Collecting stamps together

Many companies, parishes, kindergartens, youth groups, schools and individuals alike have been sending their stamps to Bethel for years. From the daily post to prize competitions. We would like to take this opportunity to express our sincere thanks for the many years of support.

Bethel can make good use of any stamps: German and foreign, franked and unfranked stamps, whether on postcards and envelopes, or cut out. When cutting out stamps, please leave a margin of one centimetre to avoid damaging the stamp.

Some public institutions or parishes place collection boxes from the Bethel Stamp Centre in a clearly visible location to collect the stamps. By doing so, they draw attention to Bethel's work and also encourage other people to donate stamps. Posters and stickers from the Bethel Stamp Centre indicating a collection campaign are available here free of charge.

Sending stamps by post

Please continue to send larger quantities to:

Bethel Stamp Centre

Quellenhofweg 25

33617 Bielefeld

Ludwig Kirsch replaces stamps
"The work is very interesting and you learn a lot. I sometimes look up personalities depicted on stamps in the encyclopaedia."
Ludwig Kirsch
Tugba Akgün sorts stamps in compartment
"I like coming to work. The tasks are varied and I really enjoy them all."
Tugba Akgün
Stefan Engels sorts the cancelled stamps.
"I feel safe in this workplace. There's a good atmosphere here. The Stamp Centre is a safe haven."
Stefan Engels

The stamp collecting box

Our offer for shops, churches and public institutions

Here you will find official stamp collection points for Bethel, sorted by postcode. The list is continuously updated so that you will soon be able to find a collection point near you.

Please note that these are collection boxes in business premises, into which only small quantities can be deposited. Large items (albums, parcels, boxes, crates) will not be accepted here.

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A cap full for 50 pfennigs

The idea behind the Stamp Centre in Bethel stretches back to Friedrich von Bodelschwingh, the institution's early and influential director. There is little information about its origins, but correspondence indicates that stamps were already being collected in Bethel before 1888.

The donated stamps are processed in Bethel.

The early manager Oscar Boljahn, who gained stamp donors through letters of solicitation and customers through adverts, was a true driving force. His successor, the missionary businessman Johannes Krapf, oversaw the relocation of the small stamp shop to its own premises, the "Markenhaus". Twenty people with disabilities were employed here. As is still the case today, they sorted, washed and sent donated stamps to collectors. The work area was later assigned to the Brockensammlung, Bethel's acceptance and sales centre for all donations in kind. Here, the stamps led a shadowy existence: they were kept in a box and nobody sorted or cleaned them. The stamps were only taken out for direct sale: a handful were sold for 20 pfennigs, a capful for 50 pfennigs.

The stamps are weighed by the employees for sale by the kilo.
The stamps are weighed by the employees for sale by the kilo.

Things did not change until 1946: stamp processing began again behind the porter's lodge. Even then, a significant proportion of the postage was sent to other homes, for example in Eckardtsheim or Freistatt, where other severely disabled people found employment. Today, the stamp centre and processing department are located at the Dankort in Bielefeld-Bethel. A total of 125 people with disabilities are employed to process stamps.

Contact us

Bethel Stamp Centre

Quellenhofweg 25

33617 Bielefeld