Back in 1984, two philatelists from Beloeil, QC, Jean-Pierre Lagacé and the late Marcel Désilet, had the idea to collect the stamps affixed on envelopes arriving from around the world at Development and Peace – Caritas Canada and offer them to stamp collectors for purchase. The money raised by the sale of these stamps would then be entirely given to Development and Peace to support its programs.
During the first years of this initiative, the amounts collected were minimal, but the funds raised became increasingly significant once stamp sales were organized, not only in Beloeil, but also in Montreal and Quebec City. Today, volunteers in these three cities collect nearly $30,000 per year.
The first sale of the 2017-2018 season was held in Beloeil on Saturday, September 16th and more than $3,000 was raised. This pushed the amount raised from these sales to more than $500,000 when added to the amounts raised since 1992, the year when sales results began to be recorded.
Jean-Pierre Lagacé, one of the two founders of this initiative, was on hand in Beloeil last Saturday, saying that “to see the results and the involvement of our many volunteers over the course of the last 33 years, we can conclude that the stamp sale was… a good idea!”
Currently, there are 30 volunteers that are part of Project Stamp. They recognize that there are fewer people nowadays that use stamps for their mail, but they encourage everyone to be mindful of the letters that they receive and to put aside envelopes on which stamps are affixed. These envelopes can then be given to Development and Peace members from across Canada, who in turn hand them over to volunteers in charge of removing the stamps from the envelopes, categorizing them by country, and selling them to collectors.