Friday, July 23, 2010
Monroe, LA Cardmaking Success!
Inspired by stories on the Homefront Blog of other successful card-making events, my friend Heather and I decided to host two events of our own. Heather knows the owners of a local winery and they agreed to host the public event there. We made up flyers and distributed them around town and through email including visits to the local National Guard HQ, a local aviation museum and local churches. They had all never heard of Operation Write Home and were very interested in how it worked and what we do. Publicity for the vineyard contacted the local morning news program about the event and they asked us to do an interview.
By the time our card-making night at the winery came around, people were talking about it all over town, with links to the event on community calendars and emails sent with the flyer to Chamber of Commerce members, but we had no idea if anyone would show up, or how many people we would have. We prepared food and supplies for 100 people. We served cheeses and crackers, individually-wrapped chocolates, small cookies, lemonade and bottled water. The vineyard also hosted a wine-tasting. We wanted to have snacks available, but didn’t want to have anything too messy to get in the way of card-making. We also had small paper crafts door prizes and held a drawing for those every half hour. We prepared card "kits" for two different birthday cards, masculine and feminine. In the kits, we had the card base and any pre-cut paper and embellishments needed to make the card. Ink, stamps and adhesive were supplied to each table. We had enough card parts to make fifty of each card. We also pre-made one hundred Any Hero cards, and pre-printed instructions for them and coloring cards for kids to write to Heroes as well. We printed pictures from the Operation Write Home website and some of the blog posts from the Hero Blog as well. We wanted people to be able to put a face and sentiment to what they were doing. The winery night event was a success! We had a good turnout with twenty-five people that had never made cards before who made eighty cards and signed thirty-two AnyHero cards in two and a half hours.
The second event we hosted was at our workplace. We spoke to one of our Vice Presidents and suggested that this would be a way to show that our company supports our troops. We set up in our training room on two days from 10 am to 2 pm, so people could come in during breaks or lunch. Again we had pre-cut kits for cards and pre-made Any Hero cards for signing. Heather and I rotated "shifts" to be available to help people, since all of them were new to card making. This resulted in seventy birthday and all-occasion cards, forty-five AnyHero cards and nine AnyHero coloring cards from kids. Now a lot more people in our local area are aware of Operation Write Home.