Sunday, May 1, 2022

A Ukraine Humanitarian Relief Effort That You Can Be Part Of

May 22 Op-ed in The Bugle
When the Great Chicago Fire occurred in 1871, the smoke from that disaster was carried eastward with the wind. As it blew over West Virginia five days later, people wondered what had burned, assuming it was probably in Ohio, not two states further. Today, with social media and 24/7 news we can see events "as they happen" in every corner of the world, our our TVs, computers and phones.

As with many events resulting in human suffering--from tornadoes to earthquakes, floods and fire--something tugs at our hearts. Some pray, other give. Tom Betz from a Como Lake neighborhood in St. Paul, has created a "semi-postal" stamp to raise funds for humanitarian aid in Ukraine. What follows is the story Tom sent me to explain what it is and how to contribute.

The item you see pictured here is called a local stamp. As a member of a club that collects and issues local postage stamps I will be issuing the above stamp. As the stamp has two values on it one for postage and the “+” value it is called a semi-postal. This particular semi-postal is for a Ukraine Relief Fund. 

Countries around the world have a long history of both local stamps and semi-postal stamps. More information can be found by Google-ing “semi-postal stamps" or “US local post stamps." This is my attempt to support a Ukraine relief fund. Please contribute to help my effort.

Please send a self addressed stamped envelope (SASE) along with a minimum contribution of $1.00 to:
Thomas D Betz
1337 Avon St
N. St Paul, MN 55117

If sending a check please make it payable to: 

Tom Betz Ukraine Relief Fund. 

You will receive the stamp featured here on your envelope, canceled by “Como Park Post."


This stamp and the fund is featured in the May issue of “The Park Bugle" (Como Lake community in St. Paul). The stamp and the fund will also be featured in the May issue of the local post collectors newsletter, “The Poster.” It can be viewed by contacting More information about the club can also be obtained at their website,

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