Mariska Hargitay, My Nominee for the Next Stamp

January 9, 2009
By Nicole Russo, Forked River, NJ

To Whom It May Concern:

It has come to my attention that the United States Postal Service is getting ready to make the next commemorative stamp, and is taking suggestions. There are many people who have shaped America as a whole in the last 20 years; some for example, are Bill Gates, John McCain, George Bush, Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan. There are many more to be named, people in music, movies, television, radio, theatre, literature and journalism. However, if you’re looking for someone who has helped make the world a better place, your best bet is to look at Mariska Hargitay, star of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, as well as activist, wife, mother, and real woman.

Mariska (Ma-RISH-ka) Hargitay was well known, before she came into her own, as the daughter of legendary actress Jayne Mansfield. Since 2002, however, she has made a name for herself with her own foundation, The Joyful Heart Foundation. Joyful Heart is a foundation that helps survivors of sexual assault, abuse (child abuse and domestic violence), and rape. The idea came to her when a friend took her to Hawaii on a much needed vacation from the horrid things she sees each day. While in Hawaii she went swimming with the dolphins, and the idea for Joyful Heart Foundation was born. Once she got back to New York, she began vigorously working on the foundation, and in 2002, Joyful Heart began its mission to healing the victims of abuse and helping them become survivors. It’s thanks to Mariska’s kindness and generosity that many women have come to terms with their attacks, and have regained their lives.

Mariska Hargitay is a self proclaimed “late bloomer”. She got her big break at thirty five, married at forty, had her fist child, a boy named August, at forty two, and her and her husband, German-American actor Peter Hermann, are trying for their second child. She’s a role model for women, proclaiming on her E! True Hollywood Story that she worked as a waitress at Book Soup in Los Angeles while she had some down time. She also worked as a teacher’s aid and a recess aid in 1992. She’s a real woman, not trying to strive to be a size two, and not exercising to be thin, but to be healthy, so she can he a “fun mom” not a “gasping-for-air mom”. Many women look up to her, because of this.

Mariska is not only a wife, mother, actress, and activist, all wrapped into one. She’s also a fashion designer with her own line of uplifting t-shirts, as well as a well rounded woman. She speaks four languages, English, Italian, Hungarian, and French, she’s traveled to Hungary many times with her father, whom is a native Hungarian, and her step-mother. She also has a great sense of humor, something the entire cast of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit has, because of the delicate subject matter that they deal with on a day to day basis. She runs out in the middle of the street after they finish shooting with her badge screaming “POLICE!” Not all actors who deal with the hardships she sees day in and day out would be able to laugh and joke the way she does.

On the whole, I believe that Mariska Hargitay should be on the next postage stamp. She has helped many women in their struggle to regain their lives after a violent attack through The Joyful Heart Foundation. As a self proclaimed late bloomer she has shown women that it’s never too late to reach what you’ve been dreaming for. She’s also made great strides as a fashion designer, polyglot, and has a wonderful sense of humor. Mike Myers has honored her in his latest movie, The Love Guru, using her name as Guru Pitka’s blessing. Now, its time she’s honored in a real way. Mariska Hargitay is my nominee for the next person to be put on a postage stamp, and with all the good she’s done, how can you say no?

The author's comments:
This was written as a writing prompt for a persuasive essay. The prompt was:

The U.S. Postal Service has honored many individuals from presidents to singers to cartoon characters, by placing their portraits on postage stamps. The faces of Elvis Presley, Langston Hughes, Eleanor Roosevelt, and even Mickey Mouse have accompanied American mail to its destinations all around the world. Now the U.S. Postal Service is taking suggestions for their next commemorative stamp. They hope to honor someone who has made an important contribution to American society within the past 20 years, particularly one who has influenced the youth of America.

Your local post office has asked students from your school to write an essay explaining who should be honored with a stamp. What is your point of view? Whom would you nominate to honor with a postage stamp?

The prompt is from

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This article has 4 comments.

on Nov. 13 2010 at 9:48 am
sweetly_broken GOLD, Garner, North Carolina
15 articles 0 photos 158 comments

Favorite Quote:
We never know how big we are until we are asked to rise.

it's posted in the current events section. check it out if you get a chance?

on Nov. 6 2010 at 8:46 pm
sweetly_broken GOLD, Garner, North Carolina
15 articles 0 photos 158 comments

Favorite Quote:
We never know how big we are until we are asked to rise.

i mentioned her in an essay i did on the kit backlog, but it hasn't been posted yet. if i let you know when it is, would you check it out? this is a great article. the only thing is i'm pretty sure that the jhf was started in 2004, not 2002, you just might want to check your facts in the future:)

on Apr. 11 2010 at 5:21 pm
misswings2364 BRONZE, Forked River, New Jersey
3 articles 0 photos 1 comment
Yeah, I noticed that AFTER I posted it. Thanks for the comment!!!

on Mar. 12 2010 at 3:59 am
delilahsky PLATINUM, Arlington, Massachusetts
28 articles 3 photos 65 comments

Favorite Quote:
Just because her eyes don't tear doesn't mean her heart doesn't cry. And just because she comes off strong, doesn't mean there's nothing wrong

-Author Unknown

I really like this article:

1. because I also admire Mariska Hargitay

2. because I think you did a great job presenting her.

My only other comment is that you should double check for typos before submitting anything. Other than that, you are a great writer! (Your "conclusion paragraph" was near perfect).


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