Indeed, maybe it would work out if someone just opens a thread for this issue. There, people can post their requests. If there are enough volunteers to help now and then, then it is not too costly for each individual helper. If it works out that way, then we have an elegant and simple solution.
If we make (or already have) a thread for such requests, then people need to know that it exists, so they can use it.
everybody is not really using PayPal. There are many people who don’t have any credit card and who don’t use any net services for buying something.
I suggest that anybody could ask for help and “pay” it by sending an extra postcard or 2 to the helper.
I initially got carried away with the idea of establishing actual bridging-members, who deal with, say, 5 bridging cards per week. So I thought of a long-term sustainable solution, which would be paying the bridging member for the stamp. There reason why I thought in such a big scale is that a huge amount of postcrossing members are Russians and Northarmericans, so I thought the demand might be high.
However, if the demand is not that high and enough people are helping each other in the “tags and postal monitor” thread, than I guess people figure out themselves how often they would like to help and if they send an additional thankyou-card to the helper.
Thank you on your comment on “Paypal”, @kotona ! In this case, paying for the stamps would need another solution. But it seems that people have found other ways and the helpers mostly pay the stamp their own.
I have already offered it elsewhere: if you send me cards with French or German stamps in an envelope to my P.O.Box (address in my profile) I will drop them in the nearest mailbox. You can buy internet stamps and just print them.
German stamps are a little cheaper and they are valid for three years. I explained how to buy them in this post.
I think it is a great suggestion. I feel a specific section for these types of threads to reside makes a lot of sense as they are spread out all over the place now. As offers to help and various threads on this topic are all over the place currently. Also can share success stories.
Postcards connect people, so it is great to be able to overcome geo-political issues that get in the way.
Personally I have used multiple methods, and always looking for new things to try. Thankful for kind people I’ve met that have helped forward and provide postage, purchased my own foreign stamps and sent ready to mail, printed my own postage (Deutsche Post) and sent to be forwarded, and most recently first of UN cards have started arriving (I purchased stamps online and then sent to UN Geneva). This has allowed me to get cards and letters to people had otherwise been unable to send to directly from the US.
Politicians divide people, but Postcrossing unites. It is not known how long the postal suspensions can last, and why people, for example, from the United States, cannot send letters and postcards to their penpals in Russia. What are they to blame?
I agree with you in the case of restrictions and sanctions, and I have personally stopped participating in round robins because of everyone’s keenness to help me to send cards to restricted countries by offering to be an intermediary when I don’t personally wish to do this.
But not all closed routes are like that — Australia also can’t send to Trinidad and Tobago but that’s not because we have beef with them; it’s just a lack of flights. Since the US can send there, I wouldn’t have any problem enlisting an American (or anyone else who can act as an Australia- Trinidad and Togabo link) to help.
So this type of kindness of the community is a bad thing? I don’t think anyone is forcing anyone; wouldn’t a simple “no thank you” suffice?
This OP suggestion isn’t forcing anyone to do anything, just help those of us who are looking for such solutions, bridging connections with people around the world. If you don’t want to, cool, just move along.
I feel like you and others miss the point that those of us that are trying to send cards to PEOPLE in these countries, that have established friendships and connections. It is easy to get sucked into the “us” and “them” viewpoints, politics, or “preferences,” but this isn’t about any of that. Just people trying to send some smiles between us, despite what country we reside.
In this case, this very topic might be the right one to be declared as bridging topic, where all the issues, of which @bendoodle is talking about in the quote, are discussed.
Btw, I got a little confused about the terminology and went back to this post: Forum User Guide
When I said “thread” in previous posts, I meant “topic”. Could you, @bendoodle, help me what you mean by “section”. A topic or a category?
I feel that a topic would suffice. We can discuss this.
I think it is fine not to be in favour of the bridging-thing. It will be only interesting to a subgroup of postcrossers: Those who would like to communicate beyond restrictions and those who would like to help.
Yeah, my terminology was a little confusing there. To re-phrase that:
I feel a specific category for these types of “bridging” topics to reside makes a lot of sense to me and is a good suggestion. Topics related specifically to this “bridging” are all over the place currently (mostly in Help! category, but some other places as well). So harder to find without a lot of searching through past threads.
I really only chimed in with my support of the suggestion, as too often I read posts in these topics with unconstructive negativity, so felt the need to offer some support with this. This specific topic is in the suggestion category, so don’t think this is the right place to talk about bridging itself, just the idea of having a dedicated Category. But now felt like I’ve beat a dead horse (as we say) on this
If it is the case that requests for bridging restricted postal ways are currently distributed over the forum and possibly sometimes discouraged, then I am in favour of having a dedicated space for those request and offerings to help. Whether that’s a topic or an entire category is not important to me.
However, I am somewhat new to the Forum, so I don’t know how these kinds of things work. Do we need the involvement of an admin (e.g. to create a category), or should we just try it ourselves? Once there is a dedicated category or topic, we should make interested people aware of it. One way (although maybe not the most efficient), is to reply to people who are offering or asking for bridging help, that they could additionally post in the dedicated topic/category.