Valentine, Texas, gears up with special postmark for 2024

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Each year, thousands of people from around the nation and even the world send their Valentines to the Post Office in Valentine, Texas, for a special postmark.

For more than 30 years, the unique Valentine’s Day postmark has been selected from a contest among students at the Valentine Independent School District.

Valentine is located about 160 miles southeast of El Paso in Jeff Davis County.

This year’s winning artist is 12th grader Jajahira Rodriguez. The inspiration for her winning drawing came from her memories of her father, who drove a tractor. Her father died in 2022 and her drawing is a tribute to him, according to a news release sent out by the U.S. Postal Service.

Rodriguez grew up in Van Horn and attends school in Valentine.

When she is not at school, she works at her family’s restaurant.

Each year, starting in January, the Valentine Post Office gets thousands of Valentines and greeting cards to be stamped and sent out to loved ones.

Postmaster Ismelda Ornelas “personally hand-cancels an average of 10,000 to 12,000 envelopes each year and calls it a labor of love,” according to the Postal Service.

“It never gets old. Every year brings a new experience, whether it be interesting artwork or a message of love on envelopes. It is heartwarming to know I play a small part in connecting Valentines all over the country from little Valentine, Texas,” Ornelas said.

A mail-in request for the customized postmark is simple. Address a greeting card to that special person(s), affix a first-class mail postage stamp to each, and place in a larger envelope, also with appropriate postage. Address the larger envelope to: Valentine’s Day Postmark, Postmaster, 311 W. California Ave., Valentine, TX, 79854-9998.

There is no charge for requests for up to 50 cancellations. Requests for more than 50 cancellations will be charged 5 cents for each additional cancellation. The cancellation is available until March 14.

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