Profile America — Saturday, December 7th. Christmas Seals in the U.S. are 106 years old today. The first seals in America went on sale in 1907 at a table set up in the Wilmington, Delaware, post office. The idea was to sell special stamps to put on Christmas mailings, with the profits to go to help in the fight against tuberculosis. The goal was $300, and 10 times that amount were sold. The next year, sales reached $135,000. From then on, Christmas Seals have been sold nationwide and is the nation's oldest direct mail fundraising campaign. Since 1973, these special stamps are sold by the American Lung Association and have accounted for up to 35 percent of its direct mail revenue. Individually Americans contribute over $225 billion a year to charitable causes. Profile America is in its 17th year as a public service of the U.S. Census Bureau.
Profile America is produced by the Center for New Media and Promotions of the U.S. Census Bureau. These daily features are available as produced segments, ready to air, on the Internet at http://www.census.gov (look for "Multimedia Gallery" by the "Newsroom" button).