Friday, September 4, 2009
Handmade cards only
When we first began this whole project, we accepted storebought cards. And not only did we receive a lot of them — we also received a lot that were completely un-useable! We had thousands and thousands of Father's Day cards for grandsons, We've Moved cards, Happy Birthday to a 6 year old niece (hundreds and hundreds of them), and Merry Christmas to a first cousin. (Yes, they really do make them!) The likelihood of a unit deployed overseas having a need for that kind of specific card is very very small!
Quantity and time factors
We also were given crates and crates of storebought from estate sales, and it took massive amounts of time to process, sort, and determine what among them was even able to be used. Many were yellowed, damaged, or so dated that a hero wouldn't be too likely to actually use them. The time spent on these was taking a toll on our shippers, and giving less time and attention to our beautiful handcrafted cards.
Out of all the feedback we've gotten from our heroes, one of two negatives had to do with storebought cards. One Christmas we had so many cases of storebought cards, we sent one large battallion a box of handmade and a box of storebought. And they told us that no one used the storebought, and they ended up on the burn pile! It was so sad. We had tried to share with a group large enough that they might be happy for storebought cards, but our hearts broke at the thought that they believed we sent them goods that were less than our best — they knew our handmade cards, and that clearly made our decision: no more storebought cards.
Do not repurpose storebought cardfronts.
This is a possible liability for us; since we put Operation Write Home on our cards, we cannot have copyrighted material on our handmade cards. If it's not a supply made for cardmaking/crafting, do not repurpose it. (This includes giftwrapping as well.)
The bottom line
So we ask that you find another charity that might wish to use storebought cards you've collected, or perhaps cut the pretty images off the front and use them on your own cards. You can use storebought cards for AnyHero letters, however — there are NO restrictions on those! Take them to your local group, school, or church and ask folks to sign them for our heroes!