Christmas Seals Have Been Sticking Around for More than 100 Years

Christmas Seals Have Been Sticking Around for More than 100 Years

Christmas Seals Have Been Sticking Around for More than 100 Years

More than 100 years ago, a woman named Emily Bissell designed and printed stickers during the holidays as a way to raise money for a struggling medical facility treating patients with tuberculosis. 

Those stickers – what we now know as Christmas Seals – are still helping to raise money to help those with lung disease.  

The Original Christmas Stickers

As the American Lung Association tells us, “In the early 20th century, tuberculosis was the leading cause of death in the United States. Physicians were experiencing the first signs of success treating tuberculosis in special hospitals called sanitoriums, and one of those facilities had fallen on tough times. The tiny Delaware sanitorium would have to close its doors if $300 could not be raised to save it.” 

Emily Bissell’s cousin happened to be a doctor at that facility. When she learned about the situation, she rolled up her sleeves and got ready to put her fundraising skills and volunteer experience to work.

The idea she came up with was based on a plan that had been successful in Denmark. “She would design and print special holiday seals and sell them at the post office for a penny each,” the Lung Association reports. 

“By the end of her holiday campaign (and after an endorsement by President Roosevelt), she and a large group of committed volunteers had raised ten times the goal and Christmas Seals® were born.”

More Work to Do

It all started with tuberculosis, but soon the American Lung Association expanded its mission and began research into other respiratory diseases, including lung cancer. As the mission expanded it seems so did the popularity of Christmas Seals®

In the 1960s, 70s and 80s, as the organization stepped up to protect children and families from pollution and cigarette smoke, Americans continued to support the Christmas Seals tradition.

These days, the American Lung Association has even added COVID-19 to the list of respiratory illnesses its efforts cover. That’s definitely something to think about when you see those festive little stickers on packages that may arrive on your doorstep!

Best wishes for a happy and healthy holiday season from all of us at Create Decal, your headquarters for custom stickers and decals.

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