Potter's printing earns recognition

Each year in May, the United States Postal Service adopts a food drive in which people can donate goods to their mail carrier as part of a national campaign.

The Port Orchard Post Office takes that effort a step further with an annual food drive held each November, prior to Thanksgiving. The collected items, which can be left in (or in a bag near) a mailbox, are donated to the South Kitsap Helpline.

Local residents are made aware of the event through postcards sent out by the post office to advertise the drive. The service area of the Port Orchard Post Office is about 26,000 deliveries—equivalent to quite a bit of paper and ink.

The cost of the printing of the postcards is eliminated by the efforts of Brad Potter, owner of Printing Services, who has printed the cards free of charge for the last four years.

This year, Postmaster John Blair came up with the idea to recognize Potter’s selfless contribution to the community of Port Orchard.

“We wanted to get together and do something for him,” said Blair. “It’s a nice gesture that he does for the community.”

Blair, his fellow employees and Executive Director of South Kitsap Helpline Joe Edwards presented Potter with a special plaque on Oct. 3.

“We surprised him immensely,” said Blair. “This is just something that I was immediately interested in doing.”

The recognition consisted of a speech by Blair, presentation of the plaque, and profuse thanks to Potter from all those in attendance.

“Last year, they raised 20,000 pounds of food,” said Joe Edwards. “That is a really significant amount. (The food drive) is a very important program to the function of our food bank. It really helps us a lot.”

Brad Potter (along with wife Merry) began family-owned Printing Services nearly 15 years ago.

“(My work) is very interesting and diversified,” said Potter. “There’s always a new challenge.”

In addition to his efforts for the post office and Helpline, Potter also makes annual visits to Haiti to teach English, help with copying needs, and assist with feeding programs of the Haitian people through affiliation with Independent Christian Alliance (a Haitian-run organization).

“I’m honored and thankful to be recognized,” said Potter. “But I didn’t do it for the award, I did it to help.”

The amount of food doled out by the Helpline to each family is dependent on the size of the family, but as Joe Edwards reiterates, every little bit helps.

“(Potter’s) assistance and his generosity are much appreciated by all of us here at the Helpline and everyone that he’s helped,” said Edwards. “It’s really worked out well.”

“I would love to do more to be able to recognize people,” said Blair. “I think there’s a lot of people in the community that do really positive things.”

“I just think it’s important to give back to your community,” said Potter.

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