Volunteer Crafting Group Prepares to Cross 2.5 Million Mark for Homemade Cards for U.S. Military
"One of my favorite hobbies is making greeting cards,” local artist and Mesquite Citizen Journal columnist Susan Lang said. “The problem with most hobbies is they start piling up. I can only send so many cards.”
Lang follows several blogs about card-making and discovered an organization that could put her cards to good use. Operation Write Home is a grassroots organization that connects patriotic paper crafters with deployed heroes who like to write home to their loved ones.
Caption: Two of the cards Lang has sent to Operation Write Home program have patriotic themes.
“Not all the cards have the red, white and blue, but these two are some of my favorites. It makes me feel good to think a soldier selects one of my cards to use to send his messages back home,” Lang commented.
A quarter of a million cards—handmade for U.S. service personnel to send home treasured personal messages—is not something Operation Write Home’s organizers ever dreamed would occur this soon when the organization formed in 2007.
But by November 7, the non-profit is expected to cross the 2.5 million card landmark. By now, one of the tens of thousands of crafters in the United States-wide volunteer network has made the last delicate snip, carefully colored in an image, and tied a tiny knot with ribbon on that milestone card—and it will be sent out just before Veteran’s Day.
“Our mission is to
make sure deployed American service members can keep in touch with home by providing a steady supply of handmade greeting cards,” said founder and Executive Director, Sandy Allnock. It began when Allnock, an avid craft hobbyist in Washington State, and her small group of passionate card crafters met deployed service personnel on a message board and discussed sharing their creations. Allnock began coordinating shipments of cards out of her living room.
The organization has grown steadily since then, now supplying over half a million cards a year; nearly 8,000 boxes have been shipped to over 2,000 deployed units. Each box includes a packet of “AnyHero letters” too—these are cards, letters, and drawings from adults and children across the nation, filled with messages of gratitude and encouragement, and serve as needed morale boosts for those serving far from home.
Popularity among the military has grown, as well, with new requests regularly pouring in. “We so appreciate your sincere expression of support for America’s deployed sons and daughters,” said LTC McGregor, serving in Afghanistan. “You just don’t know how much these special cards mean to us.”
Operation Write Home keeps their community updated by hosting daily cardmaking webcasts, an interactive blog, and managing a vibrant Facebook page with thousands of fans who exchange cardmaking ideas, hear feedback from recipients of cards, and share patriotic inspiration to motivate the group. “Not only do we know we’re providing a necessary service,” said Allnock, “but we are all like a big family. We’re doing something good – and having fun at it too.”
Visit http://operationwritehome.org for more information or contact Sandy Allnock, President, email@example.com, (253) 218-5715