A new crowdfunding campaign out of Baltimore is raising money to produce badges that show some love to postal workers in the midst of a crisis.
Baltimore maker Todd Blatt and Joel Bonasera, of North Carolina, are collaborating on the effort to make plastic and wood heart emblems for folks to display on a mailbox. The pair met playing multiplayer arcade game Killer Queen, which is housed locally at Station North’s North Ave. Market. Bonasera devised the idea, and Blatt brought his own experience making and selling online.
“I’m collaborating with him to make them in more materials, and to reach a wider audience,” Blatt said.
They’re looking to raise $500 for the effort. (Update: As of 10:50 a.m. on 8/20, the campaign had surpassed its goal of $500, guaranteeing it will be funded). The wood badges will be made by laser cutter at the Baltimore Node and Bonasera will use a 3D printer to produce the plastic badges.
It comes at a time when the postal service is under duress amid cuts that were made under Postmaster Louis DeJoy, who is an ally of President Donald Trump. This has led to delays in delivery, and stand to hamper mail-in voting that is expected to be a heavily used option during a November election that’s set to take place in the midst of the pandemic. This week, Maryland joined a group of states that are suing the postal service.
“The Postal Service is in great trouble,” Sherry C. McKnight, president of the American Postal Workers Union Local 181, said at a Monday event outside Baltimore’s main post office on Fayette Street, according to The Washington Post. “I’m asking you to stand with us. March with us. Be there with us so that we will be assured that the Postal Service will still be there for years to come.”
Against this backdrop, Blatt and Bonasera want to show support for the workers who are on the ground bringing folks their mail.
“We can’t imagine what it’s like to be a postal worker braving snow, rain, heat, and gloom while your top boss makes clear moves to eliminate the department, but we can hope that seeing a sign of support when they come to our house SIX DAYS A WEEK for drop off and pick up will at least make it clear they are appreciated,” the campaign states.
Those who pledge have a few different options to be shipped a product — via USPS, of course.