Why this Virginia post office adds a 'special heart-shaped postmark' every Valentine's Day

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Posted at 6:40 PM, Feb 14, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-14 18:41:00-05

VALENTINES, Va. -- February 14 is the day of love for many, both young and old.

Valentine's Day isn't just another holiday, but the opportunity to show someone how much you love them.

For those living in southern Virginia, the cards they mail have to first pass through the door of a one-of-a-kind post office, in Valentines, Virginia.

In Brunswick County, not far from the North Carolina state line, sits a Virginia community that is well-known across the country.

"We are the only Valentines in the United States," said Kathy Fajna, a clerk at the Valentines Post Office.

For true lovers of Valentine's Day, the 23887 post office is an important part of celebrating the holiday.

It's the only post office in the country known for its official Valentine's postmark.

Fajna says every year, the office can look forward to receiving cards nearly a month in advance of the holiday.

“We will start receiving cards and having people bring in cards, about the middle of January," Fajna said.

Mail addressed to the postmaster at the Valentine's Post Office gets opened and then hand-stamped to be sent out again.

“They mail off their cards and those cards are already very special because they are sealed with love, sending them to somebody they care about but we add our little touch to them with our special heart-shaped postmark," Fajna said.

The postmark stamp came out decades ago, thanks to then-postmaster, Willie Wright.

Fajna, who has been with the USPS for over 30 years, says this particular post office holds special memories for her.

"I used to come here as a small child with my mama," she said.

And now, every year in the weeks before February 14, Fajna hosts children from around the area, as well as adults from Virginia, North Carolina, and other states.

"Some of the people come in with motorcycle groups and Corvette clubs," Fajna said.

And while Valentine's Day is the biggest occasion to have cards postmarked at the station, there are other times the stamp gets pulled out to be used.

“Upon request, we will use it, throughout the year, we have a lot of people who bring in their wedding invitations, their save-the-dates for wedding showers, baby showers, that kind of thing," Fajna said.

By the end of Valentine's Day, thousands of cards will have been stamped and sent out to mailboxes across the country to surprise sweethearts who will see the special heart-shaped design on the outside - before seeing their special card on the inside.

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