards, to kids, to your friends.
b. Make sure to save all stamps you get on mail as well as all your duplicates and unwanted stamps and donate them to the APS so they can give them away.
c. Use interesting stamps on all your mail
d. Give stamps as gifts. Find out your friend's interests (or professions) and get some stamps or covers that apply. Pick up a cheap picture frame and make up a frame that contains these stamps or covers and give it as a gift. It is personal, always appreciated and often will be displayed proudly in that persons home or office.
2. Give Talks About Your Stamps
a. Give a short talk to your local Rotary Club or other organization about your stamps or stamp collecting in general. These clubs are usually desperate for speakers and this is a great subject to talk about. (The following group is preparing actual speeches and subjects that you can use to give talks http://stamps.org/APS-Committees#SPEAKERS. If you are in Wisconsin, these folks will come give talks for you : http://www.wfscstamps.org/SpeakersBureau.pdf.
b. Call your local elementary or middle school. Give a talk to the kids about stamp collecting. Again, the APS and your local stamp club can probably help with topics, what to say and help you with stamps to pass out.
3. Display/Exhibit your stamps or photocopies of your stamps
a. If you have interesting local or topical subject matter, write up
a couple of exhibit pages for non-collectors (you can then just photocopy the pages and exhibit the copies only) and contact your local post offices, libraries or schools and offer to display them! One gentleman I know prepares topical pages that he puts up at cinema complexes when there is a film that touches on the subjects he display.
4. Write letters or articles to non-philatelic press about stamps
a. If you have other hobbies or interests, write a letter or article for their journals or newsletters that talk about stamps regarding that subject. If there is a new issue from anywhere in the world that involves that subject matter, write a letter letting the members know of its existence. If you start to think creatively, there are so many ways to let non-collectors know that there are stamps that apply to their interests. For instance (and these are just to get you thinking....):
i. If you subscribe to Cat Fancy magazine, write a short article about cats on stamps and submit it. (This applies to any other hobby or topic)
ii. If you are a professional or have professional journals, write a short article about the stamps that apply and submit it.
(Rotary magazine, Dental societies, local history clubs)
ii. If you have other collecting or hobby interests, submit letters and articles about stamps that relate to that hobby.
5. Publicize stamps and covers by posting images and comments on Facebook, PInterest and other Social Networks.
a. Post images and other comments regarding stamps you own, new covers you buy, items you see in the philatelic press, items in auction catalogs you think are cool etc on your Facebook or Pinterest page. Let others know what you think is neat!
b. Go to Google and copy images of stamps that apply to things happening in the real world right now and post their images. For instance, when Michael Jackson died, I posted images of Michael Jackson stamps; for the Royal Wedding, I posted images of previous Royal Weddings; there are an infinite number of ways to link stamp images to current events.
6. Change your email signatures and images
Whenever you sent emails, add to your signature links such as www.learnaboutstamps.com, or put in a cool stamp-related quotation such as "Stamp Collecting - the Hobby of Kings and the King of Hobbies".
7. Join your local stamp club, specialist societies, the APS and the Smithsonian National Postal Museum
The links at the bottom of the page will take you to some of the different groups. (The American Philatelic Society link will allow you to find you local groups and specialist societies). Join these organzations. Not only are there great member benefits but you are helping the hobby by joining them.
8. Donate your time and/or money!
See the donate page that is linked at the top of this website. There are many great organizations that would truly appreciate a donation, large or small.
9. Take non-collectors to a stamp show
There are stamp shows all over the world. Next time there is a local show, offer to take some non-collector friends and walk them around, explain the exhibits, share your passion for our hobby.
10. Think Creatively!
This is our hobby and we love it. Think creatively and communicate your passion.