Saturday, February 27, 2010

Cards by state

As promised, we're sharing a little more info about the graphs posted in our Annual Review a few weeks ago....these maps were one of the most interesting pieces of information to figure out!

We counted the cards sent in 2009 alone; some of these may include cards mailed or delivered to a location like a conference or card drive but were made in another state. But we just count the address from which they were mailed to OWH.
  1. CA     26,214
  2. WA     16,517
  3. TX     15,936
  4. MN     14,077
  5. FL     10,308
  6. OH     10,019
  7. IL     9,258
  8. WI     7,900
  9. NC     7,810
  10. CT     7,351
  11. MO     6,962
  12. NY     6,744
  13. Ut     6,546
  14. TN     6,486
  15. PA     6,148
  16. AZ     5,770
  17. VA     5,664
  18. MA     5,660
  19. IN     5,286
  20. GA     4,938
  21. MI     4,878
  22. NV     4,718
  23. NH     4,431
  24. MD     3,568
  25. NJ     3,307
  26. IA     2,382
  27. CO     2,363
  28. SC     2,291
  29. ME     2,105
  30. OR     2,072
  31. KS     1,977
  32. ID     1,780
  33. NE     1,450
  34. HI     1,445
  35. RI     1,141
  36. WV     1,136
  37. OK     1,009
  38. KY     993
  39. AK     904
  40. NM     780
  41. ND     686
  42. LA     652
  43. AL     638
  44. MS     432
  45. SD     279
  46. DE     257
  47. MT     192
  48. WY     186
  49. VT     166
Are you ready to move your state up on the list? What plans can you think of to get more of your local folks to help with the cause? Let's get creative and invite more people to join in the fun!

    Friday, February 26, 2010

    Making cards in Paradise!

    Some crafters at the Paradise Scrapbook Boutique in Paradise, California got together to make cards for our heroes...and it looks like they had a wonderful time! If you're in the Paradise area, they've got every 4th Monday, 10-5, set as an OWH day....this week was their first event, and they have over 200 cards to send in! That's 200 heroes and 200 families who will be smiling more because of their efforts. Way to go, ladies!

    Check out the great news coverage!
    First is a nice article in "Back at the Ranch," and below is a great piece of tv coverage!

    The participants put up two blog posts with lots more photos and commentary - be sure to leave them some love, both on this blog and on theirs!

    Are you going to be hosting a cardmaking party? 
    Consider emailing a link to this post to your local newspaper or tv station—they would love to do a warm fuzzy spot like this. Just think how happy it makes you when you see a positive feature story on your television.

    Plus, you may find more cardmakers in your town!

    If you have photos from your event, or a blog post you've written up about your cardmaking party, be sure to let us inspires us all to see others joining in the addiction of serving our heroes!

    Thursday, February 25, 2010

    Thankful Thursday: February 25, 2010

    Check out this "AnyHero Sculpture" sent in by a young person from Utah! How wonderful - and one of our heroes is going to totally TREASURE this!! (It folds down flat - his neck detaches from his head. Otherwise we'd need a big box to ship it in!)

    This week saw 8,352 cards arriving with our shippers....lots and lots of sorting, stamping backs, tucking into envelopes, and prepping to mail. Thank you everyone!
    1. Kristi G, San Antonio TX, thanks for the fabulous Easter cards!!
    2. Teresa K, Vancouver WA, thanks...your cards are so precious! Thanks much for the donation too!
    3. SuzAnn H, Salt Lake City UT - your cards are so lovely, bless you!
    4. Nora G, Medford OR, thanks so very much, love your flower cards! The donation is a huge blessing too!
    5. Ann L, Orem UT - wow, these cards are so pretty, thank you! Bless you for your constant donations, you're making a huge difference!
    6. Judie F and Robin G, Coeur d'Alene ID, what great cards!! Thanks especially for the Easter ones, I needed those! Your generous donation is muuuuch appreciated!
    7. Dee N, Duluth MN, thanks for cleaning out your stash for our heroes - they're going to love them all!
    8. Thank you Samantha M and the Future Leaders of Mentor High School in Mentor, OH!! Your cards will bring a lot of joy to our heroes! Thanks too for the generous donation to purchase envelopes. You all rock!
    9. Thank you, Debra K of Burke, VA for another beautiful collection of cards! I love the "Happy-O-Meter" cards! So clever! Thank you too for the donation for shipping!
    10. Thank you Lori R in Springfield, VA for the beautiful box of cards. Every box you send is a pleasure to see!
    11. Dawna L, Bloomington IL......what a wonderfully organized box of beautiful cards! Appreciate you having them so neatly organized by theme for me!!!
    12. Susanna H, Olympia WA, thanks so much, your cards are very nice!
    13. Kathy S, Reedley CA, I love all your springy cards!
    14. Lina W, Hampton VA - WOW! All the great Easter and Scripture cards...beautiful!
    15. Sandra F, Irvine CA - thanks so much for the cards, our heroes will love them all!
    16. Erika P and sis, W Jordan VT, wow, such awesome cards!!!
    17. Dee H, W Jordan VT, thank you for your pretty cards!
    18. StampinSher, thanks so very much for all your lovely cards - and for such a generous donation!
    19. Thank you children from the First District Elementary School in Meadville, PA. Your hero letters are terrific. So many nice messages for our heroes!
    20. Thank you, Diane G. in Barberton, OH! Your cards are beautiful and such a nice variety! Thanks for making cards that will appeal to children. Thanks too for the hero card.
    21. Thank you, Kathy P. in White Lake, MI! Your cards are outstanding! Thanks for the cards for our heroes to send to their children! Thanks too for the Hero letters!
    22. Thank you, Donna D. in Monroe, LA! Your cards are a breath of springtime! Lovely! Thanks too for the card for a hero!
    23. Lisa S. in Jacksonville, FL, thank you for the cards and the donation. I love the Easter cards! They're beautiful!
    24. Lindsay M. in Carrboro, NC, thank you for the cards and the donation! You sent a package of springtime!! These cards will brighten someone's day.
    25. Carol B. from St. Alban's, ME, thank you for the beautiful card and the letters to Any Hero! Loved the snowman card!
    26. Shirley S. in Columbus, MS, thank you so much for the beautiful cards and the generous donation. LOVE thos black and white cards! Classy!
    27. Nancy K, Idaho Falls ID - great cards, and congrats on your efforts selling Valentines to benefit OWH!!!
    28. Cheryl Y, S Pasadena CA, love love love your pretty cards!! Thanks for the generous donation once again too!
    29. Denise W, Las Vegas NV, thanks for getting these to us quickly...praying for your husband!
    30. Cindy E and Los Gatos Elks Lodge, San Jose CA - love love love your cards! Those Mother's day cards are many Moms will be thrilled!
    31. Stephanie H, Seattle WA - great cards, I love your floral photographs!
    32. Gayla G, Dillsboro IN, these are fantastic - love the sentiment on your thinking of you cards :)
    33. Carole G. in Tuxedo, NY, thank you for the beautiful cards for our heroes. Thanks for the letter to Any Hero too! I love the bear cards best!
    34. Thank you Eileen M. and friends AKA Card Making for OWH of St. Marys, PA! You packed a lot of love in that big box! Thank you too for the cards for Any Hero and the generous donation!
    35. Thank you Lily H. in Pittsburgh, PA for the lovely cards, donations, pens and extra sentiment labels! You are so thoughtful! And very talented!!
    36. Patricia B. in Winchester, VA, thank you for the terrific cards for our heroes! These are bound to be a big hit.
    37. Joanne M. in Allentown, PA, thank you for the lovely cards and generous donation. Your Easter cards are fun!!
    38. Thank you Gamma Sigma Sigma at Slippery Rock University in PA for the card for our heroes! Thanks too for your generous donation.
    39. Allison L. in New Market, MD, thank you for these terrific cards! Such a nice variety of occasions and techniques!
    40. Allison L. in New Market, MD, thank you for these terrific cards! Such a nice variety of occasions and techniques!
    41. Thank you Elaine H in Keene, NH for the cards you made for our heroes. Your thoughtfulness will bring joy to many hearts! Thank you.
    42. Thanks Ramona M. in Warrior, AL for the terrific variety of cards! Thanks too for the letter to a hero. I love the cards with frogs!!
    43. Jann H, Ravensdale WA - love your package of springy cards, thank you!
    44. Beth F, Bothell WA, love your style---thanks for the goodies to use for prizes too, wow!
    45. Esther E, thank you so much, your cards for Easter and other occasions are just fantastic!
    46. Thank you Harriet C in Winston-Salem, NC! Your cards are terrific, especially that bear card! My favorite. Thank you too for the donation and the letter to a hero!
    47. Thank you Elizabeth S. in New Canaan, CT for the HUGE collection of cards!! Oh, my. So many pretty cards! You are very talented!
    48. Luann H, Sturgeon PA---thanks for the wonderful donation!
    49. Andrea Mc. and Family in Ithaca, NY, I wish you lived next door! Thanks for the box of perfectly packaged and beautiful cards! Thanks to for all the terrific letters to our heroes! You all rock.
    50. Jean U, Thanks so much for the wonderful Easter cards! Your donation is wonderful, bless you for your generosity :)
    51. Louise F, Frazier Park CA - wow, these cards are incredible! LOVE the's springggg!
    52. Jaime M, Spokane WA - these cards are stunning, thank you so much!
    53. Sandy H and Agnes M, your cards are just lovely, bless you, ladies!
    54. Brenda V, Antioch CA, Love all the Easter joy, thank you!
    55. Rachel P, Marysville WA, your cards are so pretty - our heroes are going to love writing home on them!
    56. Melinda B, Tulare CA, love love love your style, thank you for these cards!
    57. Nancy M, Fremont CA, love the cards with your new origami designs! Way to go!
    58. Cheryl B. in Mansfield, MA, thank you for the beautiful box of cards for our heroes! Your cards will bring lots of smiles!
    59. Thanks Caro H of Mint Hill, NC for the terrific cards! I loved the pocket cards. So clever!
    60. Thank you, Nicole S. in Pittsboro, NC! Your cards are always beautiful! Love the terrific baby cards! It's always nice to include a couple in each box.
    61. Thanks Paula E in Virginia Beach, VA! You sent some terrific Easter cards for our heroes to send to their families! Thanks too for the donation for shipping!
    62. Thank you Kelly B. in Norcross, GA for the box of cute bunnies and chicks for our heroes! Love the bunny in the grass cards the best!
    63. Pat G. in Upton, MA, thank you for the cards for our heroes! I needed those bithday cards for kids. Your Easter cards are beautiful!
    64. Thank you Julie C of Princeton IN for the great cards and the generous donation for shipping. I love your "Miss You" cards!
    65. Thank you Penny P. in Parkesburg, PA! Your cards will make a lot of heroes and their families smile! I love the cards with buttons!
    66. Thank you Cecilia S in Raleigh, NC! You packed a lot of cute bunnies in that package! I love these cards! Perfect example of "less is more."
    67. Thank you Leslie T of Willoughby Hills, OH! Your cards are beautiful! So many techniques for so many occasions! Thank you!
    68. Thank you Cyndy R in Contoocook, NH! Your cards are wonderful! Thank you too for the generous donation for shipping and the letters to our Heroes!
    69. Thank you Erica C. in Kenmore, NY!!  Your Easter cards are terrific! I love the cards with the buttons! You rock!
    70. Karen B, Ft Worth TX.....thank you the this wonderful box of cards. WOW!
    71. Dena L, St Cloud MN......this is an awesome box of cards.  Beautiful!
    72. Sue A, Rockford IL......again, another package of beautiful cards and Any Hero letters!!
    73. Brenda R, East Bethel MN......these are great Easter cards!! Thanks.
    74. Jennifer M, Romeoville IL....thank you so much for this great package of cards!
    75. Anonymous donor in The Woodlands TX......these are beautiful cards, thank you!
    76. Karen H, Monticello MN.....gorgeous cards!  Thank you.
    77. Cheryl K, Crest Hill IL..thank you to you and your grandson for making these wonderful cards!!!
    78. Ellen P, Vernon Hills IL.....great thank you cards and just in time as I was out of that theme.  Thanks for the Any Hero letters!
    79. Tammy A, Aurora CO.....these cards are so cute! Thanks.
    80. Polly P, St Paul MO......I can tell you got new stamps and love them. These are great cards!!
    81. Sherry J, Minnetonka MN.....another package of great cards! Thanks.
    82. Susan T, Kansas City MO....Yeah! A package from KC!! These are wonderful...thank you.
    83. Betty R, Houston TX.....thank you for these wonderful Easter cards!
    84. Ms Rice, Houston TX....thank you for the beautiful cards.
    85. Maude B, Las Cruces NM....I love these Easter cards!!! Beautiful!
    86. Chris F, Monument CO....thanks for the wonderful cards and ink pens to send along with the cards.
    87. Fowler and Friends, LaGrange IL.....ladies these are awesome Easter cards.  Thank you!!
    88. Deb J, Bolckow MO....WOW what a package.  These are gorgeous!
    89. Debby P, Buffalo MO....wonderful cards and Any Hero letters. THANK YOU!
    90. Diana L, Wichita KS....thanks for the great cards!!
    91. Laurie B, Greenfield WI....Thank you for the beautiful cards and Any Hero letter.
    92. Linda M....what a great box of cards.  Love all the different themes.  Beautiful!
    93. Dee N, Duluth MN.....WOW! GORGEOUS cards and so many of them.  Thank you!
    94. Barbara B, Lakewood CO...thank you for these great cards!
    95. Mary B, Kenosha WI.....thank you for these beautiful cards!!
    96. Jennifer M, Marshfield WI....these are gorgeous cards.  Love them all!
    97. Deloris T, West Salem OH.....wonderful cards. Thank you!
    98. Kathleen J, Brownsburg IN.....thank you for these wonderful Easter cards.
    99. Betty and Marilyn S, Columbus OH.....thank you ladies for these great cards.
    100. LeAnn M, St Paul MN.....thank you for the wonderful spring and Easter cards.  Love them.
    101. Valerie B, Farmington NM.....thanks for the wonderful cards.
    102. Joan K, Avon IL....these are beautiful.  THANKS!
    103. Nancy K, Hattiesburg MS....great box of these!
    104. Tammy F and Trevor's Tuff Mamma's, North Judson IN....thanks for the awesome box of cards!!
    105. Mary S, Taunton MN....thanks for the great cards and Any Hero letters.
    106. Lori N, Jefferson City MO...very pretty cards!! Thank you.
    107. Pamela L, Jefferson City MO....thanks for the wonderful cards!
    108. Maureen L and Friends, Cedar Rapids IA.....thank you for these beautiful cards!

    Tuesday, February 23, 2010

    Military Mindset (Kleenex alert!)

    In conversation with Alison, she told this story, and we asked her permission to share it....her first note is on the Hero Blog--->"A much bigger difference".

    My favorite story about these cards is about when Bill sent one to me almost as soon as he arrived in country.  He had been traveling for 5 days, 6 flights, and still had 1 more flight before reaching his FOB.  The base he was on was attacked almost as soon as he arrived, and the security went sky high very suddenly.  So he grabbed one of your cards, and in typical male-brain fashion simply told me that there had been a breach of security and he had only one minute to say hi.  That was it.  So I get this card 10 days later, and I'm expecting some outpouring of love and adoration, right?  Instead a card travels 8000 miles and all it has is 2 sentences, telling me nothing more than just "Hi."  I of course being Right Brained thought he was already pulling away from me!!

    Eventually I came to understand I was completely wrong in my interpretation of that card...

    As I thought about it more, and filtered it through the lens of who Bill is, I suddenly got it:  Bill has deployed before, he's 54 and been in for 20 years.  He knows EXACTLY how fragile life is over there.  So in his mind, if he was going to die in an attack, he wanted to drop something in the mail to me that I would have to hold on to, and in that moment of rushing, all he could think of was to say "Hi and love."  I suddenly loved him more than ever. 

    It helps to understand the military mindset!  Otherwise, these short, terse cards make no sense in our world back home.  It's now my favorite card and is taped to my bedroom wall so I can see it every day and be reminded of his love...and your organization that helped him reach me when he felt he was at risk.

    Thought you'd enjoy that.  :-)


    Monday, February 22, 2010

    Mailroom Monday: February 22, 2010

    This week we mailed less than 1,000 cards...however we have a special photo to share! One of our cardmakers, Jan K, has a husband serving overseas, and she sent this photo and note:

    My husband is stationed in Abu Dhabi, so I made 130 greeting cards with the OWH stamp on back, and General Benson (on the right in the attached photo) personally delivered them to the U.S. troops stationed in the United Arab Emirates. USAF Col. Ryder (on the left) is the U.S. Embassy Defense Attaché in Abu Dhabi.


    To heroes in Iraq:
    335 to an Army unit
    335 to an Army unit
    325 to a USO serving Soldiers

    Other fun statistics:
    Number of boxes sent: 1232
    Number of hero contacts: 682
    Total cards sent: 338,539

    Deadline reminders:
    St Patricks Day: passed 
    Easter: Feb 26 (sooner is preferable!)
    Half&Half Challenge: March 15 to the shipper!
    Mother's Day: April 1
    Shipper needs this week: Now updated on our "Biggest Needs" post here.

    Sunday, February 21, 2010

    VFW Patriot's Pen Essay

    One of our cardmakers sent a link to this essay from a student in her hometown....this the national winner in the VFW’s Patriot’s Pen essay contest by Abigail in Mesquite NV; the essay was originally posted here....if you want to leave a comment she's sure to read, go leave her a comment there. You can also read more of her story here....this is one amazing young lady! She'll get to travel to D.C. in March for a week of visiting the White House and Capitol, and have a chance to read her essay. Way to go Abbie!

    When is the right time to honor our military heroes?
    The last few days I’ve thought about the many freedoms I enjoy as an American citizen. I’ve considered the sacrifices our service men and women have made to preserve those freedoms. When is the time to honor them? Every time I exercise the freedoms they fight for, every time I feel the security so many have died for, that’s the time!

    When I see the symbolic colors of red, white, and blue on an American flag, that’s the time! When I see the 50 white stars I think of our freedom. When I see the red and white stripes, I think of the 13 original colonies, and the very beginnings of our wonderful country. Whenever I see our American flag, I appreciate and honor my military heroes.

    Every time I exercise my freedom of speech, that’s the time! I know that I can say what I believe. Even if you disagree, I’m defended in my right to say it. I’m so thankful that I can express myself through my words, and not worry if someone disagrees, because that is a freedom my military heroes fight for every day.

    Every time I contemplate that I have a roof over my head and a meal each night, that’s the time! I’m thankful that my parents have the freedoms to get a good education and a job, so they can earn a living to support my family. I know that without my military heroes, my parents and I might never have had the opportunity to get a good education.

    Every time I realize that my potential is only limited by the size of my dreams, that’s the time! I know that in America, I can be anything I want to be! I know that if I work hard, study hard, and never give up, I will someday be that person. All thanks to my military heroes who defend my freedom each day.

    Lastly, every time I get on my knees and pray to my Heavenly Father, that’s the time. I thank him for our country, and the freedom we share. I thank him for giving strength to our service men and women, and to the families of those soldiers. I ask him to help our president make wise decisions that will keep our country safe, strong, and secure.

    That’s the time, now’s the time, there is always time to honor our military heroes.
    Abigail Barnard is an eighth-grade student at Charles M. Hughes Middle School.

    The theme for the 2010-2011 essay: Does patriotism still matter? If you know a 6th, 7th, or 8th grader who would like to enter the contest, click here for details!

    Saturday, February 20, 2010

    Cardmakers by state

    As promised, we're sharing a little more info about the graphs posted in our Annual Review a few weeks ago....these maps were one of the most interesting pieces of information to figure out!

    We counted the cardmakers who sent in cards in 2009 alone; those who sent in the past but not in 2009 are not counted in this list. There are also possibly more people involved with making the cards in a number of the packages, but if only one name is listed on the Packing Slip, we only count that as one person.
    1. CA     158
    2. TX     103
    3. WA     91
    4. FL     81
    5. NY     61
    6. OH     61
    7. MN     56
    8. NC     55
    9. PA     55
    10. VA     47
    11. WI     47
    12. IL     46
    13. MA     46
    14. MI     45
    15. IN     39
    16. AZ     39
    17. MD     35
    18. MO     32
    19. NJ     32
    20. OR     31
    21. GA     30
    22. CO     27
    23. CT     22
    24. IA     21
    25. OK     21
    26. TN     21
    27. Ut     21
    28. ME     18
    29. KS     17
    30. SC     16
    31. ID     12
    32. KY     12
    33. NV     12
    34. NH     11
    35. AL     9
    36. LA     9
    37. NE     9
    38. RI     9
    39. AK     8
    40. NM     8
    41. ND     6
    42. WV     6
    43. HI     5
    44. SD     5
    45. MS     4
    46. WY     4
    47. DE     3
    48. MT     3
    49. VT     3 you want to change the map color for your state? Here are a few ideas!
    • Go invite some friends over for a cardmaking party! Have everyone fill out a packing slip for their cards.
    • Head over to your local stamping store and see if they'll hold a card drive for your community. Stock them up with packing slips to have on hand when people drop off cards!
    • Call your local TV station or town newspaper and ask them to do a story on your efforts with OWH—that will surely spread the word in your community! 
    • __________ Other ideas? Post your plans and ideas in a comment below!
    Next week we'll share the list of how many cards were sent in from each state!

    Thursday, February 18, 2010

    Thankful Thursday: February 18, 2010

    We received 4,732 cards this week! It's always so amazing to see the faithfulness of soooo many cardmakers across the USA. People of all stripes, types, talents, locations - you are all wonderful in your support of our heroes. THANK YOU!

    The photo here is Sandy's mail on Tuesday...the bottom boxes are filled with 125 empty flat rate boxes for packing up cards; the middle horizontal box is 6,000 envelopes purchased for the cards that come without envies; and all the ones on top are cards! And, of course, the furry redhead with all four legs on the floor is Ciara. :)

    1. Ginny H. in Calabash, NC! Your Easter bunnies rock! Thanks for the terrific package of cards. Thanks too for the big envelopes. They'll certainly be used.
    2. Thank you Etta D. in Elizabethtown, PA for the terrific cards! I really liked the butterfly card! My favorite.
    3. Thank you, Therese D. in Lewiston, ME! Your cards are beautiful! And so many too! Thanks for tucking the back flaps in the envelopes! You rock!
    4. Ms Zickmund, Plainfield IL.....thank you for the great cards!
    5. Valerie B, Farmington NM....thanks for the great birthday and St Patty's Day cards!
    6. Beverly D, Rochester NY....thank you for the great cards!
    7. Sue S, Hendersonville TN...thank you for the wonderful cards and Any Hero letter!!
    8. Mary Lou H, Jenison MI......What wonderful cards and such a nice assortment.  Thank you!
    9. Lori N......another fabulous box of cards!!! Thank you.
    10. Lorraine D, Norwood PA.......these Easter cards are GORGEOUS!!! Thank you so much!!!
    11. Laura C, Park Rapids MN - perfect selection and timing! Your Easter cards filled out one last box that I was packing. Thanks soooo much!
    12. Kim N, Bloomington IL, I love your cards so much! Our heroes certainly do too...thank you!
    13. Judy B,Cleburne TX.....thanks so much for the gorgeous cards and the many Any Hero letters!!!  
    14. Deb S, Farmington NM..... thank you so much for getting your son's class involved in making these cards.  They are wonderful!!
    15. Joan J, and Beckie, Lodi CA - wonderful cards, thanks from our heroes!! Joan, bless you for your generous donation too!
    16. Lina W, Hampton VA ....congratulations on finding out how many cards you made! Well done! Thanks for these to add to your 2010 total :)
    17. Penny G, Swall Meadows, CA, your cards are always so nice, so much TLC poured into them. Thanks!
    18. Terri O, Wyndmoor PA, thanks for the lovely cards and donation for shipping...glad you got your prize! :)
    19. Cathy B, San Pedro CA - thank you, your cards and donation are a huge blessing!
    20. Kelly M, Redwood City CA, thanks soooooo much! I love the stitching on your cards, they're wonderful!
    21. Leslie F and friends, thanks soooo much! The St Pat's and AnyHero cards are getting packed up right now! :)
    22. Thanks so much for the wonderful cards Celeste---LaiLynn's are soooo cute too, give her a big hug for us!!
    23. Thank you, Diane W. in Stoneham, MA for the terrific cards and the generous donation! I love the cards with the spinners! So clever!
    24. Thank you Alice S. in Philadelphia, PA for your artful cards! They are beautiful and so unusual! Thanks for the shipping donation too!
    25. Thank you, Paula S in Stamford, CT for the huge box of outstanding cards for our heroes! WOW! Thanks too for the the AnyHero cards and the generous donation! You rock!
    26. Thank you Lorraine S in Orrington, ME for the terrific collection of cards. Love the iris folding! Thanks for sending the envelope supply too!
    27. Thank you Solon Middle School Student Ambassadors in Solon, OH for the terrific cards for our military heroes! Well done!
    28. Thank you, Lisa E. in Taylorsville, NC for the terrific cards! My favorites are the "friend" cards! Thanks for the hero cards too!
    29. Marian J, Huber Heights OH.....gorgeous cards! Thank you.
    30. Janis D, Olustee OK.....these are fabulous cards!!! Thank you.
    31. Karen H, Monticello MN.....WOW! Awesome cards!! Love your style.
    32. Ann M, Hutchinson MN......thanks so much for these lovely cards and the Any Hero letter.  
    33. Hannah M.....thank you for the St Patty's Day and Any Hero letters.  I was in need of both kinds. Thanks.
    34. Mary E, San Rafael CA, thanks for the awesome cards! Love your "made by me" signoff on the backs - cute!
    35. Buffy F, San Francisco, CA, your cards are lovely....the papers are delicious!
    36. Cheryl G, Edmonds WA, your cards are fantastic - thanks for the candies for our heroes, too!
    37. Melissa R, Marysville WA, thanks so much for the cards - thanks for finishing the ones from the cardmaking party a few weeks ago!
    38. Linda G, NJ, thank you so much for your generous donation!
    39. Thank you Lauren L in Plainfield, IL for the HUGE collection of beautiful cards! Thank you too for the letters for our heroes! Your work will bring LOTS of smiles!
    40. Thank you Kathy C. of Ilion, NY for the terrific cards! I love the thumbprint cards. So clever!
    41. Thank you Dolores A. in Frederick MD, for the outstanding Easter cards you made for our heroes. Thanks too for the cards your wrote to our heroes!!
    42. Thank you Melissa L in Rockville, MD for the terrific cards you sent for our heroes! I love the "Welcome Spring" card best!!
    43. Thanks Debbie K. in Burke, VA for another package of beautiful cards and the generous donation for shipping! Your bunny cards make me smile, and I know our heroes and their families will too.
    44. Thank you Cindee N in Harrisburg, PA for the terrific cards and the donation! The "Love You Lots" cards are my favorites!
    45. Big thanks to the Manhattan Scrapbooking Meetup Group in NY!! What a lovely box of cards! Thank you to for the generous donation for shipping!
    46. Renee H, Andover MN.....cute cards, especially the St Patty's Day cards! Thanks!!
    47. Joan W, Tacoma WA, thanks for all the love you pour into your cards!
    48. Brenda R, East Bethel MN, thanks so much for your donation!
    49. Stephanie G, New York NY, awesome box of cards, thank you so much for the donation and pens toooo!
    50. Patty S, Santee CA, what a great first package of cards!! Thank you!
    51. Laura O, Cottontown TN, thanks so much for the fantastic cards - and the pens and treats for our heroes!
    52. Patti S, St Louis MO, thank you, your cards are wonderful as always, and your AnyHero letters and donation are appreciated!
    53. Janice A, Bountiful UT,love love love your cards! Thank you for the generous donation too!
    54. Alexandra L, Boise ID, bless you for sharing your talents with our heroes!
    55. Betty W, Mountain Home ID, your cards are lovely, thanks!
    56. Pam J, I love your cards, and our heroes will too, thanks!
    57. Seongsook D, Elk Grove CA, your cards are so pretty...thank you for so faithfully supporting our heroes!
    58. Donna M, Ft Wainwright AK, thanks to you and the students for all the wonderful cards!!
    59. Laura C, University Place WA, thank you for the cards!!
    60. Joyce N, Lakewood WA, thanks so much, the cards are wonderful!
    61. Denise W, N Las Vegas NV, thanks once again - awesome!
    62. Thank you Caro H in Mint Hill, NC for the terrific cards! I can't wait to put those baby cards in the boxes for our heroes!
    63. Patti C. in Ruby, NY, thank you for the terrific cards, the generous donation, and the card for a hero! I just love those pocket cards with the bunnies!
    64. Nikki your package today.  These cards are awesome!! Thanks!
    65. Donna D, Monroe LA - thank  you SO much for your generous donation!
    66. Kimberley M, Kennewick, WA, your cards are wonderful - I love love love those chocolate bunnies!

    Wednesday, February 17, 2010

    Half and Half Challenge! Due March 15

    It's time for another card drive.....with Mother's Day coming up, we'll have a lot of heroes who will be wanting to send some love home to Mom! We have 10 prizes offered up...cardmaking supplies donated by various companies and individuals. Thank you to them all for their generosity in helping us get a lot of cards made!

    The challenge:
    1. Make a selection of cards; any quantity is fine.
    2. Your cards should be approx. half Mothers Day and/or Father's Day, and half anytime cards (thinking of you, birthday, love, miss you, thank you, etc)
    3. Send in your cards to any shipper.
    4. Include this packing slip.
    5. Cards must arrive to the shipper by March 15th.
    6. We'll draw random winners from all participants!
    Bloggers, feel free to post one of our banners on your blog, link them back to this post, and help us spread the word! Note: To post the animated banner, you'll likely need to upload the code from the Photobucket album; if you simply download it from here, it will not animate if uploaded directly into Blogger.

    Monday, February 15, 2010

    Mailroom Monday: February 15, 2010

    7795 cards were mailed out this week!! (Shipping cost $330) Our list of new heroes waiting has been reduced down to just a few, thanks to all of our wonderful cardmakers!

    To  heroes in Afghanistan:
    160 cards to an Army unit
    160 cards to an Army unit
    160 cards to an Army unit
    160 cards to an Army unit
    160 cards to an Army unit
    160 cards to an Army unit
    160 cards to an Army unit
    345 cards to an Army unit
    345 cards to an Army unit
    55 cards to an Army unit
    320 cards to an Air Force unit
    320 cards to an Air Force unit
    330 cards to an Army unit
    330 cards to an Army unit

    To heroes in Iraq:
     345 cards to an Army unit
    345 cards to an Army unit
    320 cards to an Army unit
    320 cards to an Army unit
    330 cards to an Army unit
    330 cards to an Army unit
    330 cards to an Army unit
    330 cards to an Army unit
    330 cards to an Army unit
    330 cards to an Air Force unit
    330 cards to an Army unit
    330 cards to an Army unit
    330 cards to an National Guard unit
    330 cards to an Army unit

    Other fun statistics:
    Number of boxes sent: 1229
    Number of hero contacts: 682
    Total cards sent: 335,374

    Deadline reminders:
    Valentines: passed 

    St Patricks Day: passed 
    Easter: Feb 26 (sooner is preferable!)

    Shipper needs this week: Now updated on our "Biggest Needs" post here.

    Saturday, February 13, 2010

    The Lunches (Kleenex Alert)

    This story's been circulating in email, and though the Snopes page doesn't have a determination of its truth, the story is well worth repeating anyway. 

    I put my carry-on in the luggage compartment and sat down in my assigned seat. It was going to be a long flight. 'I'm glad I have a good book to read. Perhaps I will get a short nap,' I thought.

    Just before take-off, a line of soldiers came down the aisle and filled all the vacant seats, totally surrounding me. I decided to start a conversation.

    'Where are you headed?' I asked the soldier seated nearest to me.

    ''Petawawa. We'll be there for two weeks for special training, and then we're being deployed to Afghanistan."

    After flying for about an hour, an announcement was made that sack lunches were available for five dollars. It would be several hours before we reached the east, and I quickly decided a lunch would help pass the time.

    As I reached for my wallet, I overheard a soldier ask his buddy if he planned to buy lunch. "No, that seems like a lot of money for just a sack lunch. Probably wouldn't be worth five bucks. I'll wait till we get to base." His friend agreed.

    I looked around at the other soldiers. None were buying lunch. I walked to the back of the plane and handed the flight attendant a fifty dollar bill. "Take a lunch to all those soldiers." She grabbed my arms and squeezed tightly. Her eyes wet with tears, she thanked me. "My son was a soldier in Iraq; it's almost like you are doing it for him."

    Picking up ten sacks, she headed up the aisle to where the soldiers were seated. She stopped at my seat and asked, "Which do you like best - beef or chicken?"

    "'Chicken,' I replied, wondering why she asked. She turned and went to the front of plane, returning a minute later with a dinner plate from first class.

    'This is your thanks."

    After we finished eating, I went again to the back of the plane, heading for the rest room. A man stopped me. "I saw what you did. I want to be part of it. Here, take this." He handed me twenty-five dollars.

    Soon after I returned to my seat, I saw the Flight Captain coming down the aisle, looking at the aisle numbers as he walked, I hoped he was not looking for me, but noticed he was looking at the numbers only on my side of the plane. When he got to my row he stopped, smiled, held out his hand and said, "I want to shake your hand." Quickly unfastening my seatbelt I stood and took the Captain's hand.. With a booming voice he said, "I was a soldier and I was a military pilot. Once, someone bought me a lunch. It was an act of kindness I never forgot." I was embarrassed when applause was heard from all of the passengers.

    Later I walked to the front of the plane so I could stretch my legs. A man who was seated about six rows in front of me reached out his hand, wanting to shake mine. He left another twenty-five dollars in my palm.

    When we landed I gathered my belongings and started to deplane. Waiting just inside the airplane door was a man who stopped me, put something in my shirt pocket, turned, and walked away without saying a word. Another twenty-five dollars!

    Upon entering the terminal, I saw the soldiers gathering for their trip to the base. I walked over to them and handed them seventy-five dollars. "It will take you some time to reach the base... It will be about time for a sandwich. God bless you."
    Ten young men left that flight feeling the love and respect of their fellow travelers.

    As I walked briskly to my car, I whispered a prayer for their safe return. These soldiers were giving their all for our country. I could only give them a couple of meals. It seemed so little.


    Every time each of you makes a card or donates shipping funds—think of it as "buying lunch" for one of countless heroes who may never hear a "thank you" from America. Thank you for all you do to honor their service by giving so much from your heart.

    Thursday, February 11, 2010

    Thankful Thursday: February 11, 2010

    5918 cards were received this week....thank you all, every card is needed! We've had a bumper crop of new heroes requesting cards—18 new ones, most in Afghanistan!! That's 18 x 325 all our current contacts!
    1. Kristin K....great cards, love your mix of patterned paper!  Thanks.
    2. Barb K....fabulous cards!!! Thank you for all the Any Hero letters too.
    3. Linda Z.....awesome cards!! Thank you so much.
    4. Anita A, Turlock CA - thanks so much for your lovely cards, AnyHero cards, and great donation!
    5. Los Gatos Elks Lodge #1857, WOW! So many cards in one box, I don't know how you do it. Thanks!
    6. Leslie M, Kailua HI - thanks again for such an awesome box full of pretty cards!
    7. Pam P, North Hollywood CA, your cards are sooooo wonderful, our heroes will love them!
    8. Thank you Karen G. in Oakland Park, FL. You sent a terrific assortment of cards for the new shipper's stash!
    9. Thank you Pam L. in Mineral Bluff, GA, for your terrific St Pat's cards. I especially liked the one with the calendar on the front. Clever!
    10. Amber M, Goshen IN, thank you so much, your St Pats and other cards are simply lovely!
    11. McDaniel College, Gamma Sigma Sigma - WOW! 626 Anyhero cards - absolutely amazing, thank you!
    12. Renee D, Marshall MN...Thank you for the package of wonderful cards.  The children's Any Hero cards are great!
    13. Carla M and West County Christian Church, Chesterfield MO......thank you for the wonderful cards.  LOVE THEM!
    14. Thank you nancy F in Trexlertown, PA for the fun cards and the generous donation. I'm still laughing at the clever sentiments!
    15. Thank you Marcie M in Muncy, PA for your beautiful cards. Loved the "Hi" cards especially! Thanks too for your donation!!
    16. Thank you Pat in Bethel Park, PA!! So MANY beautiful cards for our heroes to send to their families and friends!
    17. Jeanine D. Cleveland TX.....wonderful, beautiful cards! Thanks for the Any Hero letters too!
    18. Thank you Maeve S. in Knoxville, TN for your great gcards. Thank you too for the bookmarks. I can't wait to put them in a box for our heroes!
    19. Gai J, Dallas TX.....Love these cards.....gorgeous!!
    20. Shelley F, Bellevue WA, awesome package of cards - and thanks so much for your donation!
    21. Heidi M, Lynnwood WA - great package of cards, thanks soooo much!
    22. Heidi M, Lynnwood WA - great package of cards, thanks soooo much!
    23. Pearl G, Bellevue WA, thanks so much for the great cards!
    24. Fran T, Cabot AR, thanks so much - every card counts!
    25. Velda S, Mesquite NV - thank you so much for sharing your seniors' beginning card class's work - they're wonderful!
    26. Lee B, Dalton WI - wow, what a great package - and the little packets are adorable!
    27. Vickie W, Reno NV - wonderful cards, our heroes will love them!!
    28. Lee B, Dalton WI - another box!!! Oh my, thank you so much!
    29. Phyllis Z and the Lincoln Hills Stampers - thanks sooooo much! Wow on all the AnyHero cards, our contacts are going to love them all!
    30. Valley UU Church, Chandler AZ, thank you for the great AnyHero notes!
    31. To our anonymous cardmaker in Tucson - wowsers, what an amazing box full of cards, thank you!
    32. Thank you Amy, S. in Aurora, CO for the beautiful cards! I love the Easter cards; they make me wish for springtime!
    33. Teresa P, Dubuque IA, these are awesome, thanks sooooo much!
    34. Thank you ladies and gentlemen at TILL in Watertown, MA for the terrific postcards for our heroes!
    35. Thank you Ellen B. of Pasadena, MD. You springtime cards are terrific! Your letters to soldiers will touch some hearts!
    36. Thank you Janet M in Biddleford, ME for the terrific variety of cards! I love the butterflies!
    37. Thank you Brenda E. of Macomb, MI, for the terrific cards, hero letter, and donation! Your cards with the trees stamp are my favorites!
    38. Thanks to Mr. C's algebra class in Concord, NC for assembling all the cards! Thanks too for tucking all those flaps in the envelopes! You rock!
    39. Thank you Danyse K. of Charlotte, NC for the terrific cards an the donation! It was great to meet you!
    40. Thank you Nicole S. in Pittsboro, NC for the lovely cards! So many occasions! Loved the button cards!
    41. Thank you AndreaM. from Ithaca, NY for the beautiful cards and the generous donation! You sent a terrific variety, and they were all labeled and tucked too! Thanks!
    42. Thank you Gamma Sigma Sigma at SRU in Slippery Rock, PA. for the St. Patrick's Day cards and all the others! I hope you had fun coloring!!
    43. Thanks, Sandy D. of Hanover, PA for the terrific collection of cards! I loved the pretty flower ones!
    44. Thank you Cathy B. in Columbia, SC for your terrific cards and generous donation! Thanks too for tucking the cards!!
    45. Thank you Nicole S. in Pittsboro, NC for the lovely cards! So many occasions! Loved the button cards!
    46. Sandra F, Irvine CA, our heroes are going to love your creations, thank you!
    47. Jan C and AZ Scrappers, Phoenix AZ - what an incredible box of cards, thank you soooo much for your donation too!
    48. Ellen H, Vancouver WA, thanks for more great cards...hope your internet access is back soon! (And if you're reading this I guess it is, huh!)
    49. Cindy M, Pewaukee WI, your cards are adorable!! Thank you so much!
    50. Thank you Pat C. in N Ft. Myers, FL for the terrific collection of cards and envelopes. You will bring a lot of joy to a lot of heroes!
    51. Thank you Dolores A. in Frederick, MD for your beautiful cards and the letters to our heroes! Your cards will make keeping in touch with home a delight!
    52. Thank you Lynn F in Chapel Hill for your beautiful cards for our heroes! You will make a lot of people happy.
    53. Dee N, Duluth MN.....your cards are FABULOUS! Love your style!
    54. Robyne B, Lees Summit MO......these St Pat's and Easter cards are gorgeous.  THANKS!
    55. Jane S, Las Cruces NM....thank you for the beautiful cards!
    56. Maude B, Las Cruces NM....thanks for the wonderful cards.
    57. Dorothy B and WINGS, Corpus Christi TX.....these cards are gorgeous.  Thanks everyone who helped make them.
    58. Debby M, Las Cruces NM....thank you for these beautiful cards.  Love them!
    59. Kathy R and Pleasant Valley Baptist Church, Livonia NY....thank you for these great St Patty's day cards.
    60. Joan H, High Ridge MO.....thank you for the beautiful cards!!!
    61. Betty T, Salina KS....thanks so much for these wonderful cards!!
    62. Thank you Janet M in Biddeford, ME for the terrific St. Patrick's Day card. What a nice collection to send to our heroes!
    63. Thank you, Pat F. in Mansfield, PA for the terrific cards and the donation. I love the little birdie cards!!
    64. Thank you Carol L for the terrific box of cards and the donation! Your cards will make a lot of people smile! I loved the friend cards especially!
    65. Thank you Wendy L in Circleville, OH, for the HUGE box of cards you sent for our heroes! You're very talented. Thanks for sending the big envelopes for the big cards too!
    66. Thank you Nancy H. in Fallston, MD for the terrific Easter cards and the generous donation! I love the eggs and "magic" bunny cards! They make me smile! Clever!
    67. Thank you Solon Civic Club in Solon, OH for the St. Patrick's Day cards for our heroes. They are terrific! (Could someone in this group email Dixie?)
    68. Ellen H, Vancouver WA, wow! Another package of beauties, thank you! Your donation is a huge help too!
    69. SuzAnn H, Salt Lake City - Adorable!! Love your lil mice especially!!
    70. Ann L, Orem UT - you are such an ongoing blessing to OWH and our heroes...thank you!
    71. Esther & Eileen J, El Paso TX.....thank you for the cards and Any Hero letters!
    72. Sharon M, Lubbock TX......these cards are gorgeous! Thank you.
    73. Sue A, Rockford IL......fabulous cards once again! I love your style!!! Thanks so much!
    74. Joan K, Avon IL.....gorgeous cards, love your style!! Thank you.
    75. Carole Ann S, The Woodlands TX......WOW! what a box of cards.  Thanks for having them organized by themes.  They are FABULOUS!!

    Wednesday, February 10, 2010

    Envelopes stacked as high as Big Ben!

    Yesterday our Facebook friends played along with a little guessing game. The question:

    How tall is the stack of 18,000 envelopes that OWH just ordered?

    (Flat on top of each other, not end-to-end.) 

    To give our blog readers a moment to ponder a guess, we looked for a few other things that are about the same this chocolate replica of Big Ben (more pics of this stunning tasty sculpture are here!):
    Or this 3 story home...

    Or perhaps as tall as this rocket if it were standing up:

    Have you got perspective yet on just how many envelopes it is? Quite a few, to say the least! We order them in large quantity every 6 to 8 weeks...the length of time they last depends on how many people donate envelopes with their cards, vs how many donate funds instead of mailing in the envelopes.

    We've kept you in suspense long enough....the answer is 36 feet! The 18,000 are divided between our three shippers, so fortunately none of them need to buy a new home to store the entire stack of envelopes!

    (And for the folks who sent message to ask: $393.96!)

    Tuesday, February 9, 2010

    Golden Tape Gun Awards

    This award poster might seem a little tongue-in-cheek (or tape-on-box!), but....without our wonderful volunteer shippers, where would we be? They fully deserve an award for their tireless work! Anyone know where we can buy a golden tape gun?

    On just about every day of the year, our shippers:
    • receive packages in the mail
    • open them and check for packing slips, and start counting if there's no total
    • stamp the backs if that's not done
    • match them with envelopes
    • email every donor with an acknowledgement
    • report every donation 
    • sort cards by type
    • keep up with hero contacts by email
    • do triage in the card hospital as needed (repairing, adding liners to dark cards, etc)
    And then on packing days, our shippers:
    • sort and pack boxes of over 300 cards each
    • pack up 15-20 or more AnyHero letters for each box
    • write a letter to each contact
    • tape up each box and fill out customs form
    • traipse to the Post Office and stand in line
    • report boxes shipped 

    These are heroic tasks, and a little bulletpoint list barely scratches the surface of the enormity of the gift of time and energy our shippers give to OWH! Their families sacrifice as well—giving them time to do this valuable work.

    In our Annual Review published last week, you may have noticed this little pie shows the percentages of the total shipments from 2009 made from each location. Washington's been the heavy lifter since the inception of the project, partially because the west coast is quite prolific in cardmaking (gooooo California!), and partially because Sandy has a lot of personal cardmaking friends out there across the land!

    Currently our shippers are all-volunteer...our small cash revenues aren't enough to pay any staff at this time. (Until recently, our shippers even purchased their own packing tape!) Yes, they do love our heroes, and receive their favorite payment when they do the "happy dance" at the mailbox when a card or letter comes from one of their contacts...or when an email pops up from someone they've shipped their cards to. Getting to know a hero is the greatest honor, and hearing about the impact of OWH's service is quite a joy!

    Some of you have emailed us with offers to become an OWH shipper—and we want to say thanks so much for your heart to help! However, right now we're waiting to see what 2010 will bring. A while back we had more shippers at the same time, and cards were divided between so many locations that it was challenging to get boxes out to meet our heroes' requests. With three shippers, it's more work for those individuals, but is also making us more efficient in responding to our service members' needs. If volume increases further in the coming months we may add another shipper, but for the time being we're waiting to see what happens. Stay tuned!

    If you live near one of our shippers and would like to assist them sometime, please feel free to contact them. You might be able to assist with stamping the backs of cards, matching with envelopes, triage in the card hospital, or even packing boxes.....depending on what day you're able to help, and what needs the shipper has at the time.

    Many thanks to our rockin' OWH shippers....keep on shippin'!

    Monday, February 8, 2010

    Mailroom Monday: February 8, 2010

    5,665 cards were mailed out to our heroes this week—17 boxes, at a cost of $212.50. This week we passed the "1200 boxes" milestone!

    Check out this amazing pile of AnyHero letters—626 from McDaniel College in Westminster, MD! A group of sorority sisters from Gamma Sigma Sigma did a service project and wrote these. WOW! What great toppers for our boxes.....they'll bring lots of SMILES!

    To  heroes in Afghanistan:
    325 cards to an Army unit
    325 cards to an Air Force unit
    325 cards to a Marine unit
    325 cards to a Navy unit
    325 cards to an Air Force unit
    325 cards to a Marine unit
    325 cards to Contractors to share with Soldiers
    335 cards to an Air Force unit
    335 cards to a Navy unit
    335 cards to an Army unit
    345 cards to an Army unit
    345 cards to an Army unit
    345 cards to an Army unit

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

     To heroes in Kuwait:
    345 cards to an Army unit

    Other fun statistics:
    Number of boxes sent: 1,202
    Number of hero contacts: 665
    Total cards sent: 335,964

    Deadline reminders:
    Valentines: passed 

    St Patricks Day: Feb 12 (sooner is preferable!)
    Easter: Feb 26 (sooner is preferable!)

    Shipper needs this week: Now listed on our "Biggest Needs" post here.

    Saturday, February 6, 2010

    The 9/11 Truck

    It's important to remember the events that shape who we are. As individuals, as families, as communities—and as a nation.
    It is hard not to be impressed by John Holmgren's efforts to remember the events of 9/11, and to share it with the nation. He paid $40,000 to have his truck hand-painted with a fireman, and with Old Glory; and with printed lettering listing 3,168 names of people who perished on 9/11.

    This truck is a moving memorial in more than one sense of the word. "It's just my way of respecting the families, and it turned out to be so much more," says Holmgren.

    It is always amazing to see what art can convey, when soapbox oratory fails.

    Text re-posted from Wikipedia:
    The Rolling Memorial is a semi-trailer truck painted with a mural intended to honor the victims of the 9/11 attacks. The project was conceived by John Holmgren of Shafer, Minnesota in the United States after hearing the song "Have You Forgotten" by country singer Darryl Worley.

    An over-the-road truck driver, Holmgren transformed his 18-wheeler into the tribute with the help of a mural artist. The mural image, along with the names of the victims of the attack, were printed onto vinyl sheets and applied to the truck at a cost of nearly $40,000 USD. Holmgren sold t-shirts, toy models of the truck and other merchandise to cover expenses but has nonetheless gone into debt.

    Holmgren attributes the popularity of his truck to an e-mail forward, which apparently started in 2004 with a food company employee who photographed the truck. The e-mail eventually made its way into the hands of celebrities such as Jimmy Buffett and Reba McEntire, who then asked Holmgren to bring his truck to their concerts. The truck was also invited to "ground zero" for a special commemorative ceremony in 2004.

    Holmgren displays the truck all over the U.S. and continues to use it to transport freight when possible. In an interview with the Star Tribune, he said "Troopers pull me over just to get a picture with the truck. Once I even got out of a ticket. The guy said, 'I can't give this to you, knowing what you're doing.'" Holmgren has received emails from over 20 countries, and there are several websites devoted to his truck. He has also met with families of 9/11 victims.
    Have you ever seen the truck? Tell us about it.

    Thursday, February 4, 2010

    Thankful Thursday: February 4, 2010

    This little girl likes mail as much as we do! Can you imagine the squeals of delight of our shippers?

    1. Jessica Lynn M.....WOW! Gorgeous cards! Thanks for holding a card drive and sharing these with our heroes!
    2. Kay V, Jupiter FL - super cards, thank you so much!
    3. Thank you, Dolores A. in Frederick, MD for your beautiful cards and generous donation! Your cards are going to make lots of people happy!
    4. Ann F and friends......thank you for these great St Patty's day cards.  
    5. Thank you, Debbie K in Burke, VA! Your cards are terrific! Thank you too for your generous donation for shipping!!
    6. Thanks Michelle  L. in NYC!! What beautiful Mothers Day cards! Thanks too for the generous donation to help with shipping! You rock!
    7. Thank you Robin M. and the American Heritage Girls Troop 1004 in Bon Agua, TN for your terrific letters to our heroes.
    8. Teena W in Lexington, NC, thanks for the terrific cards! So many different styles!
    9. Nancy C, Hollister CA - you have a great day in the Lord as well...thanks again for another SUPER box of cards!
    10. Judie F, Paula P, and Robin G, Coeur d'Alene ID - perfectly wonderful mix of cards, these suit my needs exactly! Thanks!
    11. Lori H, Federal Way WA, it was soooo much fun stamping with you..thanks for the great cards too! Whooo!
    12. Ellen H, Vancouver WA - lovely lovely cards...thank you so much!
    13. Janet and Karen J, Astoria OR - fantastically done cards, you're awesome
    14. Janet and Karen J, Astoria OR - fantastically done cards, you're awesome
    15. Ruth L, Post Falls ID - what a great selection of themes, thank you so very much!
    16. Dee M, Puyallup WA - your cards are so pretty! Thanks so much for them all...and for a fun day of stamping!
    17. Christina M, Pawnee IL, thanks so much for your great pack of cards, beauuuutiful! The Anyhero cards are a treasure ;)
    18. Lynn R, High River Alberta, you're so sweet sending your cards for our American heroes....thanks so very much!
    19. Mary Ann S, Fontana CA - wow, so many pretty cards once again, THANK YOU! Your donation is a blessing too!
    20. Debbie S. and Wanda A. in Gastonia, NC, thanks for the terrific cards, the generous donation and the hero letters from the third graders! Wonderful!!
    21. Thanks, Sherry T. in Collinsville, AL! Your cards are beautiful, and your generous donation will be so helpful getting cards to our heroes!
    22. Thank you Till, Inc in Chelsea, MA for the clever cards to send to our heroes!
    23. Jan A, Los Gatos CA, thanks so much for the cards - and the quote is fantastic!
    24. Erica C. in Kenmore, NY, thank you for the cards! The pot of gold looks even better than the picture on FB!! Thanks too for the Hero letter!
    25. Stephanie G. and Robin G. of New York, thank you for the huge box of cards and the generous donation! Thanks for the nice variety!
    26. Thank you, Maura H. in Broadalbin, NY for your terrific cards! Our heroes will love your work! Thanks too for the Hero letters!!
    27. Denise I. in Williamsville, NY, thank you for the terrific box of 100 happy cards and the donation! Thank you too for writing letters to our heroes!!
    28. Chris L, Leavenworth KS, thanks so very much for your generous shipping donation!
    29. Thank you to the Morgans for your generous donation!!
    30. Dee N, Duluth MN, it's so nice to see you crafting again! Thanks for Brecklin's beautiful AnyHero cards too, they're awesome!
    31. Becky and Marilea, Elk Grove CA, what a treasure each and every one of your cards is, thank you!
    32. Thank you, Debb R. in Scotia, NY for your terrific cards and the donation! Your cards will bring lots of smiles!
    33. Jean U, Palmer AK, your card selection is just wonderful, thanks so much!
    34. Cheryl Y, S.Pasadena, CA, your cards are just LOVELY! Thank you so much, they will bring smiles of delight!
    35. Sue A, Rockford IL......another great package.  Love these!!
    36. Linda B, Burien WA - so many cute cards for kids! These are awesome, thanks!
    37. Kathie B, Forest City NC.....your first batch of OWH cards are wonderful and beautiful!  THANKS!
    38. Thank you Cathy C. in Winston-Salem, NC for the beautiful box of cards! I especially like the ones with googlie eyes!!
    39. Rebecca C, Kamas UT, thanks so much for the wonderful AnyHero letters!
    40. Seongsook D. of Elk Grove, CA, thank you for the beautiful cards and the generous donation!! Lovely coloring!!
    41. Susan D, Tinley Park IL.....thanks for the package of great cards!!
    42. Cheryl F, Lapeer MI.....these cards are awesome! Thank you.
    43. Gayla G, Dillsboro IN, your missing you cards are adorable....and thanks for the great AnyHero letters from the kiddos! Sweet!
    44. Ann H and Checkered Cottage Friends, North Attleboro.....Thanks for the great Valentine's Day cards!!
    45. Audrey H and St John's Sunday School, Hooker OK.....thank you for the wonderful cards and Any Hero letters.
    46. Marian J, Huber Heights OH.......another great package of cards!! Thank you.
    47. Linda K, Grant MI.....fabulous box of cards.  Appreciate the variety of themes.
    48. Thank you Wayne Hills High School National Honor Society of Wayne, NJ for the 175 letters, notes, and cards to our heroes! Your efforts will bring joy to a lot of our military! Well done! Thank you too for the shipping donation!
    49. Sandi M, Fremont CA....thank you for these fabulous cards!!! Love them.
    50. Lori R. in Springfield, VA., thank you for the terrific cards! I love the melon cards best! Thanks!
    51. Mary S and Girl Scouts, St Paul MN......thank you for these wonderful cards.  Great Job!
    52. Megan S, Brooklyn Park MN....thank you for the wonderful package of cards.
    53. R Smith, Cottage Grove MN......thank you for the great cards!!! Beautiful.
    54. Shirley S. in Columbus, MS, thank you for the cards and the donation! I'm still chuckling over that monkey card!
    55. Denise W, N Las Vegas NV, I love the variety of cards, thanks so much!!
    56. Helen M, Spring Creek NV.....wonderful, beautiful cards!! Thank you.
    57. Leah C, St Paul MN....what an AWESOME package.  These cards are gorgeous!  
    58. Sandy and Jess C, Beloit WI - your generosity is much appreciated, thank you!!
    59. Esther E, Vancouver WA, you look like you've been having so much fun....what great cards!
    60. Joan R, Woodland WA, your cards are always soooo pretty - our heroes will love them! And we're so grateful for your donation :)
    61. Christine Z, White Lake MI - awesome cards, they're so cheery! Tell your hubby thanks for the postal run!
    62. Janice A, Bountiful UT - fantastic cards, your St Pattys cards are right on time for the weekend's boxes! Thanks also for the generous donation :)
    63. Kristi G, San Antonio TX - thanks for the great mix of cards :) :) :)
    64. Julie Y, Selma OR - welcome to the OWH family! What a wonderful first package, thank you!
    65. Jeanne J, St Maries ID - thanks, your cards are always so precious!
    66. Beverly D and Chris-Ann L, Fort Montgomery NY - your cards are absolutely lovely, ladies - thank you! Your donation will make a huge difference as well....bless you!
    67. Cheryl B in Manchester, NH, thank you for the terrific collection of cards! I'll get those cute snowmen in the mail this week!
    68. Ellicott City Rubber Stamp Club in MD, thank you for the terrific cards! You all rock!
    69. Susan F in Danville, IN, thanks for sending the letters to our heroes from thee First Assembly of God: Children's Ministries. They did a terrific job!
    70. Julianne G in Sparta, NJ, thank you for the terrific cards! Love the stitching! Thank you for the donation and the envelopes as well!

    Wednesday, February 3, 2010

    OWH History Lesson: Slow and steady

    We promised a little more detail on some of the points made in the Annual's the first installment!

    If you downloaded and viewed the Annual Review a few days ago, you probably saw this's absolutely amazing how many cards have been sent in for our heroes! The boomerang effect is even more amazing - for each of the cards sent in, multiply the effect by 2 or more, since a hero and the recipient of the card both get blessed by it!

    To put all this growth in perspective, here's a short history about the start of the project.

    In 2007, at the beginning of this adventure, Sandy asked a simple question on the Two Peas in a Bucket Stamping Message Board:
    I was listening to Weekend America on the radio, and they interviewed a woman who makes bajillions of cards for the troops with her church---like over 1000 a month. Do any of you do something like that? Are there groups you know of we could make cards for and send them to write out? I don't want to duplicate the effort of getting the addresses for soldiers in need of mail, so am looking for someone who already does such a thing. I send cards to the guys & gals from my church who are overseas, and would love to have another outlet for the nutty number of cards I make.
    And a hero who saw that post, replied with this:
    Hi, I lurk here whenever I have access to a computer. I am in a combat hospital in Iraq. I can tell you we would love to have home made cards to send to loved ones for the holidays. I miss my stamping and scrapbooking supplies. It means so much that people take time out of their busy schedules. You can e-mail me for my address. I will be a point of contact.

    Thus began the project! One box became two, then three...and more contacts were then located. And more. Two friends also shipped cards, so the merry band of three fumbled along, organizing only through email and message board posts. The photo at left is the Christmas cards beginning to take over during that first season! (Organization was NOT under control at that time, as you can see!) By the time November rolled around, a friend offered to build and host a website, and the url was purchased to park it at ...and things started hopping!

    Initially there was no intent to become a full-fledged nonprofit;  though we now had a website, there was always a question whether our friends would tire of the project and it would just fade away. There were other orgs doing the same thing, and many were quitting due to lack of interest and funding, and there was no way to know if we'd be continuing or not; until midway through '08, much of the shipping cost was borne by Sandy out-of-pocket, and that somehow needed to change. But there was steady but slow growth in both cards and shipping donations...perfect to allow us to learn along the way. By the time we reached the fall, we finally registered with Washington State as a business—our "birthday" became Sept 12th, and in subsequent months we formed a board and began the 501(c)(3) application process (more on that adventure later!).

    2009's major growth can be attributed to two factors: first was our entry into the social media realm, particularly on Facebook and Twitter; these two gave us so many more ways to share great info, and made the content easier to pass on as well. Second was the Memorial Day bloghop, which was an outrageously huge success. 150 blogs participated, and got the word out to so many people! So many contacts with cardmakers began to be made, including articles in Cardmaker Magazine and other pubs, challenges hosted on major blogs like Hero Arts, conventions full of scrapbookers and stampers, and people across America who were inspired to step it up a notch and involve their communities.

    Where we'll be at this time in 2011 is anyone's guess. What we do know is that we have thousands and thousands of heroes out there on the battlefield, serving selflessly...and we'll keep supporting them as long as they're there!

    Make your prediction about the 2010 quantity!
    We'll revisit the comments on this post in January of 2011 - and see who was closest!

    Monday, February 1, 2010

    Mailroom Monday: February 1, 2010

    6325 cards mailed out this week!!

    To  heroes in Afghanistan:
      350 cards to an Army unit
     325 cards to a Marine unit
     325 cards to an Army unit
     325 cards to a Civilian Contractor serving alongside Soldiers
     325 cards to an Army unit
    325 cards to a Marine unit
    325 cards to an Air Force unit
    325 cards to an Army unit
    342 cards to an Army unit
    342 cards to an Air Force unit

    To heroes in Iraq:
     350 cards to an Army unit
     340 cards to an Army unit
     325 cards to an Army unit
     325 cards to an Air Force unit
     342 cards to an Army unit
     342 cards to an USAF unit

    To heroes in Kuwait:
     325 cards to an Army unit
     325 cards to an Army unit
     342 cards to an Army unit

    Other fun statistics:
    Number of boxes sent: 1185
    Number of hero contacts: 657
    Total cards sent: 321,602

    Deadline reminders:
    Valentines: passed 

    St Patricks Day: Feb 12 (sooner is preferable!)
    Easter: Feb 26 (sooner is preferable!)

    Shipper needs this week: Now listed on our "Biggest Needs" post here.