Monday, September 28, 2009

Mailroom Monday Report: Sept. 28

This week marked a very special milestone for us: 
we've passed 200,000 cards!!
Many thanks to allllll of you who have made cards, donated funds, and helped get the word out about this project. Just think...those 200,000 cards have touched not only 200,000 heroes — but 200,000 family members and friends at home, and likely more than that. You have blessed probably half a million people with the cards you have made! KUDOS!



6,185 cards mailed this past week:

   
To  heroes in Afghanistan:
310 cards to a Marine unit
200 cards to a Marine unit
310 cards to an Army unit
310 cards to an Army unit
310 cards to an Army unit
185 cards to an Army unit
330 cards to an Air Force unit
   

To heroes in Iraq:
200 cards to an Army unit
310 cards to an Army unit
315 cards to an Army unit
310 cards to an Army unit
310 cards to an Army unit
330 cards to a Navy unit
330 cards to an Army unit
330 cards to an Army unit
330 cards to an Marine unit
330 cards to an Army unit


To  heroes deployed at sea:
310 cards to a Navy unit 



To heroes in Kuwait:
185 cards to an Army unit
330 cards to an Army unit

To heroes in Qatar:
310 cards to an Air Force unit
   


















Other fun statistics:
Number of boxes sent: 795
Number of hero contacts: 503

Deadline reminders:
Halloween: passed
Thanksgiving: Oct 5
Christmas: Nov 1
Hannukkah: Nov 1

Shipper needs this week:

Sandy: Love and miss you cards are the ones I could use the most...make them in fall and wintery colors/themes and they'll fit my boxes perfectly!Thanks!

Fabre: Love You, Miss You, cards for children.  Also a reminder, I can still use cards to fit the A9 and A7 envelopes - email me if you need the sizes!


Kris: I don't really have any "needs" as I have gotten so many cards lately but I guess my biggest lack would be Anniversary and thank you cards.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Cardmaker's Bill of Rights

This was shared by one of our cardmakers in Australia:

A cardmaker delivers the most welcome kind of unannounced visitor: A HANDMADE CARD.

A card touches us – somehow, a small folded piece of paper can comfort, celebrate, reach out or just say hello. Creating a handmade card is an honourable and important task.

As a cardmaker, you are entitled (but not limited) to the following rights:
  • You have the right to take as long as you want to complete one handmade card. This may be five minutes or two weeks.
  • You have the right to send a card for no other reason than to show off your new stamp, embellishment or technique.
  • You have the right to create a fabulous card for your husband, partner or roommate – just because you know it will stay in your house.
  • You have the right to spread your cardmaking things out all over, just to admire them.
  • You have the right to purchase a certain cardmaking item for no other reason than because a) you like it; b) you think it's cute; c) you'll never find it again, or; d) you know you'll use it someday.
  • You have the right to reserve using your most precious supplies on cards only for recipients who will truly appreciate them.
  • You have the right to a workspace of your own. This may be the basement, your college student's old bedroom or the kitchen table.
  • You have the right to make cards when inspiration strikes – whether the dishes are done or not.
  • You have the right to request peaceful, kid-free, stress-less cardmaking time - guilt-free.
  • You have the right to let the handmade card be the gift, too.
  • You have the right to value your personal style.
  • You are creating a treasure - and part of that treasure is you.
~Author Unknown

Thursday, September 24, 2009

A note about our Paypal link

We ran into some snafoos with Paypal transferring the account to the new name. (Agh!) So please be patient if you're trying to donate that way. (They seem to require more documents than the IRS!?!)

Thankful Thursday Sept 24

I had to doublecheck the total a few times to be sure of this. Are you ready?

Are you sitting down?

Really, I mean it.

Total cards this week: 11,047!!!!

(And you wonder why your shippers aren't on Facebook much lately?? They're madly stamping, sorting, and packing!) THANK YOU everyone, wow! And a huge thanks to our shippers who put in so many tireless hours each day getting these boxes together!
  1. Karen Y, Vancouver WA, such a huge box full of beauuuuuty! Thank you thank you!
  2. Joan W, Tacoma WA, thanks SO much, your halloween cards are precious and our heroes will treasure them!
  3. Shirley V, Rochester MN....thank you for the Any Hero letter and the cute Halloween cards!
  4. Beverly T, San Francisco CA - your cards are absolutely adorable, our heroes will love them! And they're my first with OWH on the back - hooray!!!
  5. Nicole S, Martinez, CA - oh my, all the LOVE cards! I needed these for my boxes so much, our heroes keep asking for more love cards. Thank you!! Your financial donation and extra envelopes are much appreciated too!
  6. Amy S, Aurora Co, your cards are soooooo pretty, thank you so much!
  7. Robin S., Parma, OH - Thank you so much for the wonderful batch of Christmas and holiday cards - Tis the Season!
  8. Melissa R, Marysville WA, thanks SO much for all the great fall cards!!
  9. Ann R., Palmyra, NJ - Awesome seasonal cards, thank you for sharing them with OWH and our military!
  10. Carol O, Kerry G, and Jen W, Simi Valley CA - whoa, what beautiful cards you made, THANK you!
  11. Carmen O., Toledo, OH - Beautiful cards, thank you so much - they will be snapped up by our heroes!
  12. Shirley M, Ruidoso NM, thank you soooo much - your wonderful cards, AnyHero letters, and financial help are a huge blessing!
  13. Cheryl L. and the Manhattan Scrapbookers, New York, NY - What a fun, diverse collection of cards!  We especially loved the witches boot for Halloween!  Great job!
  14. Marcy K., Canton, OH - Thanks so much for sending your FIRST shipment - perfectly done - dark cards lined, and OWH label on back - awesome job!  Welcome and Thanks!
  15. Rita J, Rudolph WI.......thanks for the great box of cards. Sure was heavy.
  16. Kathryn H, San Jose CA - thanks for the pretty cards and the great AnyHero letters!
  17. Barbara H., Nashville, TN - Thank you for the shipping donation at the Creating Keepsakes convention in Nashville - it was very generous of you to help!
  18. Carolyn F., Liberty MO...thanks for the pretty cards!!
  19. Cynthia B, Dearborn Heights.....what stunning cards! Thank you so much!
  20. Donna B., Jacksonville, FL - Thank you for thinking of our military personnel and sending cards!
  21. Darlene A., Palm Bay, FL - Your cards put us in the holiday spirit!  Thank you so much!
  22. Mara A. and Judi W., Westminster, MD - Your cards are amazingly beautiful - thank you so much!
  23. To the Cardmakers at the Creating Keepsakes Convention, Nashville, TN - Thank you so much for donating cards and thinking of our service men and women!
  24. Unknown Cardmaker, Louisville, KY - Thank you for the wonderful any hero letters, and greeting cards!  We don't have your name but please know we appreciate you!
  25. Susan W., Rutland, VT - Just a wonderful assortment of general cards - they could not have come at a better time - thank you!
  26. Tammy T., Charleston, WV - Great any hero letters, and wonderful cards too!  Thank you so much!
  27. Deloris T., West Salem, OH - Great cards, as always!  Your support of Operation Write Home is greatly appreciated!
  28. Cecilia S., Raleigh, NC - Fantastic box of Halloween cards - loved the colors!
  29. Jeanne S., Hebron IN.....thank you for the great cards!! Beautiful!!
  30. Sue S, Hendersonville TN.....thank you for your first box of cards.  They are beautiful!!
  31. Carole Ann S, The Woodlands TX......Thank you so much for all the Any Hero letters.  Also for the beautiful cards!
  32. Judy R, Minneapolis MN.....thank you for the cute Halloween cards!
  33. Joan R, Vancouver WA, wow! You have such talent!! Thanks for sharing it with our heroes!!
  34. Pamela R., Milford, CT - Your cards were wonderful, especially the ones for kids which are always extra special!  Thank you!
  35. Tracey P., Johnstown, PA - Awesome elegant and yet spooky Halloween cards - great work!  Thank you!
  36. Janet P and Diane L, Lawrence KS......thank you ladies for the wonderful cards.
  37. Shelly P., Royal Oak, MI - Awesome job with another great box of cards!  Thank you so much for your support!
  38. Karen P and Kayla Jo B, Chicago IL.....thank you for sharing our cause with others in your area.  These cards are wonderful!!
  39. Kathy P. and all the cardmakers at Scrapbook Island - thank you so much for an amazing array of cards!  Fantastic job!
  40. Dawn L., Racine WI....Thank you for the package of beautfiul cards!!
  41. Pamela L., Mineral Bluff, GA - Thanks for the great spooky and fun cards - perfect for our fall boxes!
  42. Linda K, Grant MI.....beautiful cards as always! Thank you!
  43. Gai J, Dallas TX.....another package of beautiufl cards!! Thank you so much!
  44. Linda D, Hutchison MN.....this box is full of BEAUTIFUL cards! Thank you.
  45. Sheryl D, The Woodlands TX.......WOW! Didn't think I was ever going to make it to the bottom of your box.  These are awesome!
  46. Marianne C, Naches WA - thank you so much, what pretty cards! And thanks for the shipping donation!!
  47. Andrea C. and Friends, Boca Raton, FL - Great box of cards, and special thanks for making A9 cards for our LARGE envelopes - you did a great job with those!  Thank you!
  48. Carrie C., Harclock, NC - Thank you for the cute and funny cards!  
  49. Jason B, Keller TX......These are WONDERFUL Any Hero notes from the children.  THANK YOU!
  50. Karen B, Fort Worth TX......thank you for the package of gorgeous cards!
  51. Barbara B, Lakewood CO....love the Halloween cards!
  52. Ruthann A, Blairsville GA......wonderful Christmas cards! Love them.  Thank you.
  53. Sandy A, Elizabethtown KY.....What spooky Halloween cards!!! Thank you for the many Any Hero notes.
  54. Char, Rhonda and Linda at Memories from the Heart......thank you so much for the stunning Christmas cards!! Love them.
  55. Lina W, Hampton VA - you did GREAT without your summer flowers, these are just wonderful....keep up the awesome work! :)
  56. Cardmaker Wallace, Melbourne, FL - Thank you for the great assortment of Halloween and general cards!
  57. Donna R., Worcester, MA - Thanks to you and your Thursday scrapping friends for the wonderful cards - perfect for the upcoming season!
  58. Robbie R., Hollywood, MD - Beautiful cards - great job!  Thanks for sharing them with Operation Write Home and our military!
  59. Jamie P., Pittsburgh, PA - Thanks for watching the video and preparing the cards to make the shippers work easy - great job!  
  60. Joy O, Carmel IN....thank you for the wonderful box of pretty cards!!
  61. Denise L., Pismo Beach, CA - Thanks for answering the call to make some of the A9 cards - they were great!  
  62. Sandy H, Lewiston CA - such cute cards, thanks!! And your shipping donation and AnyHero letter are a blessing! :)
  63. Michelle H., Merion Station, PA - Thanks for the lovely cards, and a generous shipping donation too - very appreciated!
  64. Pat G., Upton, MA - Thank you so much for bringing your cards to A Time For Memories in North Grafton!
  65. Bonnie C., Virginia Beach, VA - Great general themed cards, thank you so much!
  66. Barbara C, Tucson AZ, thanks soooo much, I love all your cards and our heroes will too!
  67. Jennifer B., Broad Run, VA - Thanks for your first shipment of cards - they are absolutely beautiful!  
  68. SuzAnn A, Salt Lake City UT, thanks sooooo much, your cards are fantastic!
  69. Janine C, El Monte CA, your cards are always so awesome---thank you so much!
  70. Ann W., Knoxville, TN - Welcome back!  We've missed you!  Thank you so much for your wonderful box of cards for the 'Tis The Hero challenge
  71. Denise W, Las Vegas NV - thanks so much for another box of wonderful cards!
  72. Janet W and the Womens Relief Society, 10th Ward LDS - wow what a box of cards, thanks!!
  73. Maggie W., Upton, MA - Thank you for the beautiful Christmas cards - they are stunning!
  74. Lianna V, Huntington Beach, CA - thanks so much for the great spooky and Christmas cards! The donation for shipping ROCKS, bless you, friend!
  75. Karen T and Branches Christian Church, Buena Park CA - beauuuuutiful work, thank you so very very much!
  76. Frances T, Cabot AR, I love your cute cards! Thanks so much for your faithful talents you lend to our heroes!
  77. Patti S, St Louis MO, thanks for all the wonderful Christmas cards - and the extra envelopes are a huge blessing!
  78. Patti S. and the Cardmaking Ministry at the United Methodist Church in Chesterland, OH - Thank you for the adorable Halloween cards, our service men and women will love sending them to their families!
  79. Anita S, Louisville KY, thanks for your support.
  80. Kathy S., Sacramento, CA - Thanks for the great Halloween (and other) cards - and welcome to OWH!
  81. Holly R, Erie CO.....what a great box of cards!!! Beautiful!
  82. Jayne R-E,Fortson GA....WOW! Love these cards.....beautiful!!
  83. Lani R., Westampton, NJ - Your amazingly organized box was a big help to us, and wonderful for our heroes - thank you for your donation!
  84. Kay P., Fleming Island, FL - We never thought Halloween cards could be so beautiful - thank you so much!
  85. Donna M and Arctic Height Elementary - I am blown away by your wonderful cards and letters, wow! Thank you soooo much on behalf of our heroes!!
  86. Sandy M., Ona, WV - Great idea on the trifold cards to give our heroes more space to WRITE HOME!  Thank you so much!
  87. Carol M., Waukesha, WI - Thank you so much for the beautiful cards with touching sentiments - they will be very popular!
  88. Mary Alice and Michaella M,Rochester Hills MI....thank you for the scary Halloween cards!!!
  89. Dawna L., Bloomington, IN - Welcome to OWH, and thank you so much for sending your first box!  Great cards!
  90. Lillian L and girls - what a great bunch of halloween cards, and all the way from South Korea! Thank you!
  91. Anita K, Sealy TX....thanks for the nice assortment of themes. They are all beautiful.
  92. Maz K., Hopewell Junction, NY - Thanks for the great any hero letters and beautiful cards - your donation is appreciated!
  93. Judy J and the Red Hat Group, Rose Lip Maidens, and Woodbury School Teachers, Mission Viejo - wow! So many pretty cards, THANK you!
  94. Lynne H, Tampa FL....Your cards are beautitul and so appreciated!
  95. Karen G and Mainstreet Christian Church, Oakland Park FL - fantastic box of goodies, oh my! Cards, letters, fibers, papers - thanks so much!
  96. Nora G, Medford OR - such adorable Thanksgiving cards! And your shipping donation is truly a blessing, thank you!
  97. Lynn F., Wilmington, NC - Great assortment of cards, thank you so much for donating them to our heroes!
  98. Seongsook D. and friends, Elk Grove, CA - Thank you for a box loaded with wonderful cards - and thanks Seongsook for telling all your crafty friends about OWH!  We and the heroes appreciate it!
  99. Maria C, Vallejo CA - oh my what beautiful cards! Thank you sooo much for sharing your talents with our heroes!!
  100. Eydie & Jessica B., Cherry Hill, NJ - Go mom & daughter - what a great activity to share together, making cards that mean so much to our service men & women!  Great job!
  101. Lee B, Dalton WI, another box of really cute cards!! Thanks so much...your AnyHero cards and financial help are wonderful as well!
  102. Martha B., Santa Rosa, CA - You make the BEST cards for kids - I know they fly out of the boxes when they arrive to our recipients - thank you so much for your continued support of OWH!
  103. Maude B and Stamping Divas......great cards!!! Love them all.
  104. Unity Church of Peace, St Louis MO......thank you for the spooky box of Halloween cards.
  105. Lori N, Jefferson City MO.....thanks for the awesome cards.  Love them!
  106. Lynne M, Hoquiam WA, thank you for all these amazing cards - each one is just so beautiful!
  107. Nancy M, wow! Thank you so much for all the fantastic cards - perfect! Your shipping donation rocks, too, bless you!!
  108. Kathy R, Duncan SC, what beautiful cards you made, thank you!!
  109. Nancy C, Hollister CA, how you ever got that many incredible cards in one box - wow! Thank you sooooo much!
  110. Leslie F, Clinton UT, another package of awesome goodness...thank you!!!

Help OWH win $10k!


Help Us Win Money For "Operation Write Home"... We Need Your Vote!


Christie Cookie is giving away $25,000 to charities. The charity with the most nominations wins $10,000.  It only takes about a minute to vote, so click on the link below and nominate OWH to Win! We're in the drop-down menu, so scroll down to our name. Only one vote per email - but be sure to tell ALL your friends to vote for us too!
http://www.christiecookies.com

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Tis the Hero: Christmas Challenge prizes!

The promised photos of the stamp sets up for grabs in our Tis the Hero Christmas challenge! Challenge details are below!





Tis the Hero Challenge
Fa la la la la! It's almost Christmastime at OWH! That means it's time for a challenge!!

The "Tis the Hero" challenge runs from Sept 1 - Oct 15th; note that our deadline for holiday cards is Nov 1, but early birds get the benefit of qualifying for one of our prizes! Last year we mailed 35,000 cards during Sept through Nov, how many will we get out to our heroes this year??
Note: This year we'll also count non-Christmassy cards - last year we had lots of Christmas ones, but had no birthday or love cards, and some of our contacts missed getting those! So - of course the heaviest emphasis is on holiday cards, but feel free to add in a few others too!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Another belated birthday gift....

...from Camp Taji, Iraq! What an honor!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Mailroom Monday Report: Sept 21

Check out the awesome mailbox made by one of our units:





3350 cards mailed this past week!
   
To  heroes in Afghanistan:
335 cards to an Army unit
335 cards to an Army unit
335 cards to an Army unit
335 cards to an Air Force unit
335 cards to an Air Force unit

To heroes in Iraq:
335 cards to an Army unit
335 cards to an Army unit
335 cards to an Army unit
335 cards to an Army unit
335 cards to an Army unit




Other fun statistics:
Number of boxes sent: 774
Number of hero contacts: 488

Deadline reminders:
Halloween: Sept 20
Thanksgiving: Oct 5
Christmas: Nov 1
Hannukkah:Nov 1

Shipper needs this week:

Sandy: Love and miss you cards are the ones I could use the most...make them in fall and wintery colors/themes and they'll fit my boxes perfectly! I need more Thanksgiving cards too, I'll be needing them in a few weeks. Thanks!

Fabre: Love You, Miss You, cards for children.  Also a reminder, I can still use cards to fit the A9 and A7 envelopes - email me if you need the sizes!

Kris: I don't really have any "needs" as I have gotten so many cards lately but I guess my biggest lack would be Anniversary and thank you cards.





Last call!

Susan C and Beazora - we need you to contact us asap, or we'll be re-drawing names for the birthday prizes....please email right away, thanks!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Sheriff defends funeral procession



The following is about Sgt. 1st Class William "Brian" Woods' funeral procession; it was posted on this link, but the page has some crazy html errors, so it's a little more readable below. (Sgt Woods pictured at left.)

This has been forwarded to us enough times we wanted to be sure it was here for everyone to see!






Jefferson County Sheriff defends soldier's funeral procession

JEFFERSON COUNTY — The Jefferson County sheriff has offered a stern response to a woman complaining she was inconvenienced by a procession accompanying a soldier's casket.

The woman wrote an e-mail to Jefferson County Sheriff Glenn Boyer after she had a hard time driving around the procession escorting the casket of Sgt. William Woods, who was killed by Taliban fighters in Afghanistan.


In his response, Boyer called the complaint self-serving and noted that her inconvenience was of little consequence considering what America's soldiers go through.

Boyer's response has made its way to the Internet, where it is getting a strong reaction as it is e-mailed around the country by soldiers and military groups.

Boyer is a Vietnam veteran.

Boyer said he sent a copy of his response to the complaint internally to sheriff's department employees so they would know his position should the department receive similar complaints in the future. He assumes some of the employees sent it on to friends and colleagues. From there, it landed on military, police and news websites across the country.

Boyer estimates he has received more than 200 e-mails.

"She was a citizen who deserved an investigation and an answer to her complaint," Boyer said. "I wrote it from the heart. It took me about five minutes."

Boyer said he would not release the name of the woman who wrote the letter.

"It's not about releasing her name and allowing others to chastise her or cause her any more inconvenience," Boyer said. "What it's about is, making people understand  that there are people willing to sacrifice their lives so they can complain about things like that."
_______________

The email to Sheriff Boyer:

I tried to call you earlier this morning, but was unable to obtain your extension from the voice mail system as I was not sure of your first name or correct spelling of your last.

I was inadvertently in this procession as I was leaving work on 270 from Creve Coeur and proceeding on Hwy. 30 West. I have some issues and complaints. I called the Sheriff's office last night, but the officer in charge would not speak with me. His name was Corp. Curtis. I am in no way complaining about your officers. I, however, was not treated very fairly when I called last evening because I wanted a ticket/complaint/or at least a slap on wrist for the people involved. Let me explain:

1) This procession should never have been held during rush hour traffic! Hwy. 270 is dangerous and people drive way too fast and there is too much traffic. This soldier's certainly would not have want his family hurt on the interstate taking him to Cedar Hill. People were dead-stopping on the interstate even though the procession was in the far right lane, the other three lanes just stopped. There were many near accidents and possibly were after I drove through. I was in the 2nd to left lane, no way obstructing the funeral procession.

2) I exited off on Gravois (30 W), far right lane. Your police officers went in the left lane to stop any additional on-coming traffic so the procession could exit off 270 into the LEFT lane of 30. Again, I was in the right lane. The St. Louis County officer stopped and turned around at Weber Hill to return on 270 after the procession passed.

3) The road was not closed. (Only for president as far as I know.) Again, the road was not closed. Your officers only had the left lane blocked/closed for the funeral. All other traffic by MO law can proceed as long as they do not interfere (weave in and out )with funeral procession.

Let me say, that I did not know what was happening. I knew the did not have Kennedy coming to STL, at least not yesterday. I was at work all day. No news. Nothing reported on the traffic on the radio driving home.

Anyway, two of these dirty, nasty, renegade, who knows what motorcycle men that were escorting the procession proceeded to stop in front of me in the right lane on Gravois. I had to stop in the middle of an intersection. They proceeded to scream and yell at me about respecting this soldier, etc. One of them climbed off his motorcycle and came over to me and stuck his head in my car continuing to scream at me. I asked him what this was for and he told me I needed to stop as the officers had the road blocked and show some dang respect. #1, the road was not blocked, the funeral was in the other lane. #2, I am proud of our country and sorry for the family, but they had no idea where I was going or anything else. I could have a child at day-care, I could have been sick and racing to the bathroom, I could have a sick parent waiting for me, etc., etc.

#3, They are not law enforcement and had no right to stop in the lane on Gravois and they had no right to scream at me and intimidate and threaten me. If I would have had my pepper spray, I would have used it on this nasty man! He is just a big hoo ha that is not even related to this soldier. The other man did not get off his scooter, but was along side of my passenger window screaming.

I left an abusive husband 1 1/2 years ago and I did not need this intimidation. I was livid and shaking!!

My son is a deputy sheriff in another MO county. I respect police officers. It was not their fault as they were busy with traffic, but I called to make them aware of what was going on during this thing. The St. Louis County officer saw it but of course he was out of jurisdiction.

However, I called last night and your office asked me if I knew about this soldier. Again, I am sorry about him, but I am a taxpayer. I got a speeding ticket a few months ago and paid the fine. I do not deserve to be treated like this. I wanted to let the officer know how these men were acting. Also, they were driving into the turnarounds on Hwy. 30 and then back onto the road. the funeral was much further ahead. One of them nearly got hit by me and other people almost hit him and another as well. I wanted to lodge a complaint about them why they were still there, but no one in your office would take any information or do anything.

This was not a military funeral, even though it was a soldier. There were not military vehicles. It was a funeral and the road was not closed, the lane was closed, I was in the other lane and again, these nasty men had no right to do this and I would have liked them to get a ticket!

I am sorry for the soldier and his family but you cannot let these motorcycle renegades do this. They could have caused several accidents and I really wanted them arrested. If they had any respect for the soldier they would have dressed better and not looked and acted so scuzzy.

Thank you.
_______________________

Sheriff Boyer's response:

Dear XXXXX:

Yes, you do deserve a response and I am willing to give you one.

I would like to say that I am sorry for the inconvenience we caused you during the funeral procession of Sergeant 1st Class William B. Woods, but I cannot do so. I would ask instead that you take a moment of your time to take into consideration the scope of the event. Your very right to complain was the reason Sgt. Woods fought for his country and ultimately gave his life; thus making the ultimate sacrifice for you and your family.

Let me introduce you to him. After high school, Sergeant Woods entered the Marine Corps. After his contract was up, he joined the Army, where he became a Green Beret. He comes from a long line of military members in his family. His Uncle is a Vietnam Veteran and two of his grandfathers were World War II Veterans. His job in the Army was one of the most dangerous jobs - he was a sniper looking for the bad guys to stop before they killed or injured one of our soldiers. He has numerous decorations to include the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart.

He grew up in Catawissa and was best known by his middle name, Brian. He enjoyed the outdoors, playing sports, and skydiving. He had a wife, Elizabeth, and two daughters, whom he loved dearly. He was a soft-spoken, level-headed young man who was proud to serve his country no matter what the risk. Now, I did not know him, but I wish I did. I am quoting from newspaper articles written about him.

At the young age of 31, he was shot during an engagement with Taliban forces in Ghanzi , Afghanistan . He died of his wounds in Germany on August 16, with his family by his side. He did not choose the time of his death, nor did he choose the time his remains would be brought back to his home in Catawissa. He just did his duty. He was quite a young man.

While you were being inconvenienced in your car on your way home, there were soldiers just like Sergeant Woods carrying 100+ pounds of equipment in 120 degree heat, up some mountain or in the middle of some desert. They will shower out of a helmet liner if they get the chance. They will eat a cold meal of MRE's; something most people would consider garbage. They cannot text their family or friends, or go to McDonalds, or watch TV. They can only continue the mission and look out after the guy to the left and right of them. They don't complain because they know they volunteered. The only thing they ask is that we do not forget the sacrifices they have made.

One of the dirty "big hoo ha" bikers, as you call them, was Brian's uncle, a Vietnam Veteran, like myself. We were not treated with a homecoming. We were spit on and called baby killers by a misguided public. Brian's uncle was giving him the respect that he, himself, never received when he came back and I, for one, am proud of him for doing so.

You say that your brother is a deputy in another Missouri county. I am sure he would be proud to escort the casket of a fallen solder, the same as he would that of a fallen officer. I am also sure he would not agree with your complaint about being inconvenienced.

My mother recently passed away. She was a World War II Veteran, serving the U.S. Army. She would say, maybe you should pick up Sergeant Woods' ruck sack and carry on where he left off. Then you could see first hand what it really is to be inconvenienced.

Per your request, I will forward your complaint to the Prosecuting Attorney's Office for his review. It is my personal opinion that your complaint is self-serving and without merit.

Sheriff Oliver "Glenn" Boyer

Pat Sheriff Boyer on the back.

The County Sheriff's website: http://www.jcsd.org/
Sheriff Boyer's email address: GBoyer@jeffcomo.org

Friday, September 18, 2009

Mailroom Monday Report: Sept 28

6185 cards mailed this week!  
    To Iraq:
200    cards to an Army unit
310    cards to an Army unit
315    cards to an Army unit
310    cards to an Army unit
310    cards to an Army unit
330    cards to a Navy unit
330    cards to an Army unit
330    cards to an Army unit
330    cards to an Marine unit
330    cards to an Army unit
    At sea
310    cards to a Navy unit
   
    To Qatar:
310    cards to an Air Force unit
   
    To Afghanistan:
310    cards to a Marine unit
200    cards to a Marine unit
310    cards to an Army unit
310    cards to an Army unit
310    cards to an Army unit
185    cards to an Army unit
330    cards to an Air Force unit
   
    To Kuwait:
185    cards to an Army unit
330    cards to an Army unit

Thursday, September 17, 2009

If you thought the birthday was fun....


....wait til you hear this news.

Many of you know how long we've been waiting for our official 501(c)(3) status letter from the IRS....when awaiting our government, it's always a guess as to when your documents land on the right desk and get that good ol' "stamp" of approval.

Well...after months of phone calls to check in, being told they were months from even assigning our case to one of their experts, and so many of you praying for the IRS employee processing our forms, and crossing your fingers on our behalf —
we have received our official 501(c)(3) status determination letter!! 
It was a total surprise since we had set our minds on not receiving it until after the first of the year. So how's that for a birthday week gift from our federal government?? A big THANK YOU to old Uncle Sam!! And to whomever at the IRS office stamped our pile of paperwork!

"You mean you weren't already a nonprofit??"
Some of you may already have thought we were official—and we hope you all saw our attempts to let you know we were in limbo. (We don't profit one bit off of this service to our heroes, all our work is done by volunteers!) You might wonder what this news means for the donations you've already made. Well, this is good news too: our exemption status is effective September 12, 2008! The IRS allows retroactive deductibility, understanding that a new organization needs to both show their ability to deliver a good service, as well as fundraise to perform services, and then pay all the fees to apply for the status with the government. You all have aided in accomplishing all of those, and we appreciate it!

"When will I receive a receipt?"
We're now going to be working on our process for receipts for your financial gifts and cards; we've been keeping records this whole time, knowing this day was somewhere on the horizon. Given that we're this far into 2009, we'll be preparing receipts that will be emailed out in January 2010, covering all of 2009 into one receipt for you! (Stay tuned for how that will work...thanks!) At a later date, we'll have a process set up for anyone who will be re-filing their 2008 taxes and can provide receipts for that fall and winter if you need that. 

Consult your tax advisor
Lots of you will have questions, and we do want to answer them if we can, but please know that we aren't qualified to give you that kind of advice—please speak with your own tax advisor. We're only empowered to provide receipts for your donations, and let you take it from there.

Happy belated birthday everyone!!!

Thankful Thursday: Sept 17 2009

Oh my!! You are all just amazing...and this is only the mail in Washington. We hear that Kris got over 1400 from ONE group. It's raining cards!!!

We also received a great belated birthday present, and as soon as we get our ducks in a row on it we'll share...the party continues on!

(Does that mean we get more cake??)





Without further ado, here's this week's Thankful Thursday list...is this the longest one ever, I wonder? I think it hits a record for a weekly quantity: 9,148 cards! WAY TO GO!
  1. Phyllis G, West St Paul MN.....thank you for the great box of cards!
  2. Lois D, Appleton WI.....thank you for the beautiful cards!
  3. Anne F, Vadnais Heights MN.....beautiful cards!!! Awesome Any Hero letters!! Thank you so much for the great package.
  4. Jan K, Raleigh NC....these are great Halloween cards!!! Thanks!
  5. Barb K, Escanaba MI.....another AWESOME package.  Thank you for getting all those Any Hero notes written.
  6. Stephanie G., New York, NY - Thank you for another great box of cards for our military - they are greatly appreciated!
  7. Nancy F., Trexlertown, PA - Cute cards, and the pens and writing paper were a great addition - thank you so much!
  8. Joan B., Marlinsville, VA - Your cards are so lovely, they will be so appreciated by the heroes, thank you for sending them and a nice shipping donation as well!
  9. Betty T., Salina, KS - Thank you for making a box loaded with A9 cards for our special request - they are PERFECT for our holiday boxes!
  10. Rebecca P., Virginia Beach, VA - we LOVE your crazy assortment of cards - great idea to make cards when you are done scrapbooking - keeps those scraps moving!  Thank you for sharing your work!
  11. Kelley L. and the Gingerwood Stampers, Butler, IN - Thanks for the great assortment of cards, they will make many of our heroes happy!
  12. Debby - What a great box of cards, and sorted by category and stamped - a shippers dream!  Thank you so much
  13. Sherry T., Collinsville, AL - Your cards and generous shipping donation made us smile today - and will surely make the heroes smile when they get their package - thank you!
  14. Rebecca L, West Des Moines IA.....what great cards!! Thank you!!
  15. Katrina G., Collierville, TN - Great job for your first shipment - the cards are so bright and fun!  Thank you!
  16. Ada W., Newtown Square, PA - The layering you do on your cards is beautiful, thank you for sending them for our heroes!
  17. Acri Family, Apalachia, NY - Thank you for the Halloween cards - our heroes will love sending them home to their families!
  18. Sandy M., Ona, WV - Great first batch of cards, we're glad you found us and happy to have you as a cardmaker!
  19. Chris C, Parkland WA, thanks for the awesome mix of cards, and the fantastic AnyHero cards! :)
  20. Vicky L, Cullowhee NC, your cards are so cute, thanks so much!
  21. Amber M, Goshen IN, what a box of beauuuuties! Thank you sooo much! Your shipping donation is much appreciated!
  22. Scrapbooks & Etc, Harrisburg NC, your box is packed to the gills with such nice cards, THANK YOU! The shipping donation is a huge blessing....go ladies go!
  23. Brenda V, Antioch CA, wowsers, what beautiful cards!!
  24. Velda S, Mesquite, NV, bless you for not only sending in all these pretty cards and AnyHero cards - but promoting it to the Gingerwood Bulletin Board too!
  25. Joanna V, Oakland CA - beautiful packet of cards, thanks so very much! Awesome postage donation as well, you made a bunch of heroes very happy!
  26. Kim N, Bloomington IL, thanks for sharing your talents with our heroes --- these cards will be loved!
  27. Lisa P, Post Falls ID - wow!! What a big box of lovely cards, thanks SO much!
  28. Sherri C, Los Angeles CA - oh my!! What pretty cards, THANK you!!
  29. Barbara S, Torrance CA - thanks so much for the awesome box full of cards, our heroes will love them!
  30. Laura P, Seatac WA, thanks sooooo much for the awesome cards and generous donation! You're awesome!
  31. Peggy W., Asheboro, NC - What a great, creative, wonderful package of cards - thank you so much for sharing them with Operation Write Home!
  32. Glenmoor Retirement Community, St Augustine, FL - What a fun time you all look like you had on cardmaking day - heard you are doing another for Christmas - can't wait to see how many great creations you make!  Thank you!
  33. Donna C., Stamford, CT - another great packet of cards, and what a clever idea to write any hero letters on postcards - they are just great!
  34. The Thunderbird Adventist Academy, Scottsdale, AZ - What wonderful any hero letters, and a super generous shipping donation too - thank you so much!
  35. TILL Inc., Watertown, MA - Thank you for another donation of great cards for our heroes to use!  
  36. Barbara S, Torrance CA - thanks so much for the awesome box full of cards, our heroes will love them!
  37. Laura P, Seatac WA, thanks sooooo much for the awesome cards and generous donation! You're awesome!
  38. Celeste L., Panama City, FL - Those large cards were PERFECT for our envelope donation - thank you so much!
  39. Therese D., Lewiston, ME - Thank you for a great box loaded with holiday and general cards - a great mix to add to LOTS of boxes!
  40. Claudette A., Auburn, ME - Thank you for creating such wonderful cards for our service men & women!
  41. RAK girls from TwoPeas, wowsers! What beautiful cards, and such generous donations---you're definitely spreading the happy! Thank yoU!
  42. Jess and Sandy C, Beloit WI - thank you so much for your continued financial support! 
  43. Chris D, Gilbert AZ and all the kids at CTA - oh my goodness! I cried when I read all your AnyHero letters!! You're going to bless SO many heroes, thank you!!!
  44. Kate M, Bossier City CA, thanks for your 'perfectly packed' boxes, wow! Your generous donation is much appreciated too!!
  45. Becky & Marilea, Elk Grove CA, you two must have elves who help you make so many beautiful cards...talented elves!! Thanks soooo much!
  46. Rhonda M, Grantsville UT - such beautiful Christmas cards, thank you so much - your AnyHero cards and shipping help are a blessing!
  47. Susan T, Cypress TX.....LOVE these Halloween cards!!! They are awesome!!
  48. Tammy A, Aurora CO....thank you for these great cards!
  49. Debbie P, Buffalo MO.....I never tire of seeing your wonderful cards! Love your style!!!
  50. Jeany F, Webb City MO....Thank you for the wonderful cards and the Any Hero notes.  Much appreciated!
  51. Flourishes stamp company........WOW! What a wonderful suprise to see at the front door.  Thank you for hosting a card drive for us.  THANK YOU to all the cardmakers who sent in their cards.......they are BEAUTIFUL!
  52. Lindsay M, Carrboro NC...Very cute Halloween cards!  THANKS!
  53. Carol C and Sue S, Papillon NE....another wonderful box of cards.  Really like your style ladies!
  54. Clara Ann H.O., Brownsville TX........What a great box of cards.  Thank you for them as well as the many Any Hero notes!
  55. Sue A, Rockford IL......another awesome box of cards.  Thank you for being a continued supporter.
  56. Cathy O, Albuquerque NM.....WOW! What a wonderful box of Any Hero notes! THANK YOU!
  57. Betty and Marilyn, Columbus OH......thanks ladies for another great box of cards!
  58. Preceptor Delta Tau Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi, Bradenton FL.....thank you for the lovely cards! 
  59. Karen and Wally, Aurora IL......thank you for the wonderful cards that you contributed to our group.  
  60. Karen N, Beloit WI....thank you for the wonderful cards!
  61. Tami M, South Beloit IL.....what great cards!  Thank you!!
  62. Kay C. Minnetonka MN.....another awesome box of cards.  THANK YOU!
  63. Pam J, Houghton Lake MI.....these are wonderful cards. Like you style!!! Thanks!
  64. Polly P, St Paul MN....great cards. Thank you so much!
  65. Margie P and Daisy Troop 558, San Antonio TX.....Thank you girls for the pretty cards you made and the notes you wrote in the Any Hero cards.  Great Job!
  66. Jeni S, Austin TX....thank you for the pretty cards and the Any Hero note.
  67. Fowler & Friends, La Grange IL......ladies, thank you for all the work you do in making cards for us.  
  68. Judith D, Maplewood MN....what awesome Halloween cards.  Love all the bling!
  69. Barbara B, Lakewood CO....love the Halloween cards!
  70. Kay C, Minnetonka MN.....another GREAT box of cards.  Thank you!
  71. Paula S. and Friends, Stamford, CT - Each box brings more and more goodness, thank you so much for another great donation!
  72. Elizabeth S., New Canaan, CT - Fall is in the air with this great box of cards - thank you so much!
  73. Elizabeth K., Beaumont, TX - GREAT assortment of cards, and thank you so much for a shipping donation AND envelopes!
  74. Laurie J., Houston, TX - Great any hero letters, and cards for our military - thank you so much for your continued support of OWH!
  75. Diane W., Stoneham, MA - A great batch of amazing cards - thank you so much for supporting our service men and women with your wonderful creativity!
  76. Debbie B., Fishers, IN - Thank you for entering our Tis the Hero challenge - your cards are wonderful and will be loved!
  77. Denise W, Las Vegas NV, what a great box of cards, once again - thank you for the birthday wishes!!
  78. Jennifer M and Cheryl, Romeoville IL, thanks so much for  your wonderful cards - and the AnyHero cards will bring smiles for sure!
  79. Becky Jo M, Gardners PA, thanks for all the great wintery cards!
  80. Helen S, San Diego CA - super cards, and your AnyHero cards, bookmarks, and shipping help are much appreciated!!
  81. Shari R, Vancouver WA, your cards are so sweet, thank you - and the candy got snarfed down right away, LOL!
  82. Alison V, Tucson AZ, holy moly, what a box full of beauty! Thank you!!
  83. Sandy Mc, Kennesaw GA, yowsa!! What beauuuuutiful cards, thank you so much!
  84. Moments in Time Scrapbooking, Bakersfield CA, Wow what a box of cards!! Thank you!!!



     

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Birthday party prize winners!

Congratulations to NINETEEN winners!!


Stay tuned to your email on Wednesday or Thursday for a connection to the person or company offering the prize - BUT - if your name has "please email us" beside it, please do so and we'll connect you — we weren't able to grab your email out of your blog comment. (Winners must email by Friday or we'll draw a new name!)

 
  1.  Hambo Stamps : Grab Bag of Assorted Rubber Stamps 
    Comment #64 by Susan C. (please email us) who said: "Love all that you do at Operation Write Home. Congratulations on the new name change! Thank you to all the soldiers and their families who make the ultimate sacrifice by risking their lives for our freedom! Just know that you've got a lot of support out there!"
  2. Paperbag Studios :  $5.00 gift certificate to store   
    Comment #53 by Cassie in GA (please email us) who said: "Congrats and Thank YOU! I love our soldiers. . .I am the wife of one. Thank you for all you do. I will never stop praying for you."
  3. Paperbag Studios :  $5.00 gift certificate to store   
    Comment #97 by Gail's Card Cafe' who said: "Thanks for working the most stressful and hart-full job in the world. Without you there may not have been and us today!"   
  4. Paperbag Studios :  $5.00 gift certificate to store   
    Comment #21 by Mel who said: "Happy birthday CFH/OWH! No matter what the name, it's all the same at the end of the day--soldiers get cards! Thank you to the gals "behind" the website.    And most importantly, thank you to the soldiers who do what they do so I can do what I want to do!"
  5. Paperbag Studios :  $5.00 gift certificate to store   
    Comment #93 by Lori (please email us) who said: "One of my favorite saying is "FREEdom isn't FREE". Thank you for PAYing for my freedom. You are not forgotten, you are all loved and prayed for daily by many. Words cannot express how grateful I am, for your service and sacrifice, and that of your families."
  6. Service Memories LLC / Jann Hunt : Grab Bag of Patriotic & Military Items for Cardmaking   
    Comment #96 by Bridget N in Fl who said: "Thank you to all the brave men and women in our armed forces who put their lives on the line in service of this great nation of ours. May God bless all of them and may God continue to bless America!"    
  7. Cornish Heritage Farms / Liz Pomeroy : Packet of Stamps   
    Comment #34 by JenMarie who said: "I LOVE the new name! Thank you to our men and women serving our country. You are deeply appreciated! God Bless!"
  8. Gina K. Designs / Gina Krupsky : Stamp TV Kit
    Comment #30 by Suzanne who said: "Words aren't adequate to express the "Thanks!" that go out to all those serving in our military. You have chosen to make sacrifices in your lives so we at home can rest easier at night secure in our freedom. You will always be in our thoughts and prayers. Stay safe and come home soon!"      
  9. The Button Farm / Angela Moen : Card Making Kit   
    Comment #35 by Wendy who said: "Congratulations OWH..one of the most successful projects supporting our military! I'm so glad I found you during the Memorial Day blog hop. When I think of how many of my family members have served in the military I have a renewed appreciation for the sacrifices they and their families make. Thank you!"
  10. Anita Konvicka / Stampin Up : $30.00 SU Gift Certificate   
    Comment #72 by Susan McRae who said: "Thanks to all the men and women who serve so far away from family and friends!"
  11. Core'dinations : 120 sheets of sandable cardstock   
    Comment #95 by beazora (please email us) who said: "Thank you so much to all the hero's out there for all you do for us!! This is a great organization!!!"  
  12. Scrap Diner : $25 Gift Certificate    
    Comment #51 by Dixie Cochran (please email us) who said: "Happy birthday "Operation: Write Home." A big THANK YOU to our military heroes everywhere. A special hug to my nephew currently in Kuwait and soon to be in Iraq."
  13. Sunshine's Stamps - $20 Gift Certificate   
    Comment #86 by iring who said: "Happy Birthday!!! I'm so glad I got the email to come check out the new site! Thank you Sandy. And thank you to all the service men and women and your families for sacrificing so much for our country. We love you!"    
  14. Hero Arts - set of cling stamp sets!   
    Comment #45 by April W in Hendersonville NC who said: "I'm praying for each and every one of you! Stay safe and know that you are all loved."
  15. Hero Arts - set of cling stamp sets!   
    Comment #13 by Polly P, who said..."Happy Birthday Operation Write Home! Thank you to the men and women of our military for your service and sacrifice. You are the best! God Bless you and your families. I pray for your safe return. And a big thanks to Sandy, Kris, and Fabre for all the work you do!"
  16. Hero Arts - set of cling stamp sets!   
    Comment #48 by Michelle's Inky Fingers, who said: "Happy Birthday - what awesome gifts and Envelopes!!! I have my daughters getting into the fun handmade cards from 10 yr old hands-such a great way to support our troops as well as giving back to those who serve in unpublicized ways! Thanks to everyone - and give a momentary prayer to those who sacrificed for us on 9/11!!! Happy Birthday again...."
  17. Hero Arts - set of cling stamp sets!   
    Comment #62 by Maggie (please email us) who said: "Sending my heartfelt gratitude and support to the men and women of our military. I cannot even begin to put into words how much your sacrifice and that of your families is appreciated. You are the brightest example of what makes our country a wonderful place to call home. Thank you. May the Lord surround you with His peace and protection as you serve in unfriendly areas around the world. And may you come home safely to your families and loved ones."
  18. Darlene A, CTMH Consultant - Happy Birthday Stamp set and Idea Book   
    Comment #66 by Deloris T, who said: "Sending a BIG THANK YOU to all our troops! Your dedication and hard work is really appreciated here at home. God bless you!"
  19. Glover Rubber Stamp & Crafts - $25 gift certificate      
    Comment #57 by Michelle (please email us) said: "Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your dedication and sacrifices on our behalf..Words wcan t be enough to express our gratitude.  God bless you."

Monday, September 14, 2009

Mailroom Monday Report: Sept 14, 2009

4,235 cards mailed this past week!
   
 To  heroes in Afghanistan:
130 cards to an Army unit
320 cards to a USO facility 
373  cards to an Army unit
355 cards to an Army unit
333 cards to an Army unit
To heroes in Iraq:
320 cards to an Army unit
320 cards to an Army unit
120 cards to an Army unit
367 cards to an Army unit
351 cards to an Army unit
360 cards to an Army unit
203 cards to an Army unit
360 cards to an Army unit
323 cards to an Army unit

Shipper needs this week:
All three shippers have received so many halloween cards so far — if you're hurrying to fill a box before the Sept 20th deadline, please focus on love cards or missing you cards if you can!  (Still send any Halloween ones you have done, we just are hoping to get some other cards to mix in with these, thanks!)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sunday: Challenges, Drives, and Events

Hope everyone had a BLAST this weekend! Frankly, we had some nervousness about how all our cardmakers were going to receive our big changes; our heroes have totally bought in, but we weren't sure of the stateside reaction. But you're all such wonderful, gracious supporters! Thank you for the positive comments and excitement over it all....we only had 2 upset emails - out of hundreds and hundreds!


Search!
One of our cardmakers asked where a particular post from the old discussion board ended up at. It's the one with the poems for AnyHero cards — most of the other posts were general questions, but we copied over the post to this blog. So how do you find it? The search feature! If you type in the word "Poems", it will bring up a link to that post. We'll be adding posts with keywords like that regarding other content you all ask for, so hopefully the search box will become our friend!


Challenges and Card Drives 
Instead of hosting a page that keeps getting outdated, we're going to try listing all the challenges, cardmaking parties, and card drives we know about on a post every Sunday.




Tis the Hero Challenge
Fa la la la la! It's almost Christmastime at OWH! That means it's time for a challenge!!

The "Tis the Hero" challenge runs from Sept 1 - Oct 15th; note that our deadline for holiday cards is Nov 1, but early birds get the benefit of qualifying for one of our prizes! Last year we mailed 35,000 cards during Sept through Nov, how many will we get out to our heroes this year??

PRIZES! We have some stamp sets and other goodies to share - we'll be showing photos on the Homefront Blog soon! (Sorry, with the birthday party, we've been just a little busy!)

Note: This year we'll also count non-Christmassy cards - last year we had lots of Christmas ones, but had no birthday or love cards, and some of our contacts missed getting those! So - of course the heaviest emphasis is on holiday cards, but feel free to add in a few others too!
Bloggers, snag blinkies from our photobucket account; grab the SECOND line of code ("Direct Link").

Scrapstreet Card Drive


DRS Designs Card Drive


Canton, Texas cardmaking event!
SATURDAY,  SEPT. 26, 2009  2:00-6:00 p.m.

Come and join us in making cards and/or writing letters to our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Bring your supplies and we can enjoy a few hours of designing cards and writing heartfelt letters.   Additional supplies will be available. 

Location: Sister’s CafĂ©, 1350 S. Buffalo (198), Canton, Texas
Extra supplies needed: Cardstock paper,  scissors, glue or adhesive,
Contact: Email OWH and we'll pass your info to event coordinator, Karen K.

Friday, September 11, 2009

THE Birthday Party Post!


Happy Birthday to us ALL!
 Yes, indeed, it's a birthday for everyone involved....we couldn't have done all of this without every single crafter who's made a card, every donor who's given of their resources, and every hero who's written home! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

This is the Official Party Post - so be sure to read on to make sure you don't miss any of the fun!







Have a piece of cake and celebrate with us!
Check out the gifts we've received for our birthday....






Gift 1: Photos! You've probably seen the new OWH video by now, and all those photos were taken just for this big event by our heroes abroad! One that was possibly missed for its extraordinariness in the video is this one below; click on it to enlarge it, and you'll notice first they've created "OWH" out of their formation, and they're each also holding a card!!! Check out all the photos!


Gift 2: A flag from Mosul, Iraq! This came from one of our Combat Support Hospitals there, and was the flag hanging in the video on the CFH landing page, and is pictured in the photo at the top of this post as well. Thank you Major S, what an HONOR!


Gift 3: Envelopes! The word got out that we were in need, and Glenn S of the Vietnam Veterans Association came through for us! HOOAH! How awesome!!


Gift 4: A poem written just for this occasion by supporter Kathy C. in New York:
OPERATION WRITE HOME

CardsForHeroes.org is a wonderful group
Of people who really do care
The card makers create extra special cards
For military contacts to share.

These contacts distribute the cards to the folks
Who are serving abroad in harm’s way
Be they soldiers, marines, sailors or airmen
These cards really do make their day.

The beautiful cards are sent home to their friends
Or husbands or kids or their wives
They write in these cards and pour out their hearts
They share this time in their lives.

It’s a way for the warriors to stay in touch
With loved ones that they hold so dear
The messages sent are full of their love
That these families and friends need to hear.

And now this awesome group has evolved
And they celebrate a new name
Henceforth they are called Operation Write Home
But remember their mission’s the same.

They want all the warriors to know they are loved
And they want families to feel this as well
So welcome to Operation Write Home
And Cards For Heroes we bid thee farewell.

Kathy Cunningham
September 12, 2009

Gift 5: Birthday wishes from....none other than Tim Holtz! 
Fabre was at a class and met Tim — and he was thrilled to send a birthday shout-out! He said he'd been at an event in Minneapolis and that he created a card for CFH there! He also said he thought it was a great idea....thanks Tim!!

Gift 6: A box a year from a hero

One of our deployed heroes who's now stateside is sponsoring a box a month for a year in honor of our birthday!!!!

Gift 7: Flowers from a contact in Afghanistan!!!




Prize Drawings!
And yes, we know you love to take a chance to win something fun and crafty! We've partnered with a lot of companies who wanted to celebrate along with us — thank you to each and every individual and business who have added to the fun! And here's what's up for the drawing!

  1. Hambo Stamps : Grab Bag of Assorted Rubber Stamps
  2. Paperbag Studios : (4) $5.00 gift certificates to store
  3. Service Memories LLC / Jann Hunt : Grab Bag of Patriotic & Military Items for Cardmaking
  4. Cornish Heritage Farms / Liz Pomeroy : Packet of Stamps
  5. Gina K. Designs / Gina Krupsky : Stamp TV Kit (Check out the Video Demo here!!)
  6. The Button Farm / Angela Moen : Card Making Kit
  7. Anita Konvicka / Stampin Up : $30.00 SU Gift Certificate
  8. Core'dinations : 120 sheets of sandable cardstock
  9. Scrap Diner : $25 Gift Certificate 
  10. Sunshine's Stamps - $20 Gift Certificate
  11. Hero Arts - FOUR sets of cling stamp sets!
  12. Darlene A, CTMH Consultant - Happy Birthday Stamp set and Idea Book
  13. Glover Rubber Stamp & Crafts - $25 gift certificate
....and there just might be more! (If you're someone with 'more', email us!)


To enter the drawing: Leave a comment on THIS blog post with a hello for our heroes! We'll print out the whole list and send it to them....so show them some love! Winners of the above prizes will be chosen randomly from those who post; so be sure you either sign in with an ID we can find you at, or check back here midweek after we've had a chance to draw the names of the winners. We'll post them and by Wednesday.

For those who want to leave a general comment about the party, the new name, etc — we started a Whaddyathink post here for general discussion!

Now what?
If you've checked out the site, the videos, the slideshows, and prizes — feel free to pass on the news! Post pictures or videos to your Facebook page.....join our OWH Facebook Fan Page (and check out the extra goodies posted there!)....Share photos and videos on your blog.....Tweet up a storm! Let's get the word out about what you think of our big change! And then let's get busy making cards!!


Thank-yous....so many people to thank for getting our birthday party rolling! To Paula, bless you for helping get our files revamped and our stamps designed! To Eddy, your skills in making our opening announcement (birthday balloon) video are unrivaled, thank you! To Roberto, our Flashman! You rock!!  Couldn't have done this without your counsel! To the brainstormers in CS, on the board, and around the cardmaking and deployed universe, you're awesome folks!! To our shippers who keep the cards moving - wowowow your dedication is amazing! To Charles in D.C., thanks for your incredibly wise legal counsel! To the helpdesk at GoDaddy, thanks for holding my hand late at night when I couldn't get things to work....to the web team at P2H, bless you for all you put up with! To our prize donors, thank you for making our celebration so awesome!

Namechange: FAQ!

We are SO excited about our new name — Operation Write Home — and hope you are too! Here's a little FAQ on how things came about, sparing the details we'd rather forget :)

Why the change?
We'd been thinking about it for quite some time, for a number of reasons:
  • There were enough people who like to use the alternate spelling "heros" (instead of "heroes"—both are correct gramatically!) that we wanted it to be easier!
  • We actually had some people thinking the old name meant that we wrote cards to our heroes, and always found our selves saying we make cards for them to write home on. The words "write home" have been part of our description for a long time!
  • We wanted a web address — a whole "street" actually — to ourselves! :) So whether you type .org, .com, .biz, or a number of alternate spellings, you'll find us!
Why the big surprise?
Our board had been talking about it, but the plan had been to wait til we had our 501(c)(3) status; we didn't want to interrupt the IRS's diligent work. But....when we heard Kimber McGray was working on a book and wanted to partner with us—that sealed the deal and we wanted to get our new name underway! The birthday surprise was going to hopefully be that we had our new name, but we had some processes (legal and otherwise) to get underway before we could announce anything; so we have only been 100% certain of the name for less than 10 days!
Those who watched the video that came out recently saw me (Sandy) say you all should email me if you wanted that self-inking stamp; since I wasn't sure if we were changing yet, I asked those who emailed if they'd hang tight while I set up a deal for them, in the hopes I was setting up a deal for OWH stamps instead of CFH. To those who didn't email me — and ordered their own already — please read on, I have a little gift for you!

How did you choose Operation Write Home?
Our board brainstormed, plus a small group of crafters and some trusted friends, and our heroes as well— it was a pretty hefty bit of thinking! And every time someone said the words "Operation Write Home" you could almost "see" a smile come over them, hear a happy sigh, or feel a warm fuzzy.  And when we floated the name by a bunch of our heroes — the feedback was so fantastic, we knew we had the perfect name!

Has anything else changed?
Other than our new website, no! We still do the same work as when we were cardsforheroes.org....we still love our heroes, we still treasure every one of our cardmakers and financial donors, we are still mailing packages to deployed warriors at an amazing pace! And of course we're still also waiting on the IRS for our 501(c)(3) status, that feels like a wait that will never end! :)

What about all my cards stamped with CFH on the back?
They'll still be just fine! We're leaving a re-direct on our old page, so anytime heroes, families, or cardmakers come upon a card with the old address, or someone follows an old link, it will still send them over to us. No worries! We still have cards sent in for Father's Day that have the CFH url, and our shippers won't be stamping them over again unless they get seriously bored. (Not likely with all the cards that come in all the time!)


What about this CFH stamp I have?
Check out Sandy's  Stamps for Clunkers Program!

Should I stamp the backs of my cards with CFH til I order a new one?
Yes, please do! Or you can make labels with OWH, handwrite the name (no .org needed anymore!), whatever else you'd like to do. You can also leave them blank for the shippers to deal with, but as you know that's a lot of work — your help is much appreciated!

Ongoing questions: If you have any further concerns about our namechange, please don't hesitate to email Sandy and she'll be glad to chat. (If you email on birthday weekend, please have patience, a lot of email volume is expected!) Feel free to leave a comment about your thoughts on these matters — we would love to hear what you think about the change!

Whaddyathink?

This post is for collecting your general feedback....feel free to comment on any of the posts you see, but we'd love to know if you're as excited as we are about the new skin we're in! We know it'll take a little time to get used to—but we can do it!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Birthday card bloggers!













What could be a more perfect card for us to send out as our first "official" OWH card? A Snoopy Birthday Card, of course! This one went to an EOD unit (the bomb disposal guys!) in Afghanistan—and was the first card stamped with our new name on the back!


If you've been inspired this weekend to make a birthday card and post it on your blog for our little celebration, leave a link here so we can all go visit and see your creation! Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Thankful Thursday Sept 9

3473 cards received between Sept 3-9 !!! THANK you all!

  1. Kelly F, Oxnard CA.....these are AWESOME Any Hero letters.  Thanks to all who made them!
  2. Marlene C, Tampa FL.....thank you for the box of gorgeous cards!
  3. Linda M, Manhattan KS.....thank you so much for the box of BEAUTIFUL cards! Love them!!
  4. Ann L, Orem UT....WOW! What beautiful cards....thank you!
  5. Mary M and Friends, Commerce City CO......thank you ladies for the wonderful box of cards! BEAUTIFUL!!
  6. Carole Ann S, The Woodlands TX......thank you for hosting a card making party and sending in these beautiful cards!!!
  7. Sheryl D, The Woodlands TX......thank you for another wonderful package of cards.  They are beautiful!
  8. Sue W, Hinckley OH.....your cards are wonderful. Love them!!
  9. Linda K, Grant MI....another great package! Cards are beautiful and Any Hero notes are great!
  10. Chris F, Monument CO.....beautiful cards as always. Thanks for your continued support!!!
  11. Peggy K, Albuquerque NM.....thank you for the cards and Any Hero note. They are beautiful!
  12. Alandra and Larissa M, Spring Creek, NV......wow girls! What great cards....thank you so much!!!
  13. Karen M, Marrero LA.....thank you so much for the wonderful cards!
  14. Kathay P, Humble TX, thanks so much for your faithful donatoins.....you are just awesome!!! Bless you!!
  15. Bette S, Emily MN, wow, what lovely Christmas and winter photo cards! Thanks so very much!
  16. April W, Taylors SC - thank you sooooo much for your package of beautiful cards!!
  17. Nancy H, Knights Landing CA, I love your cards, and our heroes will too!!
  18. Cindy M, Pewaukee WI, your halloween and fall cards are adorable - thank you!
  19. K Schreiber, Redding CA, your cards are just lovely! Thanks so much for taking the 25+2 challenge....woohoo!
  20. Judie F, Coeur d'Alene, wow, what talent!! Thank you for gifting our heroes with your beautiful cards....and CFH with a generous shipping donation!!
  21. Darlene A, Palm Beach FL, thanks for the card for Ben!!
  22. Kathay P, Humble TX - you weren't kidding when you said it was a big box of cards on the way. Wow! Awesome!!!!!
  23. Cindy J, Greenacres Fl, thanks for all the great fall cards!
  24. Denise W, N Las Vegas NV, thanks so much for another great box of cards! Wow!
  25. Judith H, Chesterfield MO......beautiful cards!!! Thanks so much.
  26. Cindy M, Normal IL....Thanks so much for the beautiful cards.
  27. Emily M, Owensboro KY....what a great first package of cards! They are beautiful!!
  28. Marietta W, Akron IA......thank you for the wonderful package of cards!!!  
  29. Gai J, Dallas TX......thank you for the beautiful cards! Love them!
  30. Martie M, Dayton OH....what a wonderful box of cards! They are beautiful.
  31. Ken D. and Denise H., Souderton, PA - When a WWII veteran makes cards for our heroes, each one is special - thank you for the time and obvious love you put into this project!  Great job!
  32. Anne G., Oviedo, FL - Thank you for the lovely and beautiful cards for our military!
  33. Cheryl B., Manchester, NH - Your fall cards are just perfect, thank you so much for sending them to our heroes!  
  34. Jojo B., Asheboro, NC - Thank you for the VERY sweet cards that we are sure the heroes will love!  Awesome job!
  35. Lori R., Springfield, VA - Thanks for the great selection of Christmas and fall-themed cards - they are awesome!
  36. Tara D., Hawley, PA - Thank you so much for the great 25+2 package, and for thinking of our heroes!
  37. Laura S., Brackney, PA - The collage cards that you create are so cool - thank you for sharing them with our men and women in uniform!
  38. TILL Inc. and Deb Fantasia, Watertown, MA - Thank you for your donation of cards for our heroes!
  39. Stephanie G., New York, NY - Another box of great cards - big thank you for the Chanukah cards!  They will be perfect for our special project!
  40. Unknown Group, Trevett, ME - Thank you for sending along the unique and diverse collection of cards - they are just wonderful!
  41. Karen Y., Kapolei, HI - What a great box of cards - these are perfect to help us get some boxes out to our heroes right away!
  42. Pat F., Mansfield, PA - What a wonderful box of beautifully crafted cards for our heroes - thank you so much!
  43. Jan C. and the AZ Scrappers, Phoenix, AZ - Thank you for your wonderful work as usual, the cards are just fantastic!
  44. Robin S., and Daughter, Parma, OH - Thank you for your cards, glad that the two of you can create something wonderful together to help our heroes!  
  45. Tracy F., Queens, NY - What fun, bright colors on your cards - thank you for sharing them!
  46. Mary O., McKinney, TX - Your cards are beautiful, thank you for sending them for our heroes and for stamping the back!  Awesome!
  47. Christine A., Downers Grove, IL - Such beautiful cards, and a very generous shipping donation as well - thank you for your support!
  48. Diane M., Harrisburg, PA - Awesome, beautiful, sparkly cards - thank you so much!
  49. Unknown Cardmaker, Merion Station, PA - What a wonderful batch of cards with beautiful coloring - thank you for supporting our heroes!
  50. Beverly D., Rochester, NY - The cards were so much fun, especially the vintage ones!  Great work!
  51. Paula C, Oldsmar FL - I love all your holiday cards, thanks so very much!
  52. Patti S, Saint Louis MO, thank you so much for the cute cards...love them all!
  53. Nancy C, Hollister CA, you always send such great cards...thanks so much! I especially love the manly car cards! :)
  54. Leslie T., Willoughby Hills, OH - Thank you for the great batch of Halloween cards, they are wonderful!
  55. Donor, Waterford, CT - Thank you for the big box of cards!
  56. Mandy A., Pembroke, MA - Such fun fall themed cards - loved the frankensteins and witches - so cool!
  57. Diane W., Stoneham, MA - Thanks for joining us, looking forward to next month's batch of cards!
  58. Kirstie H and the Crafty Ladies II Craft Guild! What a beautiful box of cards, thank you all so much! I love the simplicity (and I think the men will too!) Thanks for the shipping gift!
  59. Carol P, Peoria AZ, I think you took notes during the video! lol, thanks so much for the *perfect* packing! And the AnyHero cards and shipping help, wow, you're a rock star!
  60. Ann L., Orem, UT - Again, another great batch of cards - you are an amazing supporter of CFH and we thank you so much!
  61. Maureen S., Clarksburg, NJ - What fun, colorful cards for our heroes - thank you for them and the shipping donation as well!  
  62. Becky and Marilea! Wow! Fantastic cards as always, the Dr Seuss ones are spectacular! And your generous shipping gift, bless you!
  63. Penny G, Swall Meadows CA, love your cards, our heroes will too!
  64. Claire L and the Philly Inkers, what fantastic cards, thanks so much! Your donation is a blessing too :)
  65. Geri A, Mercer Island WA, bless you, these cards are great - and your donation is appreciated!
  66. Melrose V, Linden CA, thanks so much for the awesome package of cards!
  67. Los Gatos Elks, all I can say is WOW! Thank you so much!
  68. To our donor in West Bend WI, thanks so much for the huge box of cards!
  69. Marge M., Wayne, NJ - You do such an amazing job coming up with the most creative cards - thank you for sending them!
  70. Sharon T., Ijamsville, MD - A great package full of creativity - thank you for sharing your cards with our heroes!
  71. Ruth B., Hillsborough, NJ - Thank you so much for your box of cards, the cards for kids are particularly great right now as those are always in high demand with our heroes!  
  72. Debbie & Ethan R., South Euclid, OH - Thank you for choosing Cards for Heroes as the recipient of your National Honor Service community service project - your cards are wonderful!  
  73. Kathy R., Duncan, SC - Beautiful cards from the mom of a hero - thank you for sharing your lovely cards with Cards for Heroes!
  74. Barbara S., Manville, NJ - Your continued support of Cards for Heroes is greatly appreciated - thank you for another great batch of cards!
  75. Nancy S., Manville, NJ - Thank you for the wonderful holiday cards for our heroes - they will be loved!
  76. Sharon S, San Jose CA - beautiful cards, wow, thanks!! And your financial donation, and all the AnyHero cards - what a blessing :)
  77. Nancy Y, Campbell CA, bless you for the 25+2 challenge cards - and extra envies! You're awesome!
  78. Emily M, San Diego CA, bless you, these are wonderful cards - you've made a lot of heroes and their families smile!
  79. Jerri Sue G, Phelan CA, an awesome box full of beautiful cards, thanks!!!
  80. Leslie M, Kailua, HI, I love your *yummy* cards, they're wonderful - thanks for your faithful donations of cards!
  81. Julie F, Shreveport LA, thanks sooooo much for all the cards, our heroes are going to love them! :)
  82. Carolyn L, Darien IL, your cards are just lovely, thank you sooooo much!
  83. Janice D, Richmond VA, wowsers, TWO boxes! Thanks so much!
  84. Becky M. and the Ellicott City Rubber Stamp Club, Ellicott City, MD - You guys are wonderful - thank you so much for your support of CFH!
  85. Cindee N., Harrisburg, PA - What a cool box of cards - sure to cheer up our heroes!  Thank you!
  86. Janie C., Brooklyn, NY - Thank you for the box of cards, and the generous donation - both are very appreciated!  
  87. Mary Beth S, Schaumburg IL......WOW! What an awesome package.  Cards are beautiful.
  88. Jan L, Austin TX....thank you for the lovely cards!
  89. Elsa R, New Braunfels TX.....another great box of cards!!!!! Thank you!
  90. Debby K and friends, Fond du Lac WI.......thank you ladies for the great box of cards.  Love them!!!
  91. Jennifer N, Sioux Falls ID.....what GREAT cards! Thanks so much for them and also for the card for Ben.
  92. Linda K, Indianapolis IN......thank you for your continued support by sending in cards.  BEAUTIFUL!!
  93. Collen O. (and friends), Annandale, VA - Thank you so much for a GREAT assortment of cards - and a great shipping donation too!  
  94. Karen H., Monticello, MN - Beautiful, artistic cards - thank you for sharing them with our military!
  95. Michele & Mackenzie M., Macomb, MI - Cute, Cute, Cute cards from a great mother-daughter team!  Thank you both for your donation!
  96. Girl Scout Troop #3013, Annandale, VA - Thank you so much for making wonderful cards for our heroes - they will love knowing that you created these treasures for them!
  97. Denise W, Las Vegas NV - thanks so much for another box of wonderful cards!
  98. Becky W, San Jose CA - thanks so much for the beauuuutiful cards, our heroes will love them all!
  99. Mary E, San Rafael Ca, I love your cards!! Thanks so much...your AnyHero cards and shipping donation are a wonderful blessing too!
  100. Peachy L, Tempe AZ, these are awesome cards...thanks so much! We appreciate your help with shipping too! :)
  101. Loni H, Allen TX - I love your style!! Great cards, thanks soooo much! Your AnyHero cards and shipping help are awesome too!
  102. Mary Jane G, Houston TX, thanks so much for the Christmas cards!