Friday, October 30, 2009

Response to children's AnyHero letters!

This might have belonged on the Hero Blog, but to be sure everyone sees it....

My husband volunteers with my son's class Friday mornings.  He just called and told me between the classes they have already gotten several responses from their Hero Letters.

One class even was sent a cd full of pictures from Iraq, an Iraqi flag that has Operation Iraqi Freedom - CTA Freedom written on it, and they have become email penpals with the class for the rest of the school year.  The teachers told my husband to tell me they are soo thankful I asked them to do this project.  They only hoped to get a couple responses so the kids know the heros got their letters, they never dreamed something like this.

I am just sitting her bawiling like a baby and I don't know why!  LOL.

Anyways just wanted to share the thanks cause my part is teeny tiny compared to everything you do.

Happy Friday!
Chris 

Do you have a class of school children who might like to do something too?  Have them write letters, and create a label to put on each one with the school's address on it so that our heroes can write back if they get time. You never know what one little action in a classroom can start! (Maybe raising up a whole new generation of heroes, too!)

Red Friday - Share!


Happy Red Friday, everyone! Today we encourage sharing a card you've made for OWH - maybe a Christmas card since we're sneaking up on the deadline to mail them early next week!

Plus, remind your readers of two things:
  1. The bloghop is coming up! The bloghop post is here ----> link <----- with more info and signup instructions, so you can send them there for info or re-post some of the details on your own blog. Signup deadline is Nov 11th!
  2. Sign up for the OWH email list! The next newsletter comes out next week, and includes a video about cardsigning events! Link to sign up is ---> here <--- so be sure to get on the list!
Don't forget to wear red today....and tell someone why you're wearing red!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Thankful Thursday Oct 29: 13,133 cards!


Edited to add: This photo was taken by crafters in North Carolina before they sent their cards in! Thanks Traci, Dixie, and friends!

13,133 cards were received this week!!!...keep up the cards and shipping donations, you can mail the last ones next Monday or Tuesday!!!
  1. Joan W, Tacoma WA - thanks so much for the wonderful cards!
  2. Lori H, Federal Way WA - what cuuuuute cards!! Love that DCWV paper, you did wonders with it!
  3. Wendee S, Dallas OR, Love your package of cards, and our heroes will too!!
  4. Vicky W, Minden NE, thank you for the great cards, they'll make our heroes smile!
  5. Lois M, Minden NE, thanks for the great box of cards - super selection!
  6. Betty T, Salina KS - wow, these are awesome AnyHero get well cards. And the extras in the box - Thanks!!!
  7. Bernardine E, Williston FL, lovely lovely cards, thank you!
  8. Grace D, Champaign IL, lovely cards - and thanks for the beanies too!
  9. Laura C, Park Rapids MN, oh my! These are the sweetest AnyHero packets (literally!) - they're going to make some of our warriors have a Merry Christmas! Thanks!
  10. Victoria L, Cullowhee, NC, your Christmas and AnyHero cards are just awesome, thank you sooooo much! Your shipping donation will assure one more box goes out - bless you!
  11. Shirley M, Ruidoso NM, thank you so much for the HUGE box of cards! Wowsers!
  12. Becky M. and the Ellicott City Rubber Stamp Club, Ellicott City, MD - It's beginning to feel a LOT like Christmas around here with your wonderful package - thank you so much!
  13. Joan M., Tappahannock, VA - Thank you for the wide selection of cards!
  14. Cyndy R., Contoocook, NH - Those cuddling snowmen were so sweet!  Thank you for the wonderful donation!
  15. Barbara S., Manville, NJ - Another great package of cards with some great holiday treasures, as well as a few cards for our military children!  Thank you!
  16. Angie H., Jasper, GA - Thank you so much for the lovely cards, as well as the nice shipping donation to help us get them to the middle east!
  17. Betty T., Salina, KS - Much gratitude for making cards to fit the A7 envelopes that were donated to us!  
  18. Andrea M., Ithaca, NY - What a fabulous idea to make cards in honor of your friend as a gift to him - our heroes will certainly appreciate your generosity!
  19. Lily H., Pittsburgh, PA - WOW - your cards are so artistic and beautiful, hand lettering and brush painting!  Thank you!
  20. Christine Z, White Lake MI, you make the cutest card...love your embossing! Thanks so much for the shipping donation too!
  21. Flossie L, Eugene OR, what fantastic cards! Wow! Thanks so very very much!
  22. Amy S, Aurora CO - wowsers, these cards are lovely! Thanks so much!
  23. Marsha L, Sheffield OH - brilliant job covering glittery ornaments with epoxy stickers! You are so smart! Beautiful cards - and thank you for the shipping help!
  24. Kimberley M and Richard Y, AWESOME job on these cards....Robert especially, you are some colorer!! Way to go!
  25. Christy L, Petaluma CA, I love your cards, they'll be loved so much by our heroes too...thank you!
  26. Lindsay M, Canboro NC - such sweet cards and Anyhero cards, thank you soooo much! Your generous shipping donation is truly appreciated :)
  27. Amber M, Goshen IN - Awesome box of cards!! My Mom is going through them and getting overwhelmed with ideas!! *grin* Thanks so much for the shipping donation too!
  28. Dolores A, Frederick MD - thanks soooo much for the generous shipping donation - and for coming to make and sort cards with me!! Love you Mom!
  29. Wendy L., Circleville, OH - Thank you so much for the great assortment of birthday and holiday cards - the A9 cards were really spectacular!  
  30. Ann W., Knoxville, TN - Your cards melted our hearts!  Thank you so much for your wonderful donation!
  31. Pat Q. and the Bidwell Training Center, Pittsburgh, PA - Thanks for lovingly creating all of those wonderful holiday cards!  
  32. Rebecca P., Virginia Beach, VA - Thanks for another great box of cards for our service men & women - and big thanks to Hannah (age 4!) for making those adorable any hero cards!  
  33. Paula S., Stamford, CT - Thanks for answering the call for some Chanukah cards - they were perfect for our request from Project MOT!  
  34. Denise W, Las Vegas NV, thank you sooooo much for another batch of fabulous cards!
  35. Lee B, Dalton WI - wowsers! Fabulous cards once again, thank you!
  36. Ida V, Windsor Ontario - your cards are so cute, thank you soooo much!
  37. Chris L, Leavenworth KS, thanks so very much for your generous shipping donation!
  38. Lauren B., Lewiston, ME - Thank you for the wonderful cards, you are so talented!
  39. Cecilia S., Raleigh, NC - Your holiday cards were fabulous - thank you so much!
  40. Karen G., Oakland Park, FL - Thanks for answering our special request for some Chanukah cards, and enclosing some others as well!  
  41. SuzAnn H., Salt Lake City, UT - Thank you so much for the Chanukah cards - they were just perfect for project MOT!  
  42. TILL Inc., Watertown, MA - Thanks for another batch of fantastic any hero collage postcards - they are so great!
  43. Linda G, Cream Ridge NJ, thank you so much for the generous shipping donation!
  44. Carolyn L, Darien IL, your cards are sooooooo pretty! Wow, thanks so much!!
  45. Vanessa L, San Diego - bless you for the generous shipping donation!
  46. Esther E, Vancouver WA - there must be something wonderful in the Vancouver water, so many beautiful cards! Thank you!
  47. Jillian L, Vancouver BC Canada - ooooh what a wonderful first package of cards! Thanks!!!!
  48. Deb L, Carmichael CA, beautiful cards, wow! And thanks so much for the shipping help too!
  49. Kristi G, San Antonio TX, oh my! Lovely work on these cards, thank you so very much - and the get well cards toooooo!
  50. Jane R, Phoenix AZ - talk about amazing! What a box of beauties, thank you so much!!!
  51. Crafters at Scrapbooks & Etc, Harrisburg NC - y'all outdo yourselves with every box! Oh my! Thanks so much!!!
  52. Traci B, Harrisburg NC, thanks sooooo much for your generous shipping donation!
  53. Elissa K, Harrisburg NC, thanks sooooo much for your generous shipping donation!
  54. Carolyn L, Darien IL, your cards are sooooooo pretty! Wow, thanks so much!!
  55. Liz T., Saint Petersburg, FL - Thank you so much for a fabulous box of cards for our military men & women!
  56. Carolyn M. and all the crafters at Le Petit Artist, Mount Penn, PA - Thank you for the box of wonderful cards that you made on card drive day - they are wonderful!
  57. Janet M., Biddeford, ME - Thank you so much for the wonderful holiday cards - they will be loved!  
  58. Ruth B., Hillsborough, NJ - The holiday cards you sent are adorable - thanks so much!
  59. Celeste L., Panama City Beach, FL - WOW - An enormous box of holiday cards, AND you rallied your community to write letters to our heroes - terrific job!  Thank you!
  60. Lily H., Pittsburgh, PA - Thanks for more any hero mail - perfect to top off our boxes!
  61. Jaime M, Spokane WA, what a beauuutiful package of cards, thanks so very much!
  62. Judy S, Bakersfield, CA - I love your cards, they're lovely! Our heroes will truly appreciate them :)
  63. Yoland D, Compton CA - thanks for the pretty cards, they're wonderful!
  64. Karen E and everyone at The Scrappy Stamper, Chehalis WA - whoa what a box of crafty beauties, thanks to you all!
  65. Patti C., Ruby, NY - Awesome box of holiday cards, you will bless our heroes, thank you!
  66. Alison J. and the Buffalo Stamps & Stuff Stamp Club - Fantastic job on making all those wonderful cards!  Happy Holidays!  It will be for our heroes thanks to you!
  67. Elizabeth S., New Caanan, CT - Your cards are just fantastic, thank you so much for creating so many beautiful holiday cards!  
  68. Friends of DRS Designs, Bethel, CT - No words can describe the joy of getting over 1600 cards from you all - but at least we can say THANK YOU!  
  69. Dawna L., Bloomington, IN - What an amazing package of cards - you are so creative!  Thank you!
  70. Denise I., Williamsville, NY - Thank you so much - the cards are just beautiful!
  71. Cheryl B., Manchester, NH - Thank you for another batch of adorable cards for our heroes!
  72. Greta B., Clio, MI - Thank you so much for participating in the Elle's Studio Challenge - we are so grateful!
  73. JoAnn S., Thank you so much for the package of all-occasion cards!  
  74. Paula S., Stamford, CT - Your holiday cards are spectacular!  Thank you so much!
  75. Marge M., Wayne, NJ - Thank you so much for yet another great donation to Operation Write Home!
  76. Eleanor G., Manasquan, NJ - Thank you so much for the lovely cards!   They will be VERY appreciated!
  77. Donna C., Stamford, CT - Thanks for a terrific package of Christmas cards (and a few bonuses too!)
  78. Maggie J., Alex C., Bernie C., Jillie C., Katina T., Joy B., Jennifer H., Doug J., Toni L., Dianne M., (PHEW) - Cranberry Township and Pittsburgh, PA - Thank you so much for the fabulous group effort to get some holiday cards to our heroes!  They are wonderful!  And thank you for doing some Chanukah cards as well!
  79. Kathy C., Ilion, NY - Thank you for the fantastic package of cards, great job!
  80. Vicky V., Suffolk, VA - WOW!  Great box of cards - fantastic job!  Thanks too for the extra envelopes - we can always use them!
  81. Phyllis B., Jasper, GA - Your cards are lovely and will be very appreciated by our service men and women - thank you!
  82. Mandy and the NH Scrapbook Cabin Cardmakers, Amherst, NH - Thank you SO much for the wonderful box of cards - what fun you must have had getting them together - nice work!
  83. Julie R, Greenacres FL, such fantastic cards once again, thank you so much!
  84. Cindi P, West Palm Beach FL, thank you for the sweet cards!
  85. Tim M, Wellington FL - awesome work on your cards, thanks!!
  86. Kathy Marie P, Florida, thanks so much - love your cards!
  87. Dawn F, Boynton Beach FL, cute cards, thanks!!
  88. Donna S, West Palm Beach FL - thanks so much for sharing your creativity with our heroes!
  89. Sherry F, Royal Palm Beach FL, great cards, thank you!
  90. Heather B, Haverhill FL, thanks for blessing a hero with your card!
  91. Jane R, Phoenix AZ, your cards are just so beautiful, our heroes will love them!
  92. Nora G, Medford OR, thank you so much for the great cards - with the extra blessings! - and the GENEROUS donation! You rock!
  93. Helen S, San Diego CA, your cards are just wonderful, thank you! The shipping help is appreciated :) :) :)
  94. Joan K, Rio Rancho NM, what fantastic Christmas cards, thank you!
  95. Lori G, Tina W, and Mary Lou W, Clarksburg WV - WOW! Amazing box of cards, THANK YOU!
  96. Sandy Mc, Kennesaw GA - you make such cute cards, thanks for each and every one!
  97. Tammy A, Aurora Co....Love these Christmas cards! Very nice.
  98. Lenore L, Glendale Heights, IL.....what a nice package of cards! They are beautiful.
  99. Heather W, McKinney TX....thank you for the gorgeous Christmas cards!! Love them.
  100. Anita H, Fredericksburg, VA.....a great package of cards!! Thank you.
  101. Fowler and Friends, La Grange IL......thank you ladies for the wonderful box of cards.  Your continued support is appreciated.
  102. Joy O, Carmel IN.....WOW! What a box....these are beautiful.  Thanks so much!!!
  103. Mary H, Miamisburg OH....WOW! This is an awesome box of cards!  Thanks so much!
  104. Ladies at Cut N Paste Memories, Arlington TX......Love these cards! Stunning.....thank you!
  105. Maureen L, Cedar Rapids IA.....another wonderful box of cards. THANK YOU!
  106. Sue M, Scottsdale AZ....WOW! What a box of cards.  Thank you so much...these are wonderful!
  107. Kristen A, Franskville, WI....thank you for the beautiful cards!
  108. Pat L, Goshen IN.....thank you for the stunning cards! Love them!
  109. Lorraine D, Norwood PA....thank you for the wonderful cards.  Love how you have already started with Valentine's Day cards!!
  110. Las Noches Women's Club, Tempe AZ.....thank you so much for the awesome package of cards!!!
  111. Audrey H, Hooker OK......thank you for having the Sunday School class make cards and write any hero notes.  Much Appreciated!
  112. Clara Ann H O, Brownsville TX....thank you for the beautiful Christmas cards!!
  113. Sandra K, Sherwood WI....beautiful cards!!!  Thank you.
  114. Rhonda D, Houston TX...thank you for the gorgeous Christmas cards!
  115. Kelli L, Hanover MN......thank you for the wonderful box of cards! Love them.
  116. Traci O, Lansing MI.....what a great first box of cards!!!  These are beautiful!
  117. Brenda R, East Bethel MN....thank you for the wonderful cards.  
  118. Brenda S and friends, Millbury OH.......thanks so much ladies for the wonderful cards! LOVE these!
  119. Laura S, Charlotte NC.....another wonderful box of cards! Thank you!!
  120. Cindee G and friends, Lincoln NE......WOW! These two boxes ROCK! Christmas cards are Fabulous!
  121. Maude B, Las Cruces NM.....what great cards!!  Love them!
  122. Leslie W, Centerville OH....thank you for these great cards! They are beautiful.
  123. Sarah B, Cypress TX.....what a great first box of cards! Thanks for joining us.
  124. Nancy C, Warner SD.....thank you for the great cards!!! Very pretty!
  125. Helen M, Spring Creek NV...thanks for the wonderful box of Christmas cards and Any Hero letters!!!
  126. Shirley V, Rochester MN....thank you for the beautiful Christmas cards!!
  127. Marcia L, Council Bluffs IA....what a nice package of cards. They are very pretty!
  128. Susan S, Grove City OH.....beautiful cards!! Thanks so much.

    Wednesday, October 28, 2009

    The Final Inspection



    THE FINAL INSPECTION

    The Marine stood and faced God,

     Which must always come to pass.

     He hoped his shoes were shining,

     Just as brightly as his brass.

    'Step forward now, Marine,

     How shall I deal with you?

     Have you always turned the other cheek?

     To My Church have you been true?'

    The soldier squared his shoulders and said,

     'No, Lord, I guess I ain't.

     Because those of us who carry guns,

     Can't always be a saint.

    I've had to work most Sundays,

     And at times my talk was tough.

     And sometimes I've been violent,

     Because the world is awfully rough.

    But, I never took a penny,

    That wasn't mine to keep...

    Though I worked a lot of overtime,

     When the bills got just too steep.

    And I never passed a cry for help,

    Though at times I shook with fear.

    And sometimes, God, forgive me,

     I've wept unmanly tears.

    I know I don't deserve a place,

    Among the people here.

    They never wanted me around,

     Except to calm their fears

    If you've a place for me here, Lord,

    It needn't be so grand.

    I never expected or had too much,

     But if you don't, I'll understand.

    There was a silence all around the throne,

    Where the saints had often trod.

    As the Marine waited quietly,

     For the judgment of his God.

    'Step forward now, you Marine,

    You've borne your burdens well.

    Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets,

     You've done your time in Hell.'

    Author Unknown~

    Tuesday, October 27, 2009

    "Walter Reed" Email


    Since it's nearly November (ack!), it's that time of year. That "Send a Christmas card to Any Recovering Soldier at Walter Reed" email is about to start going around again. Please help by NOT forwarding it to your friends and family; and if you receive it, please reply to them and ask them to come to this post or to the Red Cross website for accurate info! In the past a lot of mail got tossed or returned, and we want all those letters to go to the right place! (Note: If you're used to "Dear Hero", you can use that in writing letters instead of "Service Member" as is suggested here.) Once they post an address, we'll add it to this post, so you can bookmark here or on their page.

    The following is re-posted from the Red Cross site:

    Holiday Mail for Heroes


    Send a Touch of Home

    Proudly Supported by Pitney Bowes

    Send a touch of home to the real heroes of America and their families! Holiday Mail for Heroes is back again!
    For the third year in a row, the American Red Cross and Pitney Bowes are working together to collect, sort and distribute holiday cards to service members, veterans and their families.
    The Red Cross and Pitney Bowes will begin accepting cards on November 2, 2009. So get your pens and postage stamps ready and watch for the address in the coming weeks on http://www.redcross.org/holidaymail

    All cards must be postmarked no later than Monday, December 7, 2009. Cards postmarked after December 7 will be returned to the sender. This deadline ensures enough time to sort and distribute cards before the holidays.
    Holiday Mail for Heroes
    P.O. Box 5456
    Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456


    Every card received will be screened for hazardous materials by Pitney Bowes and then reviewed by Red Cross volunteers working around the country.
    If you would like to begin working on your cards now, here are some quick guidelines to ensure your cards makes to a hero as quickly as possible:
    Do...
    • Ensure that all cards are signed.
    • Make cards more meaningful to a wide variety of recipients by using “Dear Service Member, Family or Veteran” rather than any more specific language. You are encouraged to send holiday-neutral cards rather than religious-themed cards. Note: Cards addressed to specific individuals cannot be delivered through this program.
    • Limit the number of cards to 15 from any one person or 50 from any one school class, business or group. If you are mailing a large quantity, please bundle the cards and place them in large mailing envelopes. Each card does not need its own envelope, as envelopes will be removed from all cards before distribution.
    Do not...
    • Send letters. Only cards are being accepted.
    • Include email or home addresses on the cards, as the program is not meant to foster pen pal relationships.
    • Include cards with excessive amounts of glitter. Because cards may be received by wounded service members and veterans in hospitals, large quantities of glitter could aggravate existing health problems.
    • Include inserts of any kind, including photos, as these items will be removed during the reviewing process.

    Monday, October 26, 2009

    Christmas and Winter Card deadline clarification

    Hi folks! Frantic emails are arriving - and we know you're all working fast and furious to get your holiday cards done!

    Our postmark deadline is Nov 1 - and dummy me (Sandy) hadn't ever really looked to see that's a Sunday. Yeah, doh! Go ahead and postmark on Monday or Tuesday, we want you to get as many cards done as you want to this weekend....what a fun thing to work on while the kids are out trick or treating!

    NOTE: If you think you're not even going to make it for next week, you might consider making winter thinking-of-you cards for a couple weeks. If your cards get to a shipper in time to make it into a holiday box, they'll work for Christmas...but if they say "hello" or "thinking of you" or just have snowmen on them, they can also work for later shipments too!

    Mailroom Monday Report: Oct 26, 2009

    Reminder: Holiday cards due postmarked Nov 1st! We still have many many heroes waiting...ask your friends if they have a stash of handmade Christmas cards they might be able to send!

     

    4,423 cards mailed this past week:

       
    To  heroes in Afghanistan:
    185 cards to an  Army unit
    185 cards to an  Army unit
    295 cards to an  Air Force unit
    336 cards to an  Air Force unit
    336 cards to an  Air Force unit 
      

    To heroes in Iraq:
    295 cards to an  Air Force unit 
    295 cards to an  Army unit
    295 cards to an  Army unit 
    336 cards to an  Army unit 
    336 cards to an  Army unit 
    336 cards to an  Army unit 
    336 cards to an  Army unit 




    To heroes in Kuwait:
    185 cards to an  Army unit




    To heroes in Kosovo:
    336 cards to an  Army unit
     










    To heroes in the Philippines (first time sending there!):
    336 cards to an  Army unit





    Other fun statistics:
    Number of boxes sent: 873
    Number of hero contacts: 547
    Total cards sent: 225,539!!

    Deadline reminders:
    Halloween: passed
    Thanksgiving: passed
    Christmas: Nov 1
    Hannukkah: Nov 1
    AnyHero Christmas letters: Dec 1
    Valentines: Jan 7


    For those who might have missed it, we have some holiday needs:

    1. Shipping funds: You'll see by this week's shipping total that our costs are rising right now due to shipping all these holiday cards! So if you're able to request some assistance from your friends and family who want to support the effort to get all these cards overseas, feel free to get the word out! (Remember, donations are now tax-deductible!)
    2. Envelope funds: We had to purchase15,000 more envelopes recently, so if you're able to contribute a few dollars for envelopes for your cards, it's appreciated!
    3. AnyHero letters: As we're shipping lots more boxes now, we also need that many more AnyHero letters! (Check out this post on the Hero Blog to see what they mean to our warriors!)
    Shipper needs this week:

    Sandy: Mom's been helping sort cards, so thanks everyone for sending cards in. I can still use LOTS more though, I picked up another 8 heroes this week (that's an extra 2400 cards past the normal ones I send!) With all these boxes I am also blasting through AnyHero letters - I would love love love more!

    Fabre: Bring on the holiday cards!  I have lots of heroes waiting, and need to fill boxes!  Don't forget to include some cards for general use also - everyone still needs love you/miss you, and birthday cards! Winter themes would be great too.  Thank you so much!

    Kris: CHRISTMAS CARDS!!! I need these as I have lots of contacts that have requested a box of just Christmas cards.  Remember the deadline!!  If you are done with your OWH Christmas cards, how about starting on Valentine's Day.  Of course, there are the general themes that I need as well.......anniversary, birthday, all occasion, etc.  I'm especially low on thinking of you and thank you cards!  Thanks!

    Sunday, October 25, 2009

    Enabler Alert: Patriotic Stamps!

    In preparation for our upcoming Bloghop, we're enabling those who want to buy some new rubber to make their card for the hop! Please leave more links, we'll add to this list as we hear of new patriotic stamps! (And check out the Bloghop Details if you haven't already signed up!)

    Note that each of the stamp sets pictured here is just one of the ones located on these sites; most have multiple sets. Click on the company name to go to their webpage.

    Our Daily Bread:







    Jessica Lynn:















    Digital Pencil Too:
    (This is a card I made - I couldn't seem to link from Mo's site!)






















    Flourishes:



















    Memory Making Crafts: (can't seem to get a photo from this one, darn!)


    Art Impressions:



















    Viva Las Vegas Stamps:













    Stamp Francisco

















    Innovative Stamp Creations:



















    Alluring Impressions: (this one among others)



















    Stamp and go:



    Service Memories: (great scrapping stuff too!)




    Close to My Heart:



















    Cornish Heritage Farms:



















    Stampin Up!:



















    Papertrey Ink:
















    Rubbermonger:

















    Creating Military Memories: (stamps by Art Declassified)

    Friday, October 23, 2009

    Red Friday - Heroism




    Happy Red Friday....and a special thanks to those who have been participating in our little experiment to blog each Friday together! You're all awesome. :)

    Today, we'd love to get inspired by pondering on what heroism is. What does it mean to you? What specific thing do you admire about our nation's heroes....is it their courage? Facing difficulties on your behalf? Leaving their families to protect families they've never met? To get you started, here's one dictionary's definition of hero:
    1. a person of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities.
    2. a person who, in the opinion of others, has heroic qualities or has performed a heroic act and is regarded as a model or ideal.
    So what is it that you admire about our deployed heroes? Tell a long story, or make it short and sweet. Share a card if you'd like, too, of course! And drop a link into Mister Linky below, so we can all visit and see what you've written!

    And don't forget to wear red today!

    Thursday, October 22, 2009

    Thankful Thursday; October 22, 2009


    8,720 cards were received this week...thank you everyone, we're working towards being able to serve all the hero requests we've received....keep up the cards and shipping donations!

    1. St Mary Magdalene Caring Card Ministry, Gilbert AZ, you all made such wonderful cards ---great job, thank you!
    2. Jennifer A., Cortlandt Manor, NY - What sweet, beautiful cards - and including envelopes - thank you so much!
    3. Susan A, Orange Ca, thanks sooooo much for the cards for the signing! Love the patriotic turkeys, loL!
    4. Tory B, Moore OK....thank you for helping the Seniors at the retirement home make these wonderful cards and Any Hero notes!
    5. Gayle C., Carlisle, PA - The football themed cards were wonderful, as were the others - thank you so much!!!
    6. Kay C, Minnetonka MN.....another great box of cards! Thank you.
    7. Mary C., Virginia Beach, VA - What a fabulous package of Christmas cards - thank you so much!  
    8. Abigail D, Kansas City MO.....thank you for having the moms and kids of you group make these Any Hero cards.  The service members will love them!
    9. Ann D. Minneapolis MN....WOW! Two boxes of cards.  Thank you so much for all of these!
    10. Chris D, Gilbert AZ, awesome cards---and such a generous donation, thanks so much!
    11. Janis D, Olustee OK....a great first package!  Cards are wonderful!
    12. Etkind family & Los Gatos Elks Lodge #1857, your box of cards has arrived just in time to fill out some boxes! Perfect selection, thank you---and the AnyHero cards are fantastic!
    13. Katrina G., College Park, MD - Your cards were so fun and colorful, thank you for the donation!
    14. Diane H, Simi Valley CA, what a great selection of cards, thank you!
    15. Nancy H, Knights Landing CA, your cards are so awesome, love them all and so will our heroes!
    16. Laurie J., Houston, TX - Your cards are always stunningly beautiful, thank you for sharing them with Operation Write Home!
    17. Kim M, Leitchfield KY....Thank you for the wonderful cards!!!
    18. Jeanine M. and the Girlfriends of Fellowship of Praise Church, Santee, SC - Looks like you had a super fun ladies night out - thank you for dedicating your time to making cards!
    19. Sharon P, Victorville CA, thanks so much for all the cards!!
    20. Polly P, St Paul MN...Love these cards!! Very pretty!
    21. De'nise R., Oxford, MI - What a great any hero letter, and cute cards too - thank you for your donation!
    22. Marilyn and Betty S, Columbus OH.....thank you ladies for the wonderful cards!
    23. Stacy S, Klamath Falls OR....thank you so much for the wonderful cards.  Love your style!
    24. Tamra T., Charleston, WV - It makes us so happy to think how much joy those cute kids cards are going to bring to a hero's family - thank you so much!
    25. Betty T, Salina KS....WOW! This is an awesome box.  Love all the Any Hero notes.  Those definately helped replenish my supply of those! Cards are beautiful too!
    26. Alexis W, Omaha NE....thank you for the wonderful cards! Very pretty!
    27. Denise W, Las Vegas NV, thanks soooooo much, what a super selection!
    28. Ann W., Knoxville, TN - You are amazing - thank you so much for that great box filled with holiday goodness!  
    29. Diane W., Stoneham, MA - Thanks so much for including Kwanzaa cards with your holiday package - so thoughtful!  
    30. Claudette A., Lewiston, ME - Thank you so much for the great variety of cards - safe travels this winter and we look forward to seeing you again when the warm weather comes back!  
    31. Pam C., Schenectady, NY - Thank you so much for all the wonderful cards, and the extra square envelopes!  
    32. Therese D., Lewiston, ME - Thank you so much for the great package of cards, and for recruiting friends to help too - many hands make lighter work!
    33. Libby H, Austin TX - yowwwwwsa, girl, these are some amazing cards! Thank you so much!
    34. Carole K. and the On Top Of The World Stamping Club, Ocala, FL - Thank you so much for the wonderful box of cards, what a great opportunity to connect with your neighbors and help someone else!
    35. American Heritage Girls Troop TN 1004, your cards are just fannnnntastic!! Thank you!
    36. Kathryn M, Denver CO, what a gift to receive cards, letters, and a donation from you - keep up all your great work sending your own care packages too!
    37. Lisa M. and the Damascus Y-Women, Damascus, MD - Loved all those cards with the great inspirational quotes - thank you!
    38. Aidan, Alexandra, Ben, Nate, Nick, and Isaiah, Lancaster 4H, Lancaster, MA - We LOVED your cards and our heroes will too - thank you so much for taking the time to make them!   
    39. Cindee N., Harrisburg, PA - An amazing box of beautiful holiday cards, thank you so much!  
    40. Carol P, Peoria AZ - thanks so much, your cards and AnyHero letters are always so wonderful!
    41. Sacred Heart of the Hills Church, Auburn Hills, MI - Thanks to your VERY generous donation, we can ship over 20 holiday boxes to our service men & women - thank you so much!
    42. Robin S, San Mateo CA - wow, I am always just in awe of your talent! Thanks so much for the shipping help too!
    43. Paula S. and Friends, Stamford, CT - Merci Beaucoup for another great box of cards and some any hero letters too!  
    44. Velda S, Mesquite NV, your cards are just wonderful! Love the ones with inserts,too! And AnyHero letters are always a treasure :) Thanks!
    45. Shirley B, Duluth GA - fantastic cards, I love them all! Thanks so much for your generous financial gift too!!
    46. Karin C, Vancouver WA - bless you for a fantastic box of beautiful cards - and such a generous donation!
    47. Carrie C., Havelock, NC - Thank you for the clever cards!  And a shipping donation too!
    48. Dina C, Covina CA, beautiful work on your cards, Thank you!!
    49. Martha H, Los Angeles CA, your snowmen are so cute! Thank you!!
    50. Nancy H. and the Operation In As Much group, Memorial Baptist Church, Williamston, NC - Thank you for the box loaded with AWESOME Christmas cards - bless you!
    51. Teri K, Victorville CA, thanks soooo much, your cards are wonderful!
    52. Laurel L and friends, Naperville IL.....thank you ladies for a great package of cards! Beautiful!!
    53. Barbara L. and the My Star Stampers, Franklin, MA - Thank you so much for inviting us to participate in your event, and for doing a card drive - great job!  
    54. Sandy L, Lafayette IN.....thank you for the package of cards. Much appreciated!
    55. Daniela M., New London, NH - Great package of cards - really loved the vintage Christmas ones!
    56. Lynne M, Hoquiam WA, wow! Thanks so much, what a great box of cards! Your shipping donation is muuuuch appreciated, bless you!
    57. Nancy N., Randolph, NJ - Beautiful cards, thanks for preparing them for shipping so well and including envelopes too!  
    58. Jacqueline N, Sherwood Park Alberta Canada! Wow thank you so much for such beautiful cards from up north----you're a blessing!
    59. Laura O., Cottontown, TN - Thank you for the beautiful cards, as always, and those amazing any hero letters from the 4th and 5th grade classes - just awesome!
    60. Loraine R, Whittier CA, love your cards, thanks sooooo much for sharing your talents!
    61. Wendy S., Raleigh, NC - Thank you so much for the great box, and big thanks to your nephews and their homeschool group for helping out too!  
    62. The Ink Junkies, Elyria OH.....thank you ladies for the wonderful package of cards!!!

    63. To the navy wives in Marysville - wow, what an amazing productive cardmaking party! Thanks so much for all your work!
    64. Sam M and The Brushwackers, Pharr TX......thank you so much for the gorgeous painted cards! Love these!!
    65. Jennifer A, Palmer AK......what lovely cards!!  These are great!
    66. Cindy M, Normal IL.....another wonderful box of cards! Love them!
    67. Daria Z, Middleton WI.....WOW!! Your daughters and their friends did a great job making these cards!
    68. Linda K, Indianapolis IN.....another great box of cards! Thanks for your continued support!
    69. Nancy K, Hattiesburg MS.....what great Christmas cards! Beautiful!
    70. Ione S, Wilson OK..thank you for the beatiful cards and Any Hero letters.  Much appreciated!
    71. Jennifer M, Marshfield WI......Thank you for the wonderful cards!  Very pretty!
    72. Carol C and Sue S, Papillon NE......thank you for the wonderful cards and your continued support!
    73. Allison R, Seffner FL.....very pretty cards!! Much appreciated!
    74. Elsie L, Warrenton MO......thank you for the wonderful cards!!! Love them!
    75. Jeanette M, Oliver Springs TN.....lovely cards!!!  Thanks so much!
    76. Sara H, Mabank TX.....thank you for the great cards.  They are beautiful!
    77. Marsha D, Eversone WA, thanks for the awesome selection of cards!!
    78. To our anonymous donor in Youngsville NC - wow!! What amazing talent, thank you for sharing these awesome cards!
    79. Patti S, St Louis MO - beautiful Christmas cards, thank you so much - and your AnyHero cards are going to bring smiles for sure!
    80. Joan T, Mooresville IN, thanks for all the AMAZING cards,wow!!
    81. none
    82. none
    83. none
    84. none
    85. Debbie B., Marcia B., Debbie F., Sonya H., Angela R., Charles Schwab & Company, Fishers, IN - Thanks for donating cards to Operation Write Home as a work-related project - sounds like a fun place to work!  
    86. Mary S., Camden, NY - Thank you for the wonderful assortment of all-purpose cards - these are just great!  
    87. Salina D., Massena, NY - Cute cards!  Thank you so much for sharing them with Operation Write Home!
    88. Amy J., Vernon Hill, VA - Thank you so much for the package of cards, and a generous shipping donation too!  
    89. Pamela L., Mineral Bluff, GA - Thank you so much for the great package of holiday cards - and special thanks for the Chanukah Cards!
    90. Nina H., New York, NY - Thank you so much for the holiday cards, and kudos to you for thinking of our military kids!
    91. Chandra T., South Haven, MN - Thanks for making some general winter theme cards - they are just perfect!
    92. Leslie T., Willoughby Hills, OH - Thanks so much for the fabulous holiday cards!  
    93. Karen H., Monticello, MN - Your cards are simply stunning, thank you so much for the donation!
    94. Stephanie G., New York, NY - Another great package LOADED with holiday cards - thank you so much - you will make many a hero's day!  
    95. Jeanne N., Murfreesboro, TN - Thank you so much for the wonderful donation of cards to fit our donated A9 envelopes - and welcome to OWH!  
    96. Jen  H., Laurel, MD - Thank you for participating in Elle's Studio Challenge, and for your donation to Operation Write Home!
    97. Donna S, Sheridan WY - thank you so much for the lovely cards - and the wonderful shipping donation!!!
    98. Judie F and Paula P, Coeur d'Alene ID - lovely lovely cards, thank you!! And your generous shipping donation is an amazing blessing!!
    99. Valerie M, San Jose CA - Oh my!! So many beauuuuutiful cards, thank you!!!
    100. Joan W, Tacoma WA - thanks so much for the wonderful cards!
    101. Lillian L, YongsanAG, South Korea - wow! Thank you soooo much, awesome cards!
    102. Cindy and Los Gatos Elks Lodge #1857! You guys are awesome---I really needed lots of Christmas cards and you came through in spades..thank you! The AnyHero letters are much appreciated, CIndy!
    103. Laura Y. and the Mt. Hermon Church Creative Ministry, Bassett, VA - Thank you so much for the great assortment of cards, our service men and women will love them!
    104. Claire L. and the Philly Inkers, Philadelphia, PA - Thanks for the great assortment of general and holiday cards - your donation is appreciated!
    105. Barbara H., Bowman, GA - WOW!  Your cards are beautiful, thank you so much for sending them to OWH!
    106. Girl Scout Troop 30396, Warren, MA - Thank you so much for the wonderful any hero letters - they will surely bring a smile!
    107. Lori R., Springfield, VA - Thank you so much for the great Chanukah, Christmas, and general cards - they are most excellent!  

    Tuesday, October 20, 2009

    Paper Zone partnership!

    Washingtonians - come out this weekend and get a little bonus from PZ for the cards you donate!

    Monday, October 19, 2009

    Veterans Day Bloghop - plus a mission for enablers!


    We're getting our plans together for a Veteran's Day Bloghop .... hopefully a BIG one like the Memorial Day hop we held earlier this year with 150 blogs, tons of inspiration, and lots of prizes!


    The Bloghop details:
    1. Hop date: Nov 14th (Veteran's Day is Weds the 11th, so we're moving our celebration to the weekend to give us time to hop and be inspired!)
    2. Sign up by midnight on Nov 11 by sending an email to bloghop@operationwritehome.org. Include your name, your blog title, and your blog's url, and let us know if you'll be offering a prize drawing on your blog. (You can change your mind later, this is just so we have a heads-up!)
    3. On Friday evening Nov 13th, bloggers will receive an email with a link to the blog that follows theirs.
    4. On Nov 14 by 10am PST, post an AnyHero card (or dozen!) and a Valentine card that you'll be sending to OWH. You'll also need to include a link back to OWH, and a link to the next blog after you.
    5. Feel free to add more to your post...something on the OWH page or blogs that you find interesting or inspiring, or a video, news article, a tutorial, or a story about your own family hero...whatever you'd like!
    6. Then join in the hopping! You'll want to check out the blogs, the hearts behind all these cards, and the prizes you could win just for leaving comments!
    Spread the word!
    You can post right now on your blog about the coming hop to try to help us get even more bloggers involved! Check our Photobucket album to find graphics you can post in the sidebar of your blog.

    Never blogged before? 
    Check out YouTube tutorials to set up a free blog on Blogger or Wordpress!

    The Mission for shopping enablers:
    We need YOU to help us do some homework! Go out on the web and find us links to the best patriotic stamp sets! Any company, any price - just post a comment here with a link, and a description if you're able. And if you're representing a company who sells patriotic stamps, please join in and leave a link as well. We want everyone to have a great choice to shop from in time for the hop!

    Later this week we'll post pics of each of the ones linked, so folks can "see" before clicking. (And if companies want to offer a discount on those stamps for our OWH crafters, drop an email to bloghop@operationwritehome.org with your details!)

    Mailroom Monday Report: Oct 19, 2009


    Big thanks to Norm the postal clerk - he does a great job with all our boxes, as do all the postal workers who we see every week!


    Reminder: Holiday cards due postmarked Nov 1st!

     

    2,623 cards mailed this past week:

       
    To  heroes in Afghanistan:
    335 cards to a mixed unit
    335 cards to a mixed unit
    335 cards to a mixed unit   

    To heroes in Iraq:
    300 cards to an Army unit
    300 cards to a mixed unit
    348 cards to an Army unit




    To heroes in Kuwait:
     335 cards to an Army National Guard unit



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





    Other fun statistics:
    Number of boxes sent: 858
    Number of hero contacts: 539
    Total cards sent: 221,124!!

    Deadline reminders:
    Halloween: passed
    Thanksgiving: passed
    Christmas: Nov 1
    Hannukkah: Nov 1
    AnyHero Christmas letters: Dec 1


    For those who might have missed it, we have some holiday needs:

    1. Shipping funds: You'll see by this week's shipping total below that a few of our weeks coming up are going to be this large or higher - this week's shipping costs were $358. That's just one week! So if you're able to request some assistance from your friends and family who want to support the effort to get all these cards overseas, feel free to get the word out! (Remember, donations are now tax-deductible!)
    2. Envelope funds: We had to purchase15,000 more envelopes recently, so if you're able to contribute a few dollars for envelopes for your cards, it's appreciated!
    3. AnyHero letters: As we're shipping lots more boxes now, we also need that many more AnyHero letters! (Check out this post on the Hero Blog to see what they mean to our warriors!)
    Shipper needs this week:

    Sandy: Mom's in town this week, so I'd love to "show off" a flood of cards to her...bring it on! I still have two special requests for Get Well AnyHero cards for patients at Thanksgiving and Christmas, and have only gotten two. So if everyone sending cards to me could include just one, that will helps! (I still need general ones and holiday ones too, the get well are an extra need!)


    Fabre: Bring on the holiday cards!  I have lots of heroes waiting, and need to fill boxes!  Don't forget to include some cards for general use also - everyone still needs love you/miss you, and birthday cards! Winter themes would be great too.  Thank you so much!

    Kris: I'm in need of Any Hero letters, thinking of you/miss you, thank you , anniversary and love themed cards.   I have envelopes that use a card base that is an 8 1/2 x 11 piece of cardstock folded in half.....if anyone is interested in making some cards that size.  Would be a great size for Valentine's day cards ... lots of space to write a nice love letter.

    Sunday, October 18, 2009

    Tis the Hero: Christmas Challenge Winners!

    Many many thanks to everyone who's sent in cards for our challenge! You're all making a lot of heroes very, very happy! Totals up to this point:
    8,621 Christmas/winter/holiday cards (Sept + Oct)*
    32,383 cards in total sent in during September (Christmas + all other)
    14,783 cards in total sent in during October, so far (Christmas + all other)
    *We know many more holiday cards are on their way in, and we also have holiday cards that have been sent in throughout the year....keep sending them! Are we going to beat our 11,000-card record in October? Bloggers, feel free to let your readers know our heroes are waiting!
     
    November 1 is the postmark deadline for holiday cards so that shippers have time to process them....we're waiting for the mail carrier trucks to pull up to our mailboxes! Let's keep them busy!


    The Winners!
    We let random.org pull numbers for our winners, and here they are:
    • Chris C, Parkland WA
    • Velda S, Mesquite NV
    • Leah C, St Paul MN
    • Maggie W, Upton MA
    • Stephanie G, New York NY
    • Sheryl D, The Woodlands TX
    • Lisa P, Post Falls ID
    • Paula S, Stamford CT
    Congratulations, winners, your prizes will be in the mail shortly!

    Friday, October 16, 2009

    Red Friday - Hometown Hero Support



    Today's Red Friday suggestion for bloggers: Post about something going on in your hometown to support our nation's heroes - at home, deployed, veterans, families of service members, or even your local police or fire department. It might take a little research if it's not something you already know about. But maybe a little Google homework will help you find another group you can connect with locally. You can support them - and maybe also recruit more helpers to make cards!

    A few ideas to google to help you find information:
    • an annual parade honoring heroes
    • groups sending care packages
    • schools writing letters
    • churches who visit veterans in nursing homes
    • Patriot Guard Rider chapters
    • post photos if you're able - we'd love to see your town!
    After you write up your blog post, use Mister Linky below so we can all go see what you've posted about your hometown!


    Thursday, October 15, 2009

    Thankful Thursday: Oct 15 2009


    6,548 cards received this week...thank you everyone!
    1. Ruth T and Macy C, Camarillo CA, your cards are so pretty! What lovely sewing and embossing!
    2. Beverly D., Rochester, NY - Thanks for the cool autumn and holiday cards!  They are wonderful!
    3. Janice D., Richmond, VA - What a great box of cards - thanks for sending all those wonderful all-occasion cards - and the wonderful Christmas cards too!  
    4. To everyone at Stampendous - wow, what a wonderful box of birthday cards, these are perfect to round out my boxes!!
    5. Rhonda M, Grantsville UT, what pretty Christmas cards, thanks so much!!
    6. Kathy P., Windham, NH - Thanks for getting these out to us in time for the deadline, as always, super cards - thank you!
    7. Joan and the YaYa Stampers, Olympia WA, thanks so much for sharing your talents with our heroes! These are awesome.
    8. Ruth T and Macy C, Camarillo CA, your cards are so pretty! What lovely sewing and embossing!
    9. D&K, Granite City IL, thanks for such a beautiful package of cards!
    10. Stephanie G. (and friend Bobbi H.), New York, NY - Wow!  You are a machine!  Fantastic job on making these cards for our service men and women!
    11. Kathy N, thanks so much for the shipping donation, it's appreciated!
    12. Ann L, Orem UT, thank you sooooo much for your ongoing faithfulness! Two packages of cards, and such a generous donation, thank you!
    13. Judy B, Cleburne TX.....what a great first box of cards! They are beautiful!! THANKS!
    14. Maude B, Las Cruces NM....Love your cards!! Thanks so much.
    15. Sheryl D, The Woodlands TX..... Thank you for your continued support! Cards are gorgeous as always!!
    16. Tammy F, Nort Judson IN...WOW, so many cards it took 2 boxes!  Thanks so much for gathering all of these! WONDERFUL!!!
    17. Shirley F, Defiance MO.....what a wonderful box of cards! Thanks for having them sorted by theme!!!
    18. Mary Anne H and Unity Church of Peace......thank you for the gorgeous Thanksgiving cards!!!  
    19. Cynthia L, Apple Valley MN, thanks so much for your pretty cards!
    20. Students at 5Minute Difference, Rollins College in Winter Park FL - bless you for the wonderful AnyHero cards!
    21. Linda M, Marietta GA.....another wonderful box of cards! Thank you for your continued support!
    22. Donna M, San Antonio TX......Thank you for the wonderful Christmas cards, including the ones made by your nephew!  
    23. Linda P and Beverly G, Keller TX....thank you ladies for the wonderful cards and the extra goodies to send to the troops.
    24. Marteena S, Hillsboro OR, your cards are lovely, thanks so much!
    25. Carole Ann S, The Woodlands TX......WOW, what a box! Thanks for gathering the ladies to make all of these! Love the Fluffes Free Hug ones!!!
    26. Susan S, Grove City OH....Wonderful cards and Any Hero letters.  Thank you!!!
    27. Yolanda W, Florence AL.....thank you for the beautiful cards!!!
    28. Anita K, Glenview IL.....Welcome to our group! Thanks so much for the great package of cards.
    29. Paula P and the WINGS group, Corpus Christi TX.....WOW! Gorgeous Christmas cards.  Appreciate the Any Hero notes too!
    30. Karen K, Murchison TX......WOW!!! What a surprise to find your very large box at the front door and another surprise when I saw how many cards!! THANK YOU1!!  They are wonderful and so are the Any Hero letters!
    31. Anne F, Vadnais Heights MN.....Beautiful cards!! Thanks for your continued support.
    32. Leah C, St Paul MN....Love your Christmas cards!!!  The others are wonderful as well.  Thanks for you support!
    33. Sarah H, Tulsa OK.....was so nice to meet you when you and your friend dropped off the cards.  They are gorgeous!!!
    34. Kate J, Conroe TX......thank you for helping Carole Ann with the card making party and for your shipping donation.
    35. Virginia H, Hamilton OH, thank you sooo much - I can't believe all these AnyHero letters! And the cards and other crafting goodies...and a donation on top! You're a wonder!
    36. SuzAnn A, Salt Lake City UT, your cards are always so darling - thank you for your GENEROUS donation for shipping too!
    37. Anne H., Wayland, MA - Thank you for the lovely package of cards - they will be on their way to our heroes shortly!
    38. Deloris T., West Salem, OH - Thank you for the absolutely adorable winter cards, and of course for your continued support of OWH!
    39. Mary B., Massapequa Park, NY - Thank you for another wonderful box loaded with cards - your work is beautiful!  We appreciate the any hero letters and the shipping donation too - thank you so much!
    40. Christina S., Quispamsis, NB, Canada - Thank you for the fabulous any hero letters from the kids - we LOVED them!   Also a wonderful shipping donation too!  
    41. Shelly H., Sebastian, FL - Thank you so much for the wonderful layered cards, as well as some great any heros and a very generous donation!  
    42. Edythe, WA - you made so many adorable cards, thanks!! Especially love your "boy" cards, they're perfect!
    43. Barb C, Coupeville WA, thanks for the great Christmas cards --- and the AnyHero Christmas cards!! So full of cheer, thanks!
    44. Ranjit Johl, Yuba City CA, beauuuuutiful Christmas cards, thank you so much!
    45. Diane K., Lawn, PA - Thank you so much for the wonderful assortment of cards, and also for including envelopes!  
    46. Sandy M, Kennesaw GA - no apologies for just a few cards....every one counts! Thanks!
    47. Maria O, El Granada CA, wow! What wonderful cards, thanks so very much!
    48. Jen H. and the Slippery Rock University Students, Slippery Rock, PA - Thank you so much for the wonderful handmade cards - we're sure the service men and women will LOVE them!
    49. Denise I., Williamsville, NY - Thank you for the SWEET envelope of cards, and any heroes too!  
    50. Eileen P, Michelle, Connie, Jo, Kimberly, and Debbie, Warrenton OR, your cards are all so sweet thank you!! The shipping donation is a help too! :)
    51. Lina W, Hampton VA, thanks so much for the shipping donation and treats for our heroes!
    52. Danyse K., Charlotte, NC - Thank you so much for the wonderful box of cards, along with a generous shipping donation, and some pens to boot!  Awesome!
    53. Susan S, Gadsden, AL, bless you, your shipping help couldn't have been better timed! Susan S. and the Big Wills Creek Chapter NSDAR, Gadsden, AL - Thank you so much for the cute cards, so neatly organized and packaged - much appreciated!
    54. Second graders, Elk Grove CA, thank you so much for the super AnyHero letters!!! They're going to make 78 people SMILE!!!
    55. Joan W, Tacoma WA, thanks for yet another envelope of beautiful cards!
    56. Lauren L, Plainfield IL....thank you for your large box of cards and the great Any Hero letters!
    57. Jennifer M, Romeoville IL....your cards are beautiful! Thank you so much.
    58. Dawn W, Dickinson ND....stunning cards! Awesome Any Hero letters from the students. Great package!
    59. Martie M, Dayton OH.....another fabulous package! Love them all!
    60. Kathy N, Athens AL....great cards and Any Hero notes! Thank you!
    61. Fulton High School Y-Club, Fulton KY......great job on the Christmas cards!!!!
    62. Helen M, Spring Creek NV.......love these Thanksgiving cards! Very cute turkey!!
    63. Judy H, Tracy MN.....thank you for the beautiful cards!! Love them.
    64. Dawn L, Racine WI.....Great cards!! Love your style!
    65. Sharon S., Whitehouse Station, NJ - Thank you so much for the adorable cards - both holiday and general - and a great shipping donation to boot!  Thank you!
    66. Jennifer M, Marshfield WI......thank you for the great package of cards!!!
    67. Melody C, Port Angeles, WA, thanks for the awesome selection of cards!

    Monday, October 12, 2009

    OWH: On tv news!

    "Of all the things sent to troops overseas, the latest items to leave Brooks County will be...blank!"

    Check out this great coverage by WFMZ-TV in Pennsylvania at Le Petit Artist!


    Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!




    A little OWH news for our northern friends....we have a connection with a Canadian, Corinne, who sends care packages of cards to deployed Canadian heroes! Email her for more information!

    Mailroom Monday Report: Oct. 12, 2009

    Reminder: Tis the Hero challenge cards due this week - on the 15th!
     

    5,598 cards mailed this past week:

       
    To  heroes in Afghanistan:
     332 cards to an Army unit
     332 cards to an Army unit
    332 cards to an Army unit
     330 cards to an Air Force unit
    150 cards to an Air Force unit
    330 cards to an Army National Guard unit
    330 cards to an Army unit
    332 cards to an Army unit   

    To heroes in Iraq:
    150 cards to an Army unit
    330 cards to an Army unit
    330 cards to an Army unit
     330 cards to an Army unit
     332 cards to an Army unit
     332 cards to an Army unit
     332 cards to an Army unit
     332 cards to an Army unit
     332 cards to an Army unit





    To heroes in Kuwait:
    330 cards to an Army unit



    Other fun statistics:
    Number of boxes sent: 844
    Number of hero contacts: 530

    Deadline reminders:
    Halloween: passed
    Thanksgiving: passed
    Christmas: Nov 1
    Hannukkah: Nov 1
    AnyHero Christmas letters: Dec 1



    For those who might have missed it last week, we have some holiday needs:

    1. Shipping funds: You'll see by this week's shipping total below that a few of our weeks coming up are going to be this large or higher - this week's shipping costs were $358. That's just one week! So if you're able to request some assistance from your friends and family who want to support the effort to get all these cards overseas, feel free to get the word out! (Remember, donations are now tax-deductible!)
    2. Envelope funds: We're purchasing 15,000 more envelopes this week, so if you're able to contribute a few dollars for envelopes for your cards, it's appreciated!
    3. AnyHero letters: As we're shipping lots more boxes now, we also need that many more AnyHero letters! (Check out this post on the Hero Blog to see what they mean to our warriors!)
    Shipper needs this week:

    Sandy: Cards dried up last week for me, eeek! Hoping this week will pick up here in WA. I have two special requests for Get Well AnyHero cards for patients at Thanksgiving and Christmas, so if everyone sending cards to me could include just one, that should cover us! (I still need general ones and holiday ones too, the get well are an extra need!)

    Fabre: My card donations have been slow this week - would love more holiday cards to fill boxes early, as well as general themes with some wintery colors!  I also have a special request for Chanukah cards and could use some more - please email me if you have any questions on how to make them or what colors to use!  Thank you so much!


    Kris: I'm in need of Any Hero letters, thinking of you/miss you, thank you , anniversary and love themed cards.   I have envelopes that use a card base that is an 8 1/2 x 11 piece of cardstock folded in half.....if anyone is interested in making some cards that size.  Would be a great size for Valentine's day cards ... lots of space to write a nice love letter.

    Sunday, October 11, 2009

    Host a Cardmaking Party!


    Consider hosting a cardmaking party! Gather some of your friends, or meet new ones by hosting an event! It can be small or large, all-day or just a few hours. We've gathered some info from some of those who have hosted a party already, and we'll edit this page as we get more feedback as well — so let us know your ideas too!



    Choose a date. 
    Weekend, afternoon, evening, whatever works for you and your friends.

    Choose a location. 
    In your home, at your church, or a local community center....depending on how big you would like your event to be. Community centers may require a fee to use their facilities - try letting them know what it's for and they may give you a discount or free space! You'll need tables, chairs, and possibly a kitchen facility if you plan to go crazy on snacks.

    Plan a few details.
    Decide if you'll ask people to bring supplies or not; if you'll serve snacks or potluck treats (food always helps people get motivated to come!); and any help you need.

    Get the word out:
    Create a flyer for your event! OWH has a flyer template (click here to download) and invitation template (click here to download) or make up your own! Use the OWH logo (click here to download), and pick a photo of one of our heroes from our Flickr gallery. Post the flyer in craft stores (with their permission!), church or school bulletin boards, or mail it to your friends.
    Post about it on our Facebook page. Lots of our cardmakers look there, so be sure to note the city and date for everyone to find. We'll re-post there and on Twitter to help you get out the word.
    Email us to recruit cardmakers via email. We can send an email to our cardmaker list from your state to let them know; we'll blind-copy you on the email and ask anyone who wishes to rsvp to email you directly.

    Gather supplies.
    Recruit donated supplies and door prizes from a local craft store; or raid your own stash and that of your friends! You might ask attendees to bring their own scissors or adhesive if you want to share the burden.  *We'll be adding some simple card sketches with supply lists on this blog in the near future, so stay tuned - if you have such things we can post, email us!

    Prepare designs & supplies ahead.
    Card preparations can be simple or elaborate, depending on your invitees; some groups will only want to create simple cards using easy techniques, others will want to be challenged. If you're unsure of your attendees, have a mix of levels of difficulty! Here's a range of ideas:
    1. Design all your cards ahead, and have all papers cut to size, with stamps, inks, and embellishments in boxes or bags with instructions, ready to go. Prepare enough for each attendee to make 2 of each design.
    2. Design cards ahead, and provide a sample, allowing participants to cut and assemble the parts instead of you cutting them ahead.
    3. More advanced crafters: Provide a selection of supplies for attendees to pick from. (We've heard that putting out "everything" allows a little too much creativity, and doesn't lead to making much, so you may wish to have some samples made if some wish to just follow instructions!)
    4. Experienced crafters: consider asking each to create a card design and prepare enough “packets” for each attendee expected. This is great way to allow your naturally creative guests to showcase their talents and split the work involved as well.
    5. Do-your-own-thing crafters: Invite your participants to bring their own project cards for OWH to assemble at the event.
    Collect more cards, and raise funds.
    Invite your friends to clear out their "stash" to bring and add to your total for the event. You can also put a jar out to collect donations, make your snack bar a bake-sale style fundraiser, or set a price for attendance in order to collect monies. Dollars raised can help you ship your box to one of our shippers, as well as be included to help OWH with shipping. Note: if any donors request a receipt, please have them fill out one of our Packing Slips and clip it to their check.

    Time for your party!
    Set up. Ask a few friends to help set up (and clean up later!). You'll need:
    1. Tables and chairs; chipboard, tablecloths, or paper to protect the tables; trashcans (some folks tape a lunchbag to the edge of the table between each pair of chairs).
    2. Basic supplies for each card: be sure to have adhesive, papers, inks, scissors, and any special tools handy. A slip of paper with instructions, as well as a sample card inside a plastic sleeve or baggie, will help people follow along.
    3. Have an area for cards that need to dry (ie stickles, liquid adhesives). 
    4. Snack table. (can't forget that!) Be sure you remind people to leave messy snacks safely away from cardmaking supplies. 
    5. Printed out Packing Slips for those who bring cards with them; you may also wish to print out our "Letters Home" booklet for inspiration! Bring your OWH stamp for the backs of the cards.
    6. Set aside an area for finished cards, donation jar, and for those who bring cards from home to drop off what they're providing.
    Make cards! Visit with your friends while making cards - friendships are one of the most fun parts of cardmaking, so don't miss out by stressing yourself out!
    Have a table set aside for all finished cards. Lay them out beautifully and take photos at the end - you'll want to share the pictures with OWH for our blog, gallery, or Facebook page! Email the photos as a thankyou to your attendees after the event, too.
    Stamp the backs of all the cards. Invite crafters to do that as they complete cards, or do that all at once when the cards are completed. Those who bring extra cards to the party might like to spend a few minutes stamping the backs of their cards too.
    Write to heroes. Ask each person at the party to write one card to a hero. Remind them that AnyHero letters are truly treasured - so even a short note means a lot!
    Pack up. Prepare boxes to hold all your completed cards. Fill out a Packing Slip for your party cards (you can include a count of all cards brought to the party if they're not on separate packing slips, or include several packing slips - whatever works for you.) If you wish, include a photo of the cardmakers that we can mail to our heroes as well.

    Celebrate!
    After your party, email party photos to each participant. It's nice to send them a photo of the whole batch of cads, people-pics, and a photo of each card, so they can remember what they made. Report to them how many cards they made, so they can share in the feeling of achievement!
    Post a few pictures on our Facebook Fan Page - we all love to see what our OWH family's up to!
    Email feedback to OWH! Let us know how it went - what would you do differently, what recommendations do you have for others hosting a party?

    We'll edit this post as we get more feedback and tips on hosting an event!

    Saturday, October 10, 2009

    Welcome, new cardmakers!


    This post is especially for those first stumbling onto our site - and we want to say WELCOME to the OWH family! We know you have some quick questions right off the bat, so here are the answers to the most commonly emailed questions!

    Where do I send my cards? Our shippers are listed on the MAILROOM page under the flashing arrow. (Watch the cool mailroom video while you're there!)

    What are the basic requirements? There are more tips on each page of our website — but if you follow these, you've got a great start:
    1. No glitter. Seriously. It's a hazard for our heroes, so we won't send cards with any glitter that will flake off the card. Read more.
    2. A2 sized cards. Most efficient for our shipping dollars, so we strongly recommend A2 (4.25" x 5.5" - half a sheet of cardstock). Read more.
    3. No storebought. Yep, pretty straightforward. Our heroes don't like them, so we send them our cards filled with love and creativity! Read more.
    4. Watch the deadlines. We have to mail cards 5-6 weeks ahead of a holiday, so check out the deadlines posted on our homepage, on the left side. Those are the very last last last dates, so aim for a couple weeks earlier if at all possible, since we start shipping 8 weeks ahead.
    5. Any quantity. One card to 100 to 500 — every card matters! We recommend emphasizing quality over quantity...relax, do your best, and pour lots of love into each card! 
    6. Packing Slip. Download this handy packing slip and write in your contact info and quantity—the shipper will be able to email you to let you know your cards arrived. If you haven't heard back you can also check the Thankful Thursday post each week to see if they've arrived. Our shippers get lots of packages every day, so please give them some grace in getting back to you.
    Can I write to a hero? Sure! Include one or two with each package of cards—just a short note to encourage a deployed warrior!  Read more.

    Who do I make a donation check out to? Write it out to Operation Write Home. You can send a check (or a few dollars) to any of the shippers when you send in your cards. You can also send in a gift via Paypal. Your donations are tax deductible. Read more.

    What's the best way to keep up with OWH? Join thousands of our cardmakers on our Facebook Fan Page! You can see a preview of the fan page off to the right in our sidebar of this blog.

    How do I get an OWH stamp for the backs of my cards? Check out the links here! (You can send your cards in without the backs stamped, but it speeds our shippers' work if you're able to take care of that before mailing them in!)

    How do I package up my cards? Any kind of packaging is fine! Boxes, bubble or manila envelopes, whatever works. Check out the link here for some tips that could save you some shipping money, as well as a little more about packing.