Donate your handmade cards to spread a little extra joy this holiday season! Learn why, how, and where to donate today.
Help Spread Holiday Joy
Every day I challenge myself to find new tips, techniques, and tools to share here at Paper Craft Romance to help you with paper crafting. Above all, that is my aim, and hopefully what I share here really does help you. However, today I want to share something a little different — a way that you can challenge yourself to help others.
While the holiday season is one big, brightly-wrapped package of joy for many of us, it isn’t that way for everyone. From children in hospitals battling serious illnesses to senior citizens struggling in loneliness, there are many for whom the holidays are as far from happy as it gets. Now I know you can’t personally cure all the ills of the world — none of us can. But you can make a difference this year by doing one small, easy thing: donate your handmade cards.
Think back on the last time you got a card or letter. Didn’t it make you smile to open something other than a bill or an advertisement? Knowing that someone was thinking of you — didn’t that put a little extra spring in your step? Didn’t realizing that someone took time out of their busy day to reach out to you give you just a little more energy with which to navigate the challenges of your day? All of that and more is what you can do for someone else when you donate your handmade cards!
How to Donate Your Handmade Cards
Donating your handmade cards is easy! Here are a few different ways you can do it:
1. Who Do You Know?
Ask yourself who you know that could use a little extra encouragement right now. A neighbor, co-worker, someone at your gym or church? If you don’t know anyone, check with your friends and family. Once you find someone — and chances are you will — make that person a card, or choose one from your stash, and then write an encouraging note inside. If you’re not comfortable signing your name, that’s OK — you can sign it from ‘Someone who cares’ or the like. As for getting the card to them, you can mail it if you have a postal address, or even pass it along through a mutual acquaintance, work inbox, etc.
2. Local Charities, Hospitals, and Senior Homes
A simple search online for “donate handmade cards” plus the name of your city and state will likely turn up several organizations in your area that would really appreciate your willingness to donate your handmade cards. Check with them about any guidelines they may have, and then get your cards to them as soon as you can.
3. National Card Donation Organizations
There are many wonderful organizations throughout the United States that will help you donate your handmade cards to those who need them. Each has a different focus in terms of the group of people that they serve, so you’ll want to choose one that is a good match for you and your crafting style. For example, if you make mostly cute cards with animals and children on them, an organization that provides cards to hospitalized children could be a good match. On the other hand, if you prefer to make more sophisticated cards, you might want to donate your handmade cards to a group that serves wounded veterans or retirement home residents.
Organizations To Donate To
Here are just a few of the many organizations in the United States to which you can donate your handmade cards:
- Card Care Connection (Supporting cancer patients)
- Cards for Cops (Supporting injured law enforcement officers and their families)
- Cards for Hospitalized Kids (Supporting hospitalized children in all 50 states)
- DOROT (Supporting senior citizens)
- Faith, Hope & Charity (Supporting special needs children and adults)
- Prospect Home Care & Hospice (Supporting terminally ill individuals and their families)
- Send a Smile 4 Kids (Supporting hospitalized children in the United States and Canada)
- Soldiers’ Angels Cards Plus Team (Supporting active soldiers, veterans, and their families)
Important – Guidelines for Donated Cards
There is one very important thing you need to do if you choose to donate through an organization: follow their guidelines.
Each program has a unique set of rules that you need to pay attention to if you want them to be able to use your cards. These typically have to do with:
- Acceptable card sizes
- Using and/or not using certain materials to make the cards
- Whether or not you write in or sign the cards
- Including or not including envelopes
- How you pack your cards for mailing
Although some of these guidelines may not make sense to you, please respect and follow them anyway — they are in place for a reason. For example, when Operation Write Home (now defunct) was collecting cards for American soldiers serving overseas, they didn’t allow the use of glitter. Many donors thought this was silly, but as it turns out, glitter wasn’t allowed because it could get on the soldiers’ clothes and give away their position at night. So little, but so important! Bottom line, if you want the cards that you donate to be used, please follow the guidelines.
There are many different but easy ways to donate your handmade cards — it’s just a matter of deciding which works best for you. Whether you share them locally, or donate them to a national organization, I guarantee you that your cards will be appreciated. By donating even one handmade card, you could bring a smile and some much needed encouragement to someone who really needs it. True, one person isn’t the whole world, but you might be surprised at the ripple effect that little bit of joy you send creates. Joy, after all, is very contagious, so sharing even a little has every potential to make this bright and shiny holiday season an even bigger gift than it already is.
Share Your Thoughts
Do you or will you donate your handmade cards this holiday season? How do or will you go about it? Are there other card donation organizations or important points about donating cards that you know of? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts!
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