Holiday Postal Deadlines

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As if you didn’t already know, Christmas and New Years are approaching very quickly!!

The USPS published their deadlines for mailing DOMESTIC items to arrive by Christmas Eve on December 24th:

December 15th (today!) – Standard Post®
December 20th – First-Class Mail® & Priority Mail®
December 23rd – Priority Mail Express®

Many of the deadlines for international Christmas mail have already passed. Although, you could still try their pricey Global Express Guaranteed service.

The postal services of most other countries offer similar deadlines, but check with your service’s website for their official dates.

Happy holiday mailing!


Ambassador Introduction: TheWhiteSquirrel

ambassadors_miniThe Ambassador program is going strong and I am excited to introduce each of the participants individually over the next few months. They are all enthusiastic, fun, active, positive members who are asked to help promote Swap-bot in their local communities.

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Meet our next Ambassador, TheWhiteSquirrel! TheWhiteSquirrel lives in “The Deep Freeze” aka Fargo, North Dakota. She loves mail art, stationery, and all things Air Mail-themed… and squirrels, of course! She has been swapping on the ‘bot for well over a year and has nearly five hundred 5 ratings!

Ambassador Region: North Dakota, USA

TheWhiteSquirrel

How TheWhiteSquirrel found Swap-bot: “I truly just stumbled upon it while searching online for some sort of pen pal site one day (and SO happy I did).”

Why she enjoys Swap-bot: “I adore Swap-bot….Mail gives me a chance to travel and open my world to learn new things from the comfort of my own home. I get to meet such wonderful people who, despite our differences, all share a common interest — Post! It’s such an inspiration and an outlet for creativity that gives us all a chance to lift ones spirits. Each new swap I sign up for is a new challenge that keeps me going. There are days when I simply don’t know what I would do without these connections — I just love it so.”

Her favorite type of swap: “Type 3! Thought, care & a little effort goes a long way with me. I really enjoy swapping Mail Art — it’s my favorite. I love to see other people’s creations and read their stories. (I imagine what their life is like and step into their world for a brief moment.) I also trade tea often, chocolate from time to time, coins/currency, and am thrilled with anything Air Mail related or anything covered in postage stamps!”

Check out TheWhiteSquirrel’s owl-themed mail art:

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Interesting facts about TheWhiteSquirrel:

  • “I’ve been to 3 continents and 5 countries.”
  • “I like to eat pickles out of tea cups and drink just about everything out of a stein.”
  • “Oh! — and did I mention I <3 Squirrels?"

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I hope you are enjoying getting to know your fellow swappers with these Ambassador Introductions. If you are interested in snail mail swaps for things like postcards, mail art, old books, silverware, books, or coins, TheWhiteSquirrel is definitely the member to contact.


2014 Holiday Gift Donation Drive UPDATE

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I have an awesome announcement… 2014 was our BIGGEST YEAR EVER for our annual Holiday Gift Donation Drive for The Partnership for the Homeless!!! We collected even more than during our epic 2012 Donation Drive for Hurricane Sandy relief! Wow.

Together we collected:

  • $1250 in Paypal and other cash donations. (Half of this money was used to purchase H&M and Old Navy gift cards to give to teens at the Children’s Holiday Party, as requested by The Partnership. The other half was given directly to The Partnership to offset the party costs and to generally support their programs.)
  • $485 in varius other gift cards to places like Target and Barnes & Noble.
  • Many hats, gloves, scarves, books, and toys.
  • 115 Swap-bot members participated in the Donation Drive and our grand total was more than $1735!

I am so impressed with this community’s generosity year after year! Thank you all so much for your support and participation!

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Our lovely Partnership contact, Wanda, came and picked up our box of donations today. Our gifts will make a huge impact at the Children’s Holiday Party this Saturday, December 6th. The holiday season will be a little brighter for many of NYC’s homeless youth thanks to you!

Happy, happy holidays! xoxo


Ambassador Introduction: Rocktopus

ambassadors_miniThe Ambassador program is going strong and I am excited to introduce each of the participants individually over the next few months. They are all enthusiastic, fun, active, positive members who are asked to help promote Swap-bot in their local communities.

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Meet our next Ambassador, Rocktopus! Rocktopus lives near Houston, Texas, and has been swapping for four years. She loves watercolor, jewelry, and collecting lots of things, like nature items and coins.

rocktopus2Ambassador Region: Texas, USA

How Rocktopus found Swap-bot: ” I was searching for a penpal system after seeing an article on the lost art of letter-writing, I was blessed with a link to this site.”

Why she enjoys Swap-bot: “Meeting new friends from around the globe, connecting on a personal level with so many wonderful people, fitting a swap to a profile, learning a new craft (I bought my sewing machine because of this site!) and of course receiving mail that is not bills! ”

Her favorite type of swap: “It’s a close call between ATC’s and profile-based private swaps. I love to do any swap that is time-intensive, especially if it’s for a new craft. Private swaps are my favorite because you can tailor so specifically to your partner!”

Check out some of Rocktopus’ cool steampunk-style ATCs:

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And two of her Harry Potter-themed swaps:

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And her cute mail art:

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Interesting facts about Rocktopus: “I Geocache as a hobby, think of it as a giant treasure hunt that spans continents! I collect lots of things, butterflies, coins, bones, stamps and ATC’s. I work as a Title I Aide for an elementary school. I used to be terrified of sewing machines, but the ‘Bot helped me conquer that fear! I have two sweet cats but would love twenty! I am engaged to be married March 2015 to the love of my life. I love to send out elaborately decorated swaps/gifts.”

Rocktopus’ Links:

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I hope you are enjoying getting to know your fellow swappers with these Ambassador Introductions. If you are interested in ATC or private profile-based snail mail swaps, Rocktopus is definitely the member to contact.


free, printable Swap-bot mailing label

free Swap-bot mailing label

Hello swappers! I’ve got a special treat for you today… your Swap-bot Ambassador to Portugal, mariadastrouxas has created an awesome, free, printable mailing label using worldwide postal history illustrations. Very cool! You can download, print, and use the label on all of your Swap-bot packages. The label will fit on a standard size sheet of printer paper (8.5 x 11 inches).

Download the mailing label HERE.

Have fun decorating your packages!


featured swaps: Holiday Card & Matchbox Swaps

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Happy holiday season, everyone! Now is the time to fit in your holiday swapping before the season and the mail system gets too crazy. There are TONS of holiday-themed swaps available now, but I wanted to bring your attention to my two public holiday swaps:

Fun & Easy Holiday Card Swap – A simple, international, snail mail swap open to new & experienced users. Send (and receive) one store-bought or handmade holiday card to one partner. So easy! And it is a Top Swap! Sweet.

Holiday Fun Matchbox Swap – An annual, international, paper crafting swap for experienced users with a 4.9 rating or higher. Craft a cute holiday-themed matchbox and fill it with goodies for your one partner.

Sign up for both swaps before this Friday, November 21st. Send your items before December 15th.

Hosting your own holiday swaps? Share the links in the comments!


Ambassador Introduction: dodothefairy

ambassadors_miniThe Ambassador program is going strong and I am excited to introduce each of the participants individually over the next few months. They are all enthusiastic, fun, active, positive members who are asked to help promote Swap-bot in their local communities.

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Meet our next Ambassador, dodothefairy! Dodothefairy lives in Naples, Italy, and she has been a member of Swap-bot for exactly five years. Wow! She likes drawing, scrapbooking, and reading.

dodothefairyAmbassador Region: Italy

How dodothefairy found Swap-bot: “I really don’t remember how I found Swap-bot, but I liked it very quickly because it let me meet some amazing people and facts of the word.”

Why she enjoys Swap-bot: “I love receiving snail-mail, every parcel is a great joy.”

Her favorite type of swap: “I try to spend not very much, so I really love the electronic swaps in which we could exchange photos of our city and life. I love also the profile surprise swap and escepially the ones in which you have to send a decorated envelope with a little surprise. I love to send coloful envelope drawn by me!”

Check out two of dodothefairy’s snail mail swaps:

dodothefairyswaps

Interesting fact about dodothefairy: “I love rain in summer. When last summer it began to rain I went under the raindrops and started dance and laugh!”

Dodothefairy’s Instagram account dedicated to her beautiful city of Naples:
Pizza and the City

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I hope you are enjoying getting to know your fellow swappers with these Ambassador Introductions. If you are interested in colorful mail art swaps, food swaps, or anything Harry Potter or Twilight related, dodothefairy is definitely the member to contact.


Super Surprise Giveaway Winner

Hi friends! Now is the exciting time to announce the winner of the Super Surprise Craft Supply Giveaway…. and the winner is…. Paige1900!!!

Her prize box of crafty supplies will be mailed out this week.

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I used Random.org to randomly select the winner out of the eligible comments. Thank you to everyone who entered. It was so fun to read about your crafting plans for the rest of the year.

Stay tuned for more giveaways in the near future!



2014 Holiday Gift Donation Drive

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Did you know? Nearly 24,000 children will be sleeping in New York municipal shelters tonight.

It is that time of year again when we can help brighten the holiday season for some of NYC’s homeless youth. Help us by donating to our 5th Annual Holiday Gift Donation Drive to benefit the Partnership for the Homeless!

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The Partnership for the Homeless is a NYC charity committed to building a just and equitable society and creating lasting community change through solution-oriented programs and policy initiatives that eliminate the root causes of homelessness. They provide all sorts of services, support, and advocacy for the homeless in NYC and they would greatly appreciate our donation of new, unwrapped gifts and gift cards to be handed out to children at their Children’s Holiday Party in Brooklyn on December 6th, 2014.

Message from The Partnership for the Homeless:

We thank you for your past support and look forward to your continued sponsorship as we put on our annual Holiday Party for these children and their families. The afternoon will be magical for these children with music, games, crafts, face painters, tasty food and a picture with Santa. We hope that this will result in an abundance of laughter. The need for funding remains — we need to defray the costs for items like food, entertainment and transportation for the children and their families.

We hope to send each child home with toys, games, clothes and books, but more importantly, a smile from ear to ear. These “gifts from Santa” are only possible through donations, toy drives and the generous spirit of contributors like you. As a non-profit, we need people like you to help us make this a special afternoon.

I hope we can count on your participation once again during these tough times. Thank you for your support and wishing you a happy holiday season filled with warmth, health and happiness.

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Let’s put together a huge donation of gifts for The Partnership!!

We can accept the following items for donation: Gift cards in $10 or $20 amounts to stores like Target, Barnes and Noble, H&M, Gap, Old Navy, Forever 21, Aeropostale, and Best Buy. Gift cards must be new and unused and must be to stores that are accessible in NYC. Gift cards are the most requested item by The Partnership for the Homeless because they are versatile and good for older kids, but we can also accept new, unwrapped toys, books, and winter gear (hats, gloves, scarves, etc) donations. Read more info about what can be donated here.

Send your donations by Monday, November 24th to:

Rachel Johnson
Swap-bot.com
285 5th Ave PMB 415
Brooklyn, NY 11215

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And here is the extra-special holiday bonus reward for your donation: Each Swap-bot member who sends in a donation of a gift card or item will earn the removal of one low (1 or 3) rating from their account!! You must mail your donation to Swap-bot headquarters (address above) by Monday, November 24th. If you do not have a poor rating on your account, you will receive a credit for one future rating removal. Each person can only earn one rating removal credit during this donation drive –- although you are welcome to donate more than one item!

The Fine Print: All ratings removed in exchange for a donation must be at least six months old and/or the user must have exhausted all options for making up the swap. The rating removal credit is meant to remove unfair or unfixable ratings — it is not a “free pass” for flaking. Everyone who donates will receive an email from me with the details of the rating removal credit. You can reply to that message any time to “cash in” your credit. I also make a permanent admin note (only visible to admin) on each donor’s account stating that they have a rating removal credit.

International option: If you are unable to purchase appropriate gift cards in your area or ship other gifts, I am willing to accept cash donations via Paypal. I will then buy a gift card in your name to donate OR donate the money directly to the Partnership for the Homeless, depending on their greater need. Use the button below to donate OR send Paypal donations to rachel -at- swap-bot.com. (Replace the -at- and spaces with @.) All Paypal donations of $10 or more will count toward a rating removal.

Use this button to donate via Paypal:
The 2014 Donation Drive is now completed.

As always, let me know if you have any questions.

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Check out our past four Donation Drives:

2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013