And The Answer Is… 334,152

January 10, 2017
Mail Savvy BSM Staffers Sam Steffen and Ella Rose

The question that our Mail Service Team, headed by Ella Rose with able assistance from our AmeriCorps member, Sam Steffen, were tasked with was this one: Since we developed a more sophisticated tracking system in 2011, how many pieces of mail were sorted and delivered to our guests? And that was the answer – over 300,000. At the current pace, by this time next year we will reach the half million milestone!

Here is another number to ponder – 138,114. That is the number of visits to the Mail Service made by guests in that same time period.

Some numbers we can’t track exactly, but we know from our guests that they translate into thousands of times that they were notified about receiving health insurance, medical supplies, state ID, appointment notifications, and government benefits. These, and so many other benefits are inaccessible without proof of a mailing address, which is provided upon registration. Our guests are also able to reconnect with loved ones with whom they had been out of touch for years. Then when we add in some of the other opportunities that having a mailing address opens, such as being able to apply for jobs, register to vote, and receive library cards and Obama phones, we begin to fill in the mosaic that captures how life-changing our Mail Service has been for the more than 7,500 guests who have received mail here since the service began around ten years ago.

Compared to those early days of the Mail Service, when we could sort and deliver the mail to our guests in a few minutes, these numbers are staggering. Yet even this kind of volume, over 130,000 pieces of mail in 2016 alone, doesn’t dampen our commitment to continue serving every guest who wishes to use 315 South Broad Street as their mailing address, no matter how much that number grows in the future.


Written by Edd Conboy