Thursday, April 30, 2009

25+2, a challenge for you!

We at CFH have a new challenge for our card makers. Our goal with the cards we make and send to the service members is to help them stay in touch with their families and friends while on their tour of duty. We are getting more and more requests, and with the slow summer ahead, we are hoping to get your help in filling those needs!

First, the 25...

If all of our current cardmakers, plus a few new ones, send in 25 cards, we might have enough to get through the summer. 25 is a do-able number, even during vacation season! Consider ways you can take stamped images to color by the poolside or campfire, cutting out detailed images while your husband takes a shift driving the van, or other creative ways to keep going for our heroes. (And if you pass the 25—awesome! You'll be making up for those who just can't get to their craft table!)

And now the +2...

We send Any Hero notes when we have them, and those receiving the box of cards try to make sure that those service men and women who don't get mail from home receive one of those notes.

Well it has come to our attention that our service men and women also don't always get a birthday card on their birthday. How depressing would that be??? Here you are thousands of miles away from home, serving your country and your birthday rolls around with no mail. Now.....that is probably not because your family didn't think about you and mail you most likely is because the mail delivery has been delayed. Turns out some of our recipients have been stashing some of the birthday cards to have fellow service members sign so that they do get a card on their birthday.

Also stretch outside your box and write a regular AnyHero note to a service member too. Now you may ask what do I write about? Well, that's easy. Tell them where you live, where you work, what the weather is like, just plain ole' chit chat. They love to see a note that is handwritten and that just tells them a little about your life. Include a thank you at the end for their service and you are done. It can also just be a short "Thanks for serving" type of note. Once you have written one....they will get easier! (And, as some folks have found, addictive!)

So it's 25 + 2 for summer!

SO........your challenge is two fold. Next time you send one of us a package of cards, we would like you to try to do these two things.

  1. Make 25 blank cards, any theme, for heroes to write home on!
  2. Make a birthday card and SIGN IT with a birthday greeting and short note, AND use one of your cards and write an Any Hero note in it!

Now if everyone sends these two cards with each package that you send in, we will have a good supply of notes to send with each package. There are times we have no Any Hero letters to send and that is just a shame. With summer coming, think about those picnics or gatherings you might be going to for Memorial Day, 4th of July or Labor Day. Bring some cards and pens........lay them out and tell people about them. You might just be surprised at how many would be willing to take 5 minutes to write a short note. They've wanted to thank a hero and might have been too awkward to do it in person, but a note is the perfect opportunity to share what they want to say! When you mail these notes to us, make sure to leave the envelope unsealed as we need to be able to look at them first before mailing.

We hope you will accept this challenge. Trust me when I say......It will bring a smile to lonely hero's face!!!


Article about CFH in Arizona paper

A nice article was published about CK's card drive at their event recently; check it out by clicking here. It's a great "template" for an article if anyone's holding an event in their community . . . contact your local paper and see if they'll publish a story about your efforts!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Cardmaking tutorial - simple circle sketch

Here's a tutorial intended especially for new cardmakers—but hopefully with some tidbits for all levels of crafters. If you post a card made from this tutorial on a blog or in a gallery, leave a comment on this thread with a link, so we can all go check it out!

A dozen crafters + 6 hours = 275 cards!

Take a look, another successful CFH event! Cardmaker Keri was sent a link to our video (on our homepage now) by cardmaker Lisa R—and it so inspired Keri that she organized a Cards for Heroes cardmaking party at her church. She wanted to have her crafting friends and family join her in this; "I knew it would be a good idea for us to hold a party!"

"Did we ever have fun!" Keri says. They had almost a dozen women in attendance throughout the time set aside for crafting. These fantastic ladies produced a grand total of 275 cards to send to our heroes!

"It was a very fun, and fulfilling day for us all," Keri says; and now just imagine the 275 heroes, plus 275 loved ones, who will be blessed by that fun!

Check out more pictures from this event in our Events Gallery, and visit Keri's blog post about this party by clicking here.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Friday, April 24, 2009

Important shipping announcement

It's with great sadness we're saying goodbye to one of our longtime shippers, Claudia! She's been so wonderful to work with, and has been a blessing to our heroes, our cardmakers, and all our corporate partners - and we'll be missing her! Claudia has other irons in the fire that need her attention, so we'll reluctantly bid her a fond farewell. Please leave a comment on this post for her to thank her for all her faithfulness!

NOTE: If you have cards in transit, or send them without seeing this notice or an email, please know Claudia will continue shipping what she already has and receives. It always takes a while for us to transition shippers. Please begin mailing your cards to Fabre (Massachusetts) or Kris (Kansas), they both have some huge battallions waiting for cards, and would love to receive your beautiful creations and pass them on!

A fallen hero

PFC Richard A Dewater

1st Battalion, 26th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division; deployed out of Fort Hood, Texas
Rick was killed by an improvised explosive device during an ambush, while on a dismounted patrol near Korengal Valley, Afghanistan, April 15, 2009. He was age 21 at the time of his passing.
Additional Tribute Blog Post: Burial Service, April 18, 2009

The New York Times produced this stirring—and hard to watch—piece on the incident. Warning, this is not for sensitive people, but should be watched by all who want to understand what our service members risk for us every day. Click on the image below to play the slideshow.

If you would like to honor this fallen hero, we have some opportunities you may wish to consider:

  1. Make a financial gift in his name to to help our boxes get out to more heroes. Rick’s wish, according to his father, would be that we keep supporting those deployed overseas, especially in the Korengal Valley where he died. Give by paypal, check or cash.
  2. Make a commitment to write AnyHero cards in Rick's hono.. Make sure no hero goes without a thank-you from the homefront. Send them to any shipper—it can be one, a few, or many. It can be just you, your family, or your club, school, or church.
  3. Make a commitment to make blank cards in Rick's honor. Bless other heroes and help them keep in touch with their loved ones. Choose an amount that works for you, and think of this fallen hero while making them.
  4. Write a card for the family and send it alone or along with your other donations to any one of our shippers; we’ll pass them on to the family.
  5. Any combination of the above.

It's up to you how you might feel compelled to honor him and all the other young men and women putting their lives on the line for us all. If you want to make a public commitment that the family can read, you can post it as a comment on this thread, and/or click here to view and sign their guest book.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Interview with CFH—behind the scenes

Those on our email list received a quick note last night about the interview on BlogTalkRadio's show this evening...if you weren't able to log in or chat online during the program, you can use the same link to hear a re-run! (ha, you can listen to the blooper portions again and again, won't that be fun?)
[Click here to listen. No special software is required.]

During the interview, Phyllis Zimbler-Miller and Nancy Brown learned a little bit about was fun sharing with them about what we do, why we do it, and how it all gets done. Nancy even volunteered to be a shipper-on-sabbatical for us! Some of our letters from the Hero Blog were read, stories shared, and plenty of basic information was given in the interview to inspire more people to join us in this cardmaking adventure!
A little "behind the scenes" story about how this interview came about...I (Sandy) was looking for a hero who'd come home a while back. We'd supported him over his deployment on a ship, and since he was stationed near me I hoped to find and meet him sometime. I had received him as a contact first through a Jewish connection, so I was searching for organizations that specifically support our Jewish-American heroes, to see if anyone knew him. I periodically googled him to see if he'd show up, but hadn't had success. Yet. (Okay so I understand this is probably sounding like stalking by now. Really, it wasn't!) I emailed Operation Support Jews in the Military to see if he was on their lists, and Phyllis is the one who emailed me back from there...she didn't know him, but proposed an interview once we talked about CFH.

The story continues to get better. A radio interview on NPR with an author caught my attention; the author spoke of her husband, his deployment on a ship, approximate dates, his first name...and I became so curious! I found a link to the author's book website, emailed her, and found out it was indeed the wife of the hero I was searching for! And hopefully later this year, Alison will be interviewed by the wonderful Phyllis and Nancy on their show. And in a few weeks it's possible I might get to meet their whole family!

Phyllis posted on her blog here about the interviews with us today, and with Operation Gratitude yesterday:
Her post also contains a link as well to an article that CFH guest-posted previously:

Please feel free to share any of these links on your own blog, facebook, or twitter so we can get the word out to more people! Our card donations have been slowing down (nice weather? spring break?) so we're hoping to generate some interest with whole new circles of crafters, so help us spread the word. Share your links with us, too—we'll add them to our twitter feed and other locations on the web!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Internet Radio Interview: Weds 4/22, 6:30pmEST

Phyllis Zimbler-Miller and Nancy Brown of Blog Talk Radio's Your Military Life will be interviewing Sandy on Wednesday, all about our work here at CFH. Click the graphic to go to their site for details—you may want to check out their site and call or email questions for the program!

We'll post a link here after the interview—but you may want to check out their other interviews and sign up for their podcast, which highlights interviews on all sorts of military-related topics.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

An inspiring young man!

Check out this blog about the good things kids are doing—and the one highlighted today is an extra inspiration for us!

If you see links to what others are doing to support our heroes, share links with us so we can pass on good news!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Making cards for kids

In case you missed it...April is the month of the military child! We're hoping everyone might get in the habit of making a few cards for kids in each shipment sent in...our heroes love to write home to their children! This post has a few samples of kid-friendly cards we've received inspired, and share links to your great kidcards too!

If one of the unattributed cards pictured here is yours, email so we can credit you with your design, or we'll remove it from here at your request! We lost track of the cardmakers — names were only on the backs of a couple of these.

These cards can be for birthdays (we already do get some birthday cards for kids on occasion) but they can also be other themed cards. Think about your own children or grandchildren, or any child you know, and what you'd say to them on any regular basis...Proud of you, Love you lots, Missing you, Great job, blank with no sentiment, or just a hello!

Image ideas
Get out your bugs, aliens, sports, and cowboys for the little men at home, and princesses, butterflies, kitties, and a bit of bling for little girls. Sesame Street, Disney, or dinosaurs—licensed images are a hit with kiddos. And sometimes just colors or paper patterns will make a card kid-friendly when the image itself isn't too child-like. These cards can even show off a sticker in its best light!

Kids of almost all ages
Ages for our service members' kids are varied. Little kids love to hear from Moms and Dads overseas as well as their big brothers and sisters; if you've got great ideas for teen cards—those seem to be the hardest for most folks, so give them a try.

To kids, not from kids
Note that these are cards for children—not cards to "mommy" or "daddy" from a small child. We don't have too many kids serving overseas in our military, so cards to Daddy aren't very helpful.

And your links!
We've started a thread on the CFH Discussion board here—post a link to great ideas you can share. These can be your cards, or great kid-cards you've seen on other blogs, or in other galleries....the more ideas we have, the more creative we can all get!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Card Collection Day in Washington

Cardmakers combine efforts for our heroes

April 5, 2009, Tukwila WA — A number of cardmakers from the Washington area south of Seattle (and one visiting from Nevada!) gathered their cards together and showed up on Sunday.

Cardmakers were able to view the CFH scrapbook full of photos and letters, meet other stampers, ask questions, and have a great time together! The store generously offered a discount coupon for anyone bringing 10+ cards with them—so you can be sure everyone brought enough to qualify! The store is full of PAPER! So much wonderful cardstock, matching envelopes, a whole section of stamps, patterned papers, embellishments... :)

The cards were so beautiful! Those visiting that afternoon had an opportunity to peek through the donated cards and get inspiration from each other. The cards represented so many styles, from photographic cards to highly embellished, clean and simple designs as well as complex folds. Each was a treasure!

And, seeing these pictures, we're sure you want to know the final count. How many were collected in this one event? 1047 cards! Yes, isn't that amazing! Many many thanks to those who donated cards, finances, and their time and efforts—as well as Laura and staff at Paper Zone for organizing and promoting this card collection day!

If you'd like to organize a card collection day at your local stamping, scrapping, or paper goods store, contact us at and we'd be glad to help with advertising and resourcing you with flyers etc!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Heroes at Home Blog Challenge: 3,549 cards!

Many many many thanks to everyone who sent in Mother's and Father's Day cards for our challenge! (Father's Day deadline hasn't passed yet, so keep 'em coming!)

Here are the winners along with their prizes—congratulations everyone! (Winners be sure to read the very end of the post too!)

Diane L, Wichita KS — $25 gift certificate! Visit Agape Gifts (click logo at left) to choose your prize; we'll send the company owner your email address so you can connect.

Maggie W, Upton MA — patriotic stamp set

Lori N, Jefferson City MO—SU stamp set

Marge M, Wayne NJ—SU stamp set

Becky M, Ellicott City MD—SU stamp set

Debby P, Buffalo MO—floral goodies

Darlene M, Ridgecrest CA—embellies

Lori G, Clarksburg WV—vintage goodies

Sue A, Rockford IL—Pebbles alpha stamps

Ann W, Knoxville TN—crafting goodies

Your prizes will be mailed out sometime in the next week or so from one of our shippers.

One extra "prize" we'd like to give each of our winners below: send us a photo of one of your favorite cards you've made. We'll post it in our gallery! Email it to if you'd like to add to our inspirations!