Do you know you can’t spell “essential services” without “Postal Service?” Okay, actually you can, but we are kicking off this blog series by looking at the important role the Postal Service has played providing essential services to our nation.

You may not know it, but the USPS has served as the catalyst for developing many of our nation’s essential networks. Looking at transportation: Our national roads, railroad systems, and even airlines were kicked off by a need to transport mail around the country as efficiently as possible. The Postal Service allowed our nation’s first media network – newspapers — to share stories from one newspaper to another by sending copies of newspapers to each other through the mail for free. At one point, post offices even provided financial services with a postal savings system designed to serve the population.

The Postal Service serves as a foundation for services offered by every level of government, whether federal, state, or local. Due to its national reach and presence, it’s often the only personal point of contact people have with the federal government. The Postal Service works closely with other agencies in providing passport services, getting Census Bureau surveys out to the public, and sending and receiving absentee ballots.

The USPS network, reaching every household every day, makes it essential when disaster strikes. No matter the catastrophe – hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, and more – the Postal Service has contingency plans to recover and restart delivery, even when whole populations move elsewhere. During the recent pandemic, postal carriers have continued to deliver necessary supplies, as households have relied more and more on mail to get everything from cleaning supplies to medicines. And the Postal Service plays an essential logistical role in national disasters for other agencies. In fact, in federal epidemic planning, it is tasked with delivering vaccines and other medications.

Tell us what you think. What do you think about the essential services the Postal Service provides to our nation? 

Comments (49)

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  • anon

    I think the Postal Service is such a vital part of our infrastructure, that Congress should move quickly to give it stimulus funding to keep it going strong. What would rural areas and small businesses do if this heritage institution were reduced in function? Certainly the private alternatives would be way more expensive and/or inaccessible, because they don't have any obligation to serve everyone, everywhere.

    Jul 11, 2020
  • anon

    I am just an ordinary citizen and use the post office for the usual kinds of services: first class mailings, packages, certified and insured packages and letters. I have found the postal service to be excellent and I have lived all over the United States. I have 2 sisters who were mail carriers and were diligent, hard working and took risks in some rather rough areas of Phoenix Metro. I know that the post office could benefit from some cost cutting and efficiency work and I hope they find a way to do it. I don't know if I can offer any more except to say I have found the USPS to be excellent! Thank You

    Jul 11, 2020
  • anon

    Everyone should be required to purchase and read "How The Post Office Created America, A History" by Winifred Gallagher. This should explain a lot about why we need the Post Office. I realize that there are some who would be be able to read and comprehend the text in this book, since it would require knowing a little about history.

    Jul 10, 2020
  • anon

    I don't know about essential services per se, but I'd sure like to know why the town east of us gets their mail delivered; they are a smaller populous, and. the town west of us gets their mail delivered. We on the the other hand have this tiny little post office, and people stand in line for hours, waiting to get their mail. WE have to walk into this tiny room one at time, there is zero ventilation, and get our mail. How in the world are we supposed to stay safe especially the most Vulnerable? We've been ripped for over 35 years. I have nothing but hard feeling about the post office.

    Jul 08, 2020
  • anon

    I love the post office. They do a great job which is very hard to do. I love receiving mail every day from my mail person. Please don’t close them down

    Jul 08, 2020
  • anon

    Our postage stamps for regular first class letters have said "Forever" since 2007. It's a nice touch from the USPS--we don't have to buy a bunch of 1¢ or 2¢ stamps when the price of a first class letter goes up. I like to think of the US Mail that way--Essential Forever! It certainly has been in the current pandemic, and hats off to the hundreds of thousands of workers who kept the mail moving through the difficult early days of the crisis and who are still keeping it moving during the frightening ramp-up of new cases!

    Jul 08, 2020
  • anon

    Why are they NOT getting hazard pay during these difficult times?

    Jul 08, 2020
  • anon

    Will the labor custodians get a payment for being a essential employee like the processing clerks did?

    Jul 08, 2020
  • anon

    The Postal Service is essential for all persons, of all categories and needs. Access to information and goods must be supported by the government for all.

    Jul 08, 2020
  • anon

    So proud to be a Postal Service retiree. Delivering during 911 we provided calm and assurance that our Nation will be ok. Only company to deliver to every house every day, most don't know that our prices are less than other countries and can't increase our prices every quarter like UPS.

    Jul 08, 2020
  • anon

    Give me a job at the post office I would glad to work for them and the people who depends on there service..

    Jul 08, 2020
  • anon

    I'd gladly have you as my mail carrier. Our carrier cannot for the life of them figure out how to properly put mail in a mailbox.

    Jul 24, 2020
  • anon

    We should get hazard and hero pay.

    Jul 08, 2020
  • anon

    I dont know what I would do without my USPS. Getting mail is the best part of my day. We love to complain about the USPS but couldn't live without them. Thank you for all you do.

    Jul 08, 2020
  • anon

    The USPS is not just an Essential Service, it is a vital one. Like the National Guard, postal workers are a necessary Civilian army that makes sure we get needed checks, prescriptions, important government notifications; they even help us exercise our right to vote by supplying and delivering mail-in ballots. Thank you to all our USPS workers!!

    Jul 08, 2020
  • anon

    The USPS, is more than just an Essential Service, it is a VITAL one.

    Jul 08, 2020
  • anon

    Keep the Postal Service in operation. It is a key component in building this Nation. A plan is needed to allow it to operate more efficiently

    Jul 08, 2020
  • anon

    The postal service, of which our own Philadelphian Ben Franklin was first Postmaster General, is VITAL, especially in times of crisis, like now. I implore Congress not to let the postal service fail, nor should it be privatized! If we'd stop bailing out Wall Street's gambling debts, there would be plenty of money for the things we need.

    Jul 08, 2020
  • anon

    It's a good job my grandpa was a mail man .we all need the service and will need for the generation to came

    Jul 08, 2020
  • anon

    Be brave! America needs the Post Office, an essential part of our democracy for us all.

    Jul 08, 2020
  • anon

    The Postal Service is a very important essential part of our lives. The Postal Service delivers medicine to many,face masks,cleaning supplies, supplies for your pets, supplies needed for Hospitals clinics and everywhere Essential supplies are needed a letter or postcard from family members or friend wanting to know you are well and safe. In this pandemic yes the Postal office is an essential part, and a part of hope in our lives. And I want to take this time to Thank each and every Postal worker every where. Weather you driving a truck or working in the warehouse or inside the PostOffice everything you do is important Thanks. BE SAFE

    Jul 08, 2020
  • anon

    I have family members that serve now, and some that are now retired. I rely on the US Postal Service a lot. They deliver my medicines, and also my billing statements. And, I am very appreciative for everything they do, and have done for me! And, I'm sure there are many other people that feel the same way as I do. They are a very important part of our every day lives. And, we rely on them greatly. We need them.

    Jul 08, 2020
  • anon

    When a letter carrier makes the trip from our mailbox on the street to our front door to deliver many things, I try to catch them to say. "Thank You!" Keeping my distance of course. Their workload has increased tremendously and I am one of the millions who is extremely grateful for their dedication. They have been true life savers for me and many, many more during this pandemic. I alone have increased their workload. They put their health and safety, as well as that of their families, on the line every day and I Thank You All from the bottom of my heart! You are true soldiers on the front lines! We are fortunate and blessed to have you all.

    Jul 08, 2020
  • anon

    I thank the USPS for the job that they are doing. We depend on the postal workers for our correspondence, bills, financial and packages. And in inclement weather, lack of employees, we still get our mail. No institution is perfect, there is always going to be problems. Alot can be accomplished with modern technology but the older generation like myself still rely on the mail system. Big ups to the post office employees.

    Jul 08, 2020
  • anon

    I'm in the final job offer stage of joining the U.S. Postal service as a career choice after almost 29 yrs in the Securty and protective industry both private sector and Govt sector. I started doing that when I turned 18 in 1991! I looked into the United States Postal service about a month ago! and now I'm about ready to be officially hired.Lastly yes the USPS has always played a critical role in American life and the business world! filtering an important role that can go on for many many years to come!!

    Jul 08, 2020
  • anon

    I depend on the post office ; send and receive mail almost everyday. The post office is essential in my life!!!

    Jul 08, 2020
  • anon

    I know the Postal Service is essential, we should do whatever is needed to keep it.

    Jul 08, 2020
  • anon

    The US Postal Service needs to be fully funded. It is an essential service in all parts of our country. We are spending trillions this year 2020 to save businesses. Lets spend what is needed for our postal service whether it makes a profit or not!

    Jul 08, 2020
  • anon

    Your services are essential and appreciated. Sending and receiving paper mail is a joy for me, and the recent pandemic has only increased my frequency of using your services. You cannot be replaced, and the world would lose an honored & cherished institution if USPS did not continue to operate.

    Jul 08, 2020
  • anon

    We are a vital part of the economy so I think as a postal worker, that we should have gotten hazard pay like every other company is paying there workers.We have put ours and our families life at risk.The workers who have gone to work, not the ones sitting home this whole time ,should be compensated since we did get a bail out afterall.

    Jul 08, 2020
  • anon

    The Postal Service has been a true stapme to America, and our history. I would love to see the first class letter come back. So many Americans don't know what it is like to get a letter, or write one and send it. I ask that we protect this agency.

    Jul 08, 2020
  • anon

    Breaking the legislative chains that stifles the flourishing spirit of an enormously powerful and critical lifeline that is "only" and "truly" appreciated in a catastrophe. The same Congress that mandated this "necessary" and Universal communication vehichle, must provide necessary "maintenance", because it has an indisputable "track record of performance" when this country and the world needs it the most! Congress must not sit idle, but "cut those legislative chains" and allow the USPS, to do, "What it do"! Much love to the USPS!!

    Jul 08, 2020
  • anon

    I think the Postal Service don't get the recognition that it deserve. Always (media) grocery stores, medical professionals, never the postal service. I think it's unfair. The postal service is doing a great job as well as everyone else. Keep up the good work.

    Jul 08, 2020
  • anon

    As an active member of the USPS (RCA) I have worked through this pandemic delivering packages big and small to those who are staying home. It has been my pleasure to see that they received their mail in a timely manner. I love my job and hope that the USPS will be able to continue.

    Jul 08, 2020
  • anon

    The Post Service is very important, and essential to everyone. Thank you for your services.

    Jul 08, 2020
  • anon

    I am very pleased and respect our postal service team's. There is much expected of them with very little attention or rewards for their much earned efferts. I would like to personally say thankyou . My prayers and graditued are with you . I believe we should all take into account what our postel workers have done and continue to do for us. Once again much thanks and respects always, René Reeser McMinnville ,Ore.

    Jul 08, 2020
  • anon

    I am a letter carrier and we not only provide essential products we also deliver fish in bags of water, baby chicks, bees, worms so many other things you would not think could go through the mailing process, we also look out for our elderly that sometimes just need a smile or grab the trash bend for them, we also look out for the kids playing outside making sure of no suspicious vehicles riding through, I can go on and on just the other day a very soldering lady could not find her doctors office and was very frustrated, I told her I know where it is and I ask her could a grab her arm so she could lean on me as we walked because she was so worn and tired, I got her to the doctor office and she kept thanking me but this is what we do we look out for the community in whatever way we can while on our routes.

    Jul 08, 2020
  • anon

    WE NEED THE USPS

    Jul 08, 2020
  • anon

    The US Postal Service is the best in the world. I'm thankful to have such a service more so now!

    Jul 08, 2020
  • anon

    Please keep the post office intact. Many Americans rely on it every day for billing, correspondence, and essential items they need.

    Jul 07, 2020
  • anon

    Without the USPS Americans would only have to find a different way to get the service they do. The Employees have a “NO Strike” clause for what reason? If the employees were able to strike as they HAVE done there would be dire consequences in the outcome. The employees all are the ones in “behind” the scenes. Yet needed everyday.

    Jul 07, 2020
  • anon

    Thank you for the great job you do!!! We appreciate the USPS!!!

    Jul 07, 2020
  • anon

    Living in New England I am often reminded when driving on the Boston Post Road, of the essential role USPS has played since colonial times as infrastructure and platform, by enabling the private sector access to conduct essential commercial services throughout its universal network!

    Jul 07, 2020
  • anon

    Staying safe at home was possible because the Postal Service was delivering the goods that I need. I trusted them with my ballot when I voted. I checked to see if my ballot was received and I was happily proven right when the SOS marked it received. Thank you for being a reliable form of communication that remains safe from hacking.

    Jul 07, 2020
  • anon

    The Postal Service is easily one of the most important government agencies whose essential services are necessary for those living across the U.S., both urban and rural. I've always used USPS for buying/selling stuff online, mailing things to family I don't live near, sending postcards and the occasional letter. I also pay some bills through the mail. I still actively subscribe to a couple magazine subscriptions. I do all of this, and I'm 29 years old - it's clearly not something that only the older generations do. We may do it differently than in the past, but it's still there. But I think the USPS needs to go further. Start by offering financial services. Build on Informed Delivery by establishing a Postal email address for every citizen and resident. It needs an influx to modernize its machinery in the plants, instead of relying on machines and computers that still run on Windows 98. That would help give it the efficiency to meet its very essential universal service obligation. Among other things, it must be reinforced as a fundamental public agency that continues to bind the nation together, in an expanded way, into the future for decades to come.

    Jul 07, 2020
  • anon

    I retired from the United States Postal Service in 2003 after 35 years of service. I firmly believe that U.S.P.S. is important to ALL residents, but it is VITAL to rural America.

    Jul 07, 2020
  • anon

    Good Job

    Jul 06, 2020
  • anon

    Thank you

    Jul 06, 2020
  • anon

    The USPS keeps our nation alive!

    Jul 06, 2020