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Stamp celebrates helping children

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Mentoring a child has become so important that the U.S. Postal Service has issued a new 34-cent stamp to help raise awareness of this vital service.

The new stamp is a tribute to the thousands of volunteers who offer friendship, guidance and support to young people through mentoring. These men and women volunteer as members of organizations that include Communities in Schools, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, religious communities and various corporations.

Many mentoring programs are tailored for disadvantaged youths, but young people from diverse backgrounds benefit from the relationship.

The new stamps feature a design that conveys the benefits of mentoring. The computer-generated artwork depicts an adult offering guidance to a child. At the top of the stamp is "Mentoring a Child." At the bottom is "Values-Goals-Skills."

The guiding force behind the program is the National Mentoring Partnership. It provides assistance to any organization or individual wanting to volunteer.

For more information, visit the National Mentoring Partnership at www.mentoring.org.

The best way to obtain first-day official postmarks of the Mentoring stamp is to call 800-STAMP-24, toll free. The USPS also will provide a comprehensive catalog. In addition, you can visit the Postal Store at www.usps.com.