Last month I was asked to share some info about Operation Write Home– a n0n-profit agency that provides hand-made greeting cards to troops overseas so that they can stay in touch with their families.
Here’s their “about” statement:
This merry band of thousands of cardmakers is made up of Americans â€“ and citizens of other nations too â€“ who care about our military, and want to support them through creativity and encouragement. Many thousands of crafters of all ages and levels of experience have participated since 2007!Care packages filled with hundreds of handmade cards are sent to our contacts, restocking every 6-8 weeks, and are sent in time for the long journey back home to loved ones. Each box is packed with great care, alternating styles, colors, and cardmakers from all over the USA, creating â€œeye candyâ€ for heroes who see only khaki around them. The topper on each box is a plastic bag filled with 20-30 letters from adults and children across the country, letters handed out especially to those in need of a positive word from the homefront.
Boxes are shipped through every week of the year, so join us anytime in sending your beautiful creations to help our heroes keep in touch with home!
I loved the idea of using up some of my card-making supplies to help bring some cheer- so I organized a card-making party last weekend. The lovely folks at We R Memory Keepers offered to supply us with Sweetheart Inkers for stamping as well as a generous supply of their new Washi Tapes.
I admit that I got all excited before I read the guidelines, so we made some oversize cards that will need to be altered or donated to the local nursing home.But here are the biggies:
- No glitter
- Card size A2 (4.25×5.5)
- Dark cards lined with light paper
- Stamped or labeled on back with â€œOperation Write Homeâ€
- If providing envelopes, cards are tucked
- No cards made by children UNLESS they are “AnyHero” cards for the troops themselves
We got busy, though, and cranked out 40 cards in the space of 4 hours or so. We made a mix of birthday, anniversary, “thinking of you,” and blank note cards. We had a wonderful time creating, sharing ideas, and chatting….and making an absolute MESS of my dining room!
Take a look:
If I had to do it over again, I might have done a few things differently- like making sure my card blanks were the right size and offering a more “assembly line” style. Here are a few things to consider if you are going to host your own party:
- Order your “Operation Write Home” Stamps well in advance. Our cards can’t be sent until that stamp comes and I get them all stamped up. (Basic stamps are free, but you can get fancier ones for a nominal cost.)
- Offer 3 or 4 card sketches, and ask guests to stick to them. I might cut down a bit on creativity, but it will increase the number of cards you get completed in the time you have.
- Ask guests to make 5 copies of the same card. The cards will be divided up amongst units, so it’s perfectly cool to make quite a few of the same style. It won’t go to the same unit, and again- it will increase your productivity.
- Involve kids. While greeting cards made by the kiddos aren’t appropriate for the soldiers to send home to their families, they are more than welcome to send AnyHero cards and coloring pages. There is a great page for schools and scouts, too.Â
I made a few cards just using the We R Memory Keepers Washi Tape. I’ll show you a sneak peek of one- I’m working on a post of washi-tape themed cards. But you get a sneak-peek here:
So now I’m going to keep on cranking out cards while I wait for my Operation Write Home stamp to come- my goal is 200 for my first donation.
Again, a huge thank-you to We R Memory Keepers for making me hip to the organization, and for donating supplies for my guests to use. I think I’ll plan another card party for early fall and get a bunch of Holiday cards made!
And if YOU’D like to make some cards- and have a chance to win $1,000- check out this contest that We R Memory Keepers is running! I highly encourage you to join in and make some cards, and maybe win some cash, too!
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