Christmas Seals funds the American Lung Association and research into the prevention and treatment of lung cancer, and to promoting clean air, free of pollutants that contribute to lung disease.
The first Christmas seal was designed by Emily Bissell in 1907 and raised $300 for a small TB sanatorium in Delaware. The sanatorium was a small shack on the banks of the Brandywine River, about to close its doors forever.
Emily drew the first seal, which showed a half wreath of holly, a red cross, and “Merry Christmas” on it. She borrowed $40 from friends and had 50,000 Christmas seals printed, and sold them for a penny each at the post office. Even President Teddy Rossevelt endorsed the campaign, and publicity from the seals got donations which raised the fund to $3,000 which was enough to save the sanitorium. You know that $3,000 is much more than that in today’s dollars.
This year’s stamps are very cute, featuring Santa, a snowman, a reindeer and a polar bear.
Today the American Lung Association suggests that a donation of $5.00 is very helpful: to donate money call 1 800 LUNG-USA or visit http://www.lungusa.org or http://www.christmasseals.org