Sunday, July 31, 2011

Cruising with OWH

Have you heard the news? We're goin' on a cruise!

In February 2012, OWHers can take a vacation from the doldrums of winter - and head for the Caribbean for some crafty goodness. We'll leave from Fort Lauderdale on February 4th for 8 days on the high seas!


Each weekend we'll post some fun cruise details here - ports of call, amenities on board, classes, goodies that are donated. So be sure to subscribe by email to this Homefront Blog and keep up with the news! We'll be setting up an email list with just those who sign up, so we can get lots more info to you about plans coming together.
Pssst Many many thanks to our OWH cruise coordinator Sherry - she's done great work on this so far! And the folks at Cruise and Crop have been so wonderful to work with - thank you Cherie and Gail!

Supplies and workspace
Our plan is to get everything we need to make cards donated - that means you can pack your bikini (time for Sandy to start the diet!) and your coloring medium (we may not get enough for everyone to have a set, so bring what you like to color with).....and just show up in our conference room to make cards! There will be tables for us to work at, tools to share, and goodie bags for everyone with the basics. We'll offer classes all week long, both in our room and out on deck, just to encourage us to get out and about. Stay tuned - we're going to be announcing the classes and the teachers as we get things lined up!

The ship
And as for our ship, the Navigator of the Seas, it has something for everybody: mini golf, ice skating, day spa/fitness, full size basketball court, golf simulators (spouse alert!), Adventure Ocean youth activities (keep the teens busy while we make cards), Casino Royale, various restaurants and lounges including Johnny Rockets 50's style restaurant, and internet (Sandy was worried!). Major wow factor! And so reasonable when you compare it to 8 nights at a land-based hotel.
Need a roommate?
We're hearing about a number of ladies who want to go, but will be travelling solo. Email sherry@operationwritehome.org if you'd like some help connecting with someone - or leave a comment below and check back to see who else is looking for a friend to share a room with.

Early signups
If you're tantalized and ready to roll, sign up right away....the first 25 people will get a special gift from OWH! We want this cruise filled with 100 OWHers - but it's open to anyone who signs up, so be sure to reserve your spot on the list quickly.

Help us publicize!
Download one of these badges for your blog - let your friends know if you're going! Click once to make it bigger, then right click - link it to the cruise page: http://www.cruiseandcrop.com/OWH2012.htm


Thursday, July 28, 2011

Thankful Thursday: July 28, 2011

Now that CHA is over, we're back with the regular Thankful Thursday reports - thanks to all of you for being so patient waiting for Sandy to get back. Check out the rack of mail she picked up at the Post Office - the clerk at the front just said, "How about backing up to the loading dock today?" Uhm. That was a little scary to think about that much mail!

Fortunately the west coasters were kind - only a small number of cards needed tucked, and a handful needing stamped! Wooohoo! That made for a much faster evening of sorting over 5000 cards. Thank you!

CHA was an incredible experience, and may be the tickmark on a chart of growth that we'll see later. Tune in to the show to hear some stories, if you missed out on the CHA vlogs posted from the show. There are a number of deals in the making that can't be shared til they're firmed up, but WOW!


Also - bigggggg announcement coming up on tonight's show as well, so you'll want to tune in and to be the first to hear about it! Hint: Sandy's going on a diet starting today!

Two weeks of Thankfulness to catch up - wowsers! What a list of generous and creative folks we have for you today! Bless you all!
  1. Alana O, Bremerton, Wa
  2. Allyson G, Fort Worth, TX
  3. Alta H, Adairsville, GA
  4. Amy S, Netanya, Israel
  5. Ana G, Maywood, CA
  6. Angie M, Montevallo, AL
  7. Angie S, Keithville, LA
  8. Angie S, Keithville, LA
  9. Ann F and Fowler and Friends, LaGrange, IL
  10. Ann F, Louisville, TN
  11. Anna B, Farmersburg, IN
  12. Anne J, Gering, NE
  13. Annette S, Gansevoort, NY
  14. Anthony B and TIAA-Cref Military Veterans Resource Group, Charlotte, NC
  15. Barb G, Greensboro, GA
  16. Barbara F, Carlsbad, CA
  17. Beth D, Sugar Land, TX
  18. Betty F, Johnson City, TN
  19. Memory Works Retreat attendees, Mountain Home, ID
  20. Betty W, Mountain Home, ID
  21. Bev B, Elk Grove Village,, IL
  22. Bev C, Sequim, WA
  23. Bonnie H, Harris, MN
  24. Bonnie N, Murray, UT
  25. Bonnie W, Pisgah Forest, NC
  26. Brenda B, Hamilton, OH
  27. Brenda C, Chesapeake, VA
  28. Candice E and TJCA-CFA, Forest City, NC
  29. Caro H, Mint Hill, NC
  30. Carol E, Bellefontaine, OH
  31. Carol K, Binghamton, NY
  32. Carol L, Dardanelle, AR
  33. Carol N, O'Fallon, MO
  34. Carolyn H and Silver City Women's Club, Silver City, NM
  35. Carrie B, Indianapolis, IN
  36. Cecile C, North Attleboro, MA
  37. Charlsie S, Napa, CA
  38. Cheryl B and Women's Ministry at First Church of the Nazarene, Newton, KS
  39. Cheryl B, Manchester, NH
  40. Cheryl V, Lathrop, CA
  41. Chris M, Newport, WA
  42. Christine L and Zerbe Sisters Nursing, Narvon, PA
  43. Christine R, Mission, TX
  44. Christy K, Pearl City, HI
  45. Cindee N, Harrisburg, PA
  46. Cindy E and Los Gatos Elks Lodge #1857, San Jose, CA
  47. Cindy M, Normal, IL
  48. Cindy M, Pewaukee, WI
  49. Coletta K, Madison, WI
  50. Cynthia D, Port St Lucie, FL
  51. Cynthia T, Lemon Grove, CA
  52. Darla B, Blaine, MN
  53. Darla B, Blaine, MN
  54. Darleen C, Lawrenceville, GA
  55. Dawn C, Vancouver, Wa
  56. Debbi M and Julie O, Sparks, NV
  57. Debbie D, Oregon City, OR
  58. Debbie K, Burke, VA
  59. Debbie M, Broken Arrow, OK
  60. Debbie P, Brookston, TX
  61. Debbie R, Dixon, MO
  62. Debby M, Las Cruces, NM
  63. Debby S and Morley Library, Painesville, OH
  64. Deloris M, Centralia, WA
  65. Denise L, Arroyo Grande, CA
  66. Diane V, Norfolk, VA
  67. Dianne M and Peapack-Gladstone Woman's Club, Far Hills, NJ
  68. Dolores A, Frederick, MD
  69. Donna C, Fergus Falls, MN
  70. Donna C, Port Washington, NY
  71. Donna C, Stamford, CT
  72. Donna M and Studio D, Cedar Rapids, IA
  73. Donna O, Louisville, KY
  74. Donna S, Tucson, AZ
  75. Donna W, Newington, CT
  76. Dori S, San Antonio, TX
  77. Emily H and Oyster Bay High School, Mineda, NY
  78. Emily S, Port Allen, LA
  79. Epi R and children, Bakersfield, CA
  80. Esther E and East Woods Presbyterian Church, Vancouver, WA
  81. Esther E, Vancouver, WA
  82. Farilyn R, Sautee, GA
  83. Frances H, Wilmington, NC
  84. Frances M, Evans, WV
  85. Frances S, Silverdale, WA
  86. Gai J, Dallas, TX
  87. Gail S, Elgin, IL
  88. Gayland G, McAlester, OK
  89. Gloria G, Fairland, IN
  90. Harriet L, Vista, CA
  91. Heather G, San Clemente, CA
  92. Helen C, Cottleville, MO
  93. Helen M, Spring Creek, NV
  94. Jacqueline E, Orangeburg, SC
  95. Jacqueline S, Gilbert, AZ
  96. Jamie S, Verona, WI
  97. Janell W and scrapbook group, Sacramento, CA
  98. Janet M, Biddeford, ME
  99. Janet N, San Angelo, TX
  100. Janet V, Clarksville, TN
  101. Janis P and Crazy Croppers, Springfield, MO
  102. Jean M, Mission, TX
  103. Jeanne J, Dyer, IN
  104. Jennifer B, Beacon Falls, CT
  105. Jennifer D, Los Alamitos, CA
  106. Jennifer M, Marshfield, WI
  107. Jennifer R, Citrus Heights, CA
  108. Jenny F, Grand Rapids, MN
  109. Jerry K, Mountain Home, AR
  110. JoAnn U, Knoxville, TN
  111. JoAnn U, Knoxville, TN
  112. Joanne M, Allentown, PA
  113. John V, Reading, PA
  114. Joyce K and R U Stampin & Scrappin, Hot Springs, AR
  115. Joyce P, Kerman, CA
  116. JPS D, Tampa, FL
  117. Judie F, Coeur d'Alene, ID
  118. Judith M, Hudson, IA
  119. Julie S, Buckley, Wa
  120. K C, Muncie, IN
  121. Karen J, Astoria, OR
  122. Karla M and Calvary MOPS, Longmont, CO
  123. Kathay P, Humble, TX
  124. Katherine E, Ashland, MO
  125. Katherine R, Rocklodge, FL
  126. Kathie J and Ladies of Kennesaw, Kennesaw, GA
  127. Kathy H, Orem, UT
  128. Kathy S, Reedley, CA
  129. Kathy W, Republic, OH
  130. Katie H, Chicago, IL
  131. Kelly M, San Mateo, CA
  132. Kim O and Jodie Willard, Vancouver, WA
  133. Kristin C, PingreeGrove, IL
  134. Laura C, University Place, WA
  135. Laura T, Joppa, MD
  136. Laurel K, Grand Rapids, MI
  137. Lee Mae E, Silverdale, WA
  138. Lesley T, Kirkwood, MO
  139. Lina W, El Paso, TX
  140. Linda B, Allentown, PA
  141. Linda G, Ypsilanti, MI
  142. Linda H, Middletown, NY
  143. Linda R, Glenville, NY
  144. LindaLee S, Charleston, WV
  145. Lindy C, Seattle, WA
  146. Lisa E, Taylorsville, NC
  147. Lisa O, Montrose, MI
  148. Lola H, Edmond, OK
  149. Lora B, Columbia, MO
  150. Lori B, Marietta, GA
  151. Lori L, Clovis, CA
  152. Lori W, Indianapolis, IN
  153. Lynn R, High River, Alberta
  154. Madonna H, Springfield, VA
  155. Mandy L and Girl Scouts of Western Washington, DuPont, WA
  156. Mandy T and Camp Camby - Indy District Church of the Nazarene, Fishers, IN
  157. Mardee S, San Francisco, CA
  158. Margaret G, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  159. Marjorie S, Beaumont, CA
  160. Marlyn M, Fox Lake, WI
  161. Martha C, Zephyrhills, FL
  162. Mary Ann S, Cape Coral, FL
  163. Mary B, Kenosha, WI
  164. Mary Jo S and friends, Naperville, IL
  165. Mary P and Meadowbrook Christian Church, Mt Vernon, IL
  166. Mary R and Stamping Away Stamp Club, Sherrodsville, OH
  167. Maude B, Las Cruces, NM
  168. Melissa S and Paradise Stampers, Fort Myers, FL
  169. Melissa T, Blackwood, NJ
  170. Meredith T, Zephyrhills, FL
  171. Michelle M, Kunkletown, PA
  172. Michelle Q and Chapel Card Makers, Madison, OH
  173. Michelle U, Carlsbad, CA
  174. Micki S and The Crop Room, Bauxite, AR
  175. Monica D, Lexington Park, MD
  176. Ms K, Clute, TX
  177. Nancy F, Trexlertown, PA
  178. Nancy M, Henrietta, NY
  179. Nancy M, Mangor, ME
  180. Nancy T, Hoover, AL
  181. Nanette V, Plover, WI
  182. Nikki S and Cardmakers for Freedom, Cuba, MO
  183. Norma P, Forest Lake, MN
  184. Pam B, Ceylon, MN
  185. Pam B, Mesquite, TX
  186. Pam T, El Paso, TX
  187. Pam W and Dorena Elementary School, Cottage Grove, OR
  188. Pamela N, Virginia Beach, VA
  189. Pat K, West Richland, WA
  190. Pat L and NYS Office of the State Comptroller, Albany, NY
  191. Pat L and Office of the NYS Comptroller, Albany, NY
  192. Pat Q, Bethel Park, PA
  193. Pat T, Mansfield, TX
  194. Pattie J, Milwaukee, WI
  195. Paula P, Rathdrum, ID
  196. Peggy C, West Grove, PA
  197. Peggy D, Anderson, CA
  198. Penny B and Mary S., Picture Rocks, PA
  199. Penny B, Picture Rocks, PA
  200. Polly P, St Paul, MN
  201. R A, Pahrump, NV
  202. Raeanna S, Phoenix, AZ
  203. Raelynn E and Joyful Spirit Church, Boilingbrook, IL
  204. Randee S, Dowagiac, MI
  205. Reta M, Fair Oaks Ranch, TX
  206. Rita B, Minden, LA
  207. Rita S and Operation We R Grateful Event, Madison, WI
  208. Roberta O, Lafayette, IN
  209. Robin and Stephanie G, New York, NY
  210. Robin H, Onalaska, WI
  211. Robin M, Oconomowoc, WI
  212. Robin R and Northminster Presbyterian Church, Macon, GA
  213. Rosalia H, Hyde Park, NY
  214. Rosalie R, Macomb, MI
  215. Rosemary D, Tacoma, WA
  216. Ruth Ann G, Gilbert, AZ
  217. Samantha F, Snellville, GA
  218. Sandy W, Las Vegas, NV
  219. Sara P and Jessica, Monroe, SD
  220. Sara T, Livermore, CA
  221. Sarah M, Sun City Center, FL
  222. Sarah S, Grand Rapids, MI
  223. Seongsook D and friends, Sacramento, CA
  224. Shari B, Grand Forks, ND
  225. Sharon P, Victorville, CA
  226. Sherrilee C, Minneapolis, MN
  227. Sherry H, Arlington, VA
  228. Shirley N, Glennville, CA
  229. Stephanie K, San Diego, CA
  230. Sue A, Rockford, IL
  231. Sue B, Berkley, MI
  232. Sue K, Cannon Falls, MN
  233. Sue S, Kansas City, MO
  234. Susan A, Ridgewood, NY
  235. Susan B, Gettysburg, PA
  236. Susan D, Tinley Park, IL
  237. Susan M and friends and Kelly at Corner Drug for the envelopes, Portis, KS
  238. Susan R, Stevensville, MD
  239. Susan S, Grove City, OH
  240. SuzAnn H, Salt Lake City, UT
  241. Sybrina K, Pickerington, OH
  242. Tamara M, Green River, WY
  243. Therese D, Lewiston, ME
  244. Tina R, Boynton Beach, FL
  245. Trish C and Cards for the Troops event attendees, Spring Valley, MN
  246. Trish C, Spring Valley, MN
  247. Verna A, Big Stone City, SD
  248. Vicki B, Burnsville, MN
  249. Victoria L, Cullowhee, NC
  250. Victoria M, Carlsbad, CA
  251. Wendy L, Circleville, OH
  252. Zan C and Alamo Craft Company, San Antonio, TX

Monday, July 25, 2011

Mailroom Monday: July 25, 2011

This week 3,994 cards were mailed out - at a cost of $153.40. The low number is mostly due to CHA and certain shippers being out of town. Stay tuned as we catch up on the mail!
Someone is thrilled that mom's back home.



To  heroes in Afghanistan:
345 cards to an Army unit
345 cards to an Army unit
345 cards to an Army unit
345 cards to an Army unit
194 cards to a Marine unit
345 cards to an Army unit
345 cards to a Marine unit
345 cards to a Marine unit
345 cards to an Army unit


To heroes in Iraq:

350 cards to an Army unit
345 cards to an Army unit
345 cards to an Army unit







Other fun statistics:
Number of boxes sent: 3,259
Number of hero contacts: 1,354
Total cards sent: 1,097,746


Deadline reminders:  Calendar is here
July 31 - Back to school
Sept 16 - Halloween
Sept 30 - Thanksgiving
Oct 31 - Christmas

Current shipper needs: see here.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Thankful Thursday: July 21, 2011

No report this week due to CHA....next week we'll have a double report! Be sure to go read updates from the show on S&S!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Mailroom Monday: July 18, 2011

This week 9,201 cards were mailed out - at a cost of $383.45!   


To  heroes in Afghanistan:
180 cards to a Marine unit
180 cards to a Marine unit
180 cards to an Army unit
180 cards to an Army unit
344 cards to a Marine unit
344 cards to a National Guard unit
344 cards to an Army unit
345 cards to an Army unit
345 cards to an Army unit
345 cards to an Army unit
690 cards to an Army unit
345 cards to an Army unit
344 cards to a Marine unit


To heroes in Iraq:
180 cards to a Civilian unit
180 cards to an Army unit
180 cards to an Army unit
180 cards to an Army unit
180 cards to an Air Force unit
344 cards to an Air Force unit
344 cards to an Army unit
344 cards to an Army unit
344 cards to a Navy unit
345 cards to an Army unit
345 cards to an Army unit
345 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 Korea:
345 cards to an Army unit

To heroes in Kuwait:
344 cards to an Army unit






Other fun statistics:
Number of boxes sent: 3,519
Number of hero contacts: 1,347
Total cards sent: 1,093,752


Deadline reminders:  Calendar is here
July 31 - Back to school
Sept 16 - Halloween - see special note here!
Sept 30 - Thanksgiving
Oct 31 - Christmas

Current shipper needs: see here.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

News news news!

So much going on, it's hard to know where to start!

First - CHA is coming! W000T! Sandy will be there next week to meet and greet with tons of folks...if you'll be at CHA, be sure to send an email to sandy@operationwritehome.org, so you can meet up while there!

Second - CHRISTMAS is coming! Yes, it's July. We know that. But in OWH-land, all our holidays are mixed up, yknow! We'll be taking part in a huuuuuuge blog event over at Cross My Heart Papercrafts, we'll link you up to the party on Monday. Be sure to go visit everyone taking part - let's show all the participants some OWH love!

Third - if you watched this week's OWHtv, you'll know we have some big things ahead during the holiday season. We looked at the average percentage of growth for the first six months of 2011, vs the first six months of 2010 - average was 183%! Our little graph of numbers looks like this:

So if we continue on only the same rate of growth - the line for 2011 tells us to expect to ship 1,000 boxes of cards during Sept-Nov! So we'll be embarking on a couple little fundraisers in the next couple weeks to get ourselves ready. The first one: these adorable little OWH patches!! You can sew one on a jacket or sweatshirt, or maybe on your craft tote, or a hat - we might even have a photo contest to show off how you sport your patch.

How do you get your very own OWH patch, you ask?
  1. Make an AnyHero card and write a note to a hero in it. 
  2. Inside that card, place a check made out to Operation Write Home for $10 or more for each patch.
  3. If your donation is for more than one, please indicate that clearly. But feel free to donate as much as you want for your patch. Maybe make it equal the price of one of those 1000 boxes!
  4. Send it to your shipper, with PATCH written in nice big letters on the outside. 
  5. You'll receive your patch within 2-4 weeks. Hopefully we'll be quicker, but we only ordered 100 patches; we'll place a new order once we sell the first batch, so it may take a little manufacturing time in between. Be patient with us, we're used to only dealing with cards, not selling goodies!
Stay tuned for some other fundraisers - we'll post them both here on S&S and on the Homefront Blog as they're ready, and will eventually put a page up on our website too. (pant pant pant, only so much can be done in a day!) 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Thankful Thursday: July 14, 2011

Thank you to everyone who helped to send in the 11,000 cards this week! It's crazy how many cards continue to come in....and how many wonderful and generous people help so much with financial donations too! We're getting closer to our crazy Christmas shipping season - and we're crunching numbers to see just how much we'll need to start fundraising to cover our costs....gulp! Stay tuned for the plans to come...including sales of those patches we've ordered! :)

  1. Adele H, Palm Springs, FL
  2. Anita A, Turlock, CA
  3. Anne M and Venture In Crafters, Show Low, AZ
  4. April W, Taylors, SC
  5. Barbara H, Thornton, CO
  6. Becky J and Gotta Stamp Club, Murfreesboro, TN
  7. Bev T, Burgess, VA
  8. Carmella W, Arden, NC
  9. Carol P, Peoria, AZ
  10. Charne S, Boynton Beach, FL
  11. Cherie I, Honolulu, HI
  12. Cindy O, Alameda, CA
  13. Darla B, Blaine, MN
  14. Dawn J, Caldwell, ID
  15. DeAnna G, Columbia, SC
  16. Debbie J, Rotonda West, FL
  17. Debbie M, Broken Arrow, OK
  18. Debi A and Noreen S., Pittsburgh, PA
  19. Diana H, Centennial, Co
  20. Donna K, Gainesville, MO
  21. Donna M, Chersterton, IN
  22. Donna T, Griffin, GA
  23. Edie V, Smithfield, NC
  24. Esther S, Norfolk, VA
  25. Gail M, Caron City, CO
  26. Gwen S, Cedar HIll, MO
  27. Harriet L, Vista, CA
  28. Helen S, San Diego, CA
  29. Janelle K, Aberdeen, SD
  30. Janet H, San Mateo, CA
  31. Janice J, Junction, TX
  32. Jean D, West Valley City, UT
  33. Jennifer C, San Francisco, CA
  34. Jennifer M, Marshfield, WI
  35. Jessica S and Discovery Communications, Silver Spring, MD
  36. JoAnn U, Knoxville, TN
  37. John V, Reading, PA
  38. Judith M, Hudson, IA
  39. June S, Modesto, CA
  40. Karen H, Monticello, MN
  41. Karen T and Paradise Scrapbook Boutique, Paradise, CA
  42. Kay C, Minnetonka, MN
  43. Kay D, Simpsonville, SC
  44. Kay W, Chattanooga, TN
  45. Kaye D, Indian Trail, NC
  46. Kelly P, San Diego, CA
  47. Laurie S, Wartertown, MA
  48. Liana G, Lima, NY
  49. Linda S, Denton, TX
  50. LindaLee S, Charleston, WV
  51. Lisa M, Milwaukee, WI
  52. Lois B, Casselberry, FL
  53. Lorrie B and All About Pictures, Marion, IA
  54. Lorrie B, Marion, IA
  55. Lynn D, Winamac, IN
  56. Lynn R, High River, Alberta
  57. Maeve S, Knoxville, TN
  58. Marietta W, Akron, IA
  59. Marilyn B, San Diego, CA
  60. Mary C, Glen Carbon, IL
  61. Mary Jo , Fond Du Lac, WI
  62. Mary Jo W, Milwaukee, WI
  63. Mary S, Taunton, MN
  64. Michele A, Gloria, Anita, Kris, Jean, Audrey, and Rachel, Whittier, CA
  65. Mrs R, Arlington, VA
  66. Nancy B, Delafield, WI
  67. Nicole W, Katy, TX
  68. Pai M, Ann Arbor, MI
  69. Pat C and Pacesetters HCE, Shalimar, FL
  70. Pat K, West Richland, WA
  71. Patricia F, Florissant, MO
  72. Paulette T, Orfordville, WI
  73. Pauline C, Middletown, MD
  74. Peggy A, Durham, NC
  75. Phyllis G, St PauL, MN
  76. Rae R, Sauquoit, NY
  77. Randi K, Norfolk, VA
  78. Rhonda M and Abby, Grantsville, UT
  79. Robin and Stephanie G, New York, NY
  80. Robin W, Dillon, MT
  81. Ronni U, Peoria, AZ
  82. Rosemary F, IDA, LA
  83. Rosey R, Astoria, NY
  84. Sandra G, Hillsboro, OR
  85. Sandra V, Poway, CA
  86. Sandy J, Westerville, OH
  87. Sarah O, Pittsboro, NC
  88. Sharon H, Bronson, MI
  89. Sharon M, Waterford, MI
  90. Sharon S, Houston, TX
  91. Shauna N and Mrs Cook's first graders, Woods Cross, UT
  92. Sheila L, Medina, OH
  93. Shelly K, Melbourne, FL
  94. Shirley T, Ardmore, OK
  95. Stephanie K, San Diego, CA
  96. Sue H, Fort Collins, CO
  97. Sue H, Fort Collins, CO
  98. Susan L and American Baptist East Craft Group and children's dept., Evansville, IN
  99. Susan T, Kansas City, MO
  100. Suzanne H, Lincoln, NE
  101. Tami W, Walnut Creek, CA
  102. Terri T, Watervliet, NY
  103. Thea C, Monument, CO
  104. United H, Frederick, MD
  105. Valerie R, Ventura, CA
  106. Yolanda D, Warrenton, MO
  107. Youth W, Kansas City, MO

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Press coverage

Have you been keeping up with our press coverage lately? So much of it, and I've been doing a poor job of posting it here for those who don't go to Facebook! I'm so sorry! You can check out links to them all on our Press Page  - some quick highlights:

Military reporter Michael Yon captured a shot of an OWH box while overseas - and posted it on his Facebook page at the time. He's now posted it on his blog too! Go see the photo, but here is his caption:
More often than not in the wars, these dispatches are about younger troopers and what they suffer and accomplish, and more often than not, it’s not glamorous or pretty.  It’s gritty, ugly and lonely.  But many people at home make a difference.  I was going to a meeting a couple weeks back and saw this box of “Operation Write Home” cards, and so I stopped to make a photo because the people at home need to know how important their acts of kindness can be.  Those acts of kindness have a cumulative effect and it’s amazing that despite nearly a decade of war, so many people at home are still so supportive.


Here's the latest tv story that's been aired, thanks to Colleen for being willing to make cards on television!

And...in the Orange County Register....reporter Jenny Sokol wrote a wonderful piece here about OWH! We're reposting it below because the OC might not keep that up forever....we wouldn't want to lose this great article!


Helping heroes keep in touch at home

June 20, 2011|By JENNY SOKOL
When I first heard that a nonprofit organization was sending blank cards to deployed troops, I did a double-take. Letters to the troops, I understand, butOperation Write Home has shipped over 1 million blank cards to service members overseas.
Then I read their motto, "Helping heroes keep in touch with home," and understood that the traditional model has been flipped. Now, service members can send a beautiful, hand-crafted card to the loved ones they left behind.
While a homemade card is a gift small in size and concept, its impact is significant. Most family members don't expect to receive a hand-written letter during a deployment. And while binder paper would suffice, these gorgeous cards pack an emotional punch.
Sandy Allnock, the founder of Operation Write Home, is a graphic designer for World Vision and an avid card maker. In 2007, she heard a story on the radio about a woman who shipped 1,000 cards to the troops. Allnock considered her own stash. She had boxes full of unused cards. After all, Allnock says, "You only have so many people you can send birthday cards to."
Allnock posted a message on a craft website, wondering how she might ship her cards overseas. A female soldier at a combat support hospital in Baghdad responded: She would love to distribute them. Allnock and her friends shipped three boxes stuffed with cards to the soldier.
The effort snowballed as word of mouth spread throughout the card-making community. Allnock created a blog and a Facebook page. When shipping donations began to roll in, Allnock formed a board and gained status as a nonprofit. In May of 2011, with weekly shipping costs often nearing $1,000 a week, Operation Write Home sent their one millionth card.
Today, crafters across the country -- of all ages and experience levels-- design one-of-a-kind cards. These card-makers are aware that one of their cards may be the final correspondence between a service member and his family, so they ensure each is a work of art. A variety of styles and messages are included in each shipment, such as holiday, birthday, thank you, miss you, and special occasion cards. Before every box is sealed, it's topped off with letters of gratitude.
So what are the service members doing with all these cards? Mailing them. One Major posted just these words: "Box arrived, near riot ensued." An airman wrote, "These cards are like gold out here." A member of a hospital staff confessed that "so many of the cards and letters we receive are for our patients...it was nice to receive cards addressed to the staff."
As for the family members, they couldn't be more thrilled. "The excitement is priceless on my 4-year-old daughter's face when she receives (a card) from her daddy." Some husbands have mailed empty cards home so that their children would be able to present lovely Mother's Day cards. A mother reported that her child carried Daddy's card for months, asking for it to be read aloud repeatedly.
"I'm seeing the impact in all of these different ways," says Allnock, justifying why she devotes 60 hours a week to the project. "The crafters even have a purpose that they didn't have before. One woman donates cards to honor her grandfather who died in World War II."
"Those moments," Allnock says, "catch my breath and give me new wind under my sails. It makes all those hours of labor worth it."
She will need that wind, and lots of assistance, as Operation Write Home sets out on its Second Million Challenge.
If you would like to help, tutorials, freebies and guidelines are located at www.operationwritehome. You can also enroll your deployed unit or make a shipping donation on the site.



Monday, July 11, 2011

Mailroom Monday: July 11, 2011

This week 11,497 cards were mailed out - at a cost of $490.00!

FAST SPECIAL MISSION!! Sgt Josh Yarbrough needs some get well cards - we KNOW  you'll be on it. Click here to get the address, and click the "home" tab there to read more about the Sgt. Send your card today please!
  


To  heroes in Afghanistan:
182 cards to an Air Force unit
182 cards to a Marine unit
345 cards to an Navy unit
345 cards to an Army unit
345 cards to a Navy unit
345 cards to a Marine unit
345 cards to a Marine unit
182 cards to an Army unit
182 cards to a Navy unit
345 cards to an Army unit
345 cards to an Army unit
344 cards to an Air Force unit
344 cards to an Air Force unit
344 cards to a Marine unit
344 cards to a USO unit
344 cards to an Army unit
344 cards to an Army unit
155 cards to an Army unit
155 cards to an Air Force unit
190 cards to an Army unit
190 cards to an Air Force unit
190 cards to a Marine unit
190 cards to an Air Force unit
195 cards to an Army unit
340 cards to an Army unit


To heroes in Iraq:

345 cards to an Army unit
345 cards to an Army unit
183 cards to an Army unit
345 cards to an Army unit
344 cards to an Army unit
344 cards to an Army unit
344 cards to an Army unit
344 cards to an Army unit
340 cards to an Army unit


To heroes at sea:
345 cards to a Marine unit


To heroes in Kuwait:
345 cards to an Army unit
182 cards to an Army unit
344 cards to an Army unit
195 cards to an Army unit
To heroes in Qatar:
340 cards to a Civilian unit




Other fun statistics:
Number of boxes sent: 3487
Number of hero contacts: 1337
Total cards sent: 1,071,810


Deadline reminders:  Calendar is here
July 31 - Back to school
Sept 16 - Halloween
Sept 30 - Thanksgiving
Oct 31 - Christmas

Current shipper needs: see here.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Important note about halloween cards!

We know many of you just love making halloween cards....or maybe it's just loving the change of colors and season. But in any case, we do need to make some special requests of you.

  • Remember that halloween is NOT a letterwriting season for many many people. Lots of our heroes are surprised that we even send them. So not everyone will write 5 or 10 halloween cards like they might for Christmas. Please don't work on them with the same fervor/quantity as Christmas! 
  • If you're an OWH regular, we'd love your help in keeping up with the general cards during the fall season. Our new folks won't know not to go wild on halloween, so we need your assistance in getting birthday, love, miss you, thank you, and general thinking of you cards into the boxes so we have something other than orange and black cards. :)
  • PLEASE DO NOT USE SKULLS AND DEATH IMAGERY. If this happens to be the final card a family member receives from their loved one, that would be horrible pictures to have on the front. Please keep the cards as light and cheery as possible. We will not send skulls and crossbones.
  • Also remember that during any holiday season, if you make lots of multiples of any design, make sure they get to us SEVERAL WEEKS before the deadline. It's really hard to mix them into all the boxes when they arrive in the last days before a deadline, since we may only have 2 or 3 moer going out by that time. Many may be saved for the following year if they arrive that late.
  • Get creative with images, papers, and sentiments - use the cute witches and ghosts to make cards that can e used PAST halloween. Look at your card and ask yourself - could someone send this in November too? If so, you're good to go!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Thankful Thursday: July 7, 2011

Many thanks to all of our wonderful donors who give us the warm fuzzies week after week, month after month, as you send in your beautiful cards for our heroes! It is still utterly amazing that OWH has taken off as it has, and that the cards just keep on coming.  Bless you all!

And of course here's a reminder about OWHtv tonight! This week we'll be sharing a little about the CHA plans, a cute set of Extreme Card Makeovers, and gobs of letters from our heroes. Plus the story of MEETING a Marine - and what he said about OWH! Tune in at 6:30pm Pacific to chat live with other cardmakers throughout the show, and to lend your (clap) applause to the chat box! (pow)!

Without further ado...this week's donors!
  1. Alexandra B and kids at Coburn Place, Zionsville, IN
  2. Angie S, Keithville, LA
  3. Anita O, SHell Lake, WI
  4. Ann M and Park Tower friends, Hutchinson, MN
  5. April C, Eugene, OR
  6. Becky N and first graders, Elk Grove, CA
  7. Bethany V, Fitzwilliam, NH
  8. Bonnie P and friends, Eugene, OR
  9. C F, New Braunfels, TX
  10. Caro H, Mint Hill, NC
  11. Carol M, Allison Park, PA
  12. Cathy B and Miss Anna, Colonial Life retiree, Columbia, SC
  13. Cheryl M and Cha Cha Challenge, Oxford, NC
  14. Cheryl M, Sioux Falls, SD
  15. Cheryl Y, South Pasadena, CA
  16. Christina S, Jen E and Jean W, Coon Rapids, MN
  17. Cindy B, Dearborn Heights, MI
  18. CJ P, Wichita Falls, TX
  19. Crystal R, Canton, MI
  20. Cyntha F, Woodbury, MN
  21. Debbi M, Julie O, and Reno Cards for the Troops Group, Sparks, NV
  22. Debbie D, Oregon City, OR
  23. Debbie S, Gastonia, NC
  24. Deirdre H, Cork, Ireland
  25. Denise C and Rachel C., Worcester, MA
  26. Donna B, Hollidaysburg, PA
  27. Erica C, Kenmore, NY
  28. Faye F, Fargo, ND
  29. Frances S, Albuquerque, NM
  30. Gina E, Cairo, MO
  31. Gloria P, St Joseph, MI
  32. Heather H and Precious Angel Day Care, Broken Bow, NE
  33. Ivette M, McMurray, PA
  34. Jan M, Warner Robbins, GA
  35. Janie T, Baldwin, FL
  36. Jean S, St Louis Park, MN
  37. Jennifer B, Muncie, IN
  38. Jessica and Fiona T, Purcellville, VA
  39. Jessica M, Myakka City, FL
  40. Joanne D, Brooklyn, IA
  41. Judith M, Hudson, IA
  42. Judith M, Hudson, IA
  43. Judy A, Upland, CA
  44. Julie F, Shreveport, LA
  45. Karen H, Monticello, MN
  46. Karen W, Savanna, IL
  47. Kathleen S, Visalia, CA
  48. Kathy H, Vernon Hills, IL
  49. Leslie F, APO, AE
  50. Lina W, El Paso, TX
  51. Linda C, Staten Island, NY
  52. Linda G, Bradyville, TN
  53. Linda P, Madison, OH
  54. Linda W, Kalona, IA
  55. Lori W, Katy, TX
  56. Lori W, Katy, TX
  57. Lori W, Katy, TX
  58. Louise F, Frazier Park, CA
  59. Lynda T, Tulsa, OK
  60. Madonna H, Springfield, VA
  61. Marcia G, Seminole, FL
  62. Mardee S, San Francisco, CA
  63. Margaret G, Stevenson Ranch, CA
  64. Marge M, Wayne, NJ
  65. Marian C, North Attleboro, MA
  66. Marianne T, Tolland, CT
  67. Marlene C and Lynn H, Tampa, FL
  68. McVay Elementary School, Westerville, OH
  69. Nancy C, Hollister, CA
  70. Nancy K and ladies at Express the Moment Crop, Idaho Falls, ID
  71. Pat J, Woodinville, WA
  72. Patricia S and Frontier Pioneers, Spencerport, NY
  73. Paula S, Stamford, CT
  74. Pegg T, Ossineke, MI
  75. Phyllis N, Tucson, AZ
  76. Phyllis N, Tucson, AZ
  77. Polly P, St Paul, MN
  78. Rachael D, Festus, MO
  79. Robin G, Hayden, ID
  80. Robin M, Rockwood, ME
  81. Rocky Mountain Memories , Estes Park, CO
  82. Ronnda C, New Castle, IN
  83. Ruth G, Sherry H, Carol L, and Hannah L, Russellville, AR
  84. Ruth L, Post Falls, ID
  85. Sally E, Tustin, CA
  86. Sandra S, Irvington, IL
  87. Sandy J, Westerville, OH
  88. Seongsook D, Sacramento, CA
  89. Sheree B, Ruidoso Downs, NM
  90. Sherry V, Canal Fulton, OH
  91. Shirley G, Lawrence, KS
  92. Simply Scrapbooks , Bakersfield, CA
  93. Sue K, Cannon Falls, MN
  94. Sue S, Kansas City, MO
  95. Sue Y, Wichita Falls, TX
  96. Susan F and Checkered Cottage, Kirkwood, MO
  97. Sybilla G and Eileen K., Gilbertsville, PA
  98. Terie H, Washington, UT
  99. Tracie T and Girl Scout Troop 1557, Davidsonville, MD
  100. Vicci T and Karli, Fernwood, ID
  101. Vicki B, Burnsville, MN
  102. Vicki B, Burnsville, MN
  103. Victoria M, Carlsbad, CA
  104. Whittier Elementary School, Westerville, OH
  105. Yvonne B, Salem, OR

Monday, July 4, 2011

Mailroom Monday: July 4, 2011 - Happy Birthday America!

This week 14,777 cards were mailed out - at a cost of $610.60! We're really seeing the effects of the drawdown in Iraq lately; more and more of our contacts are requesting from Afghanistan than ever, and our Iraq folks are coming home.
Someone's a little tuckered out from packing boxes.




To  heroes in Afghanistan:
180 cards to a Marine unit
180 cards to a Navy unit
180 cards to a Marine unit
180 cards to an Army unit
180 cards to an Army unit
345 cards to an Army unit
345 cards to an Air Force unit
345 cards to an Army unit
345 cards to an Army unit
344 cards to an Air Force unit
344 cards to a USO unit
190 cards to a Navy unit
337 cards to an Army unit
670 cards to an Army unit
337 cards to an Army unit
190 cards to an Army unit
190 cards to an Army unit
190 cards to an Army unit
334 cards to an Army unit
337 cards to a National Guard unit
337 cards to an Army unit
334 cards to an Air Force unit
337 cards to an Army unit
190 cards to an Army unit
337 cards to an Army unit
344 cards to an Army unit
344 cards to an Army unit
344 cards to an Navy unit
344 cards to an Army unit
344 cards to an Army unit
344 cards to an Army unit
337 cards to a Navy unit
337 cards to a National Guard unit


To heroes in Iraq:
345 cards to an Army unit
344 cards to an Army unit
344 cards to an Army unit
334 cards to an Army unit
337 cards to an Air Force unit
334 cards to an Army unit
337 cards to an Army unit
335 cards to an Army unit



To heroes at sea:

344 cards to a Navy unit
344 cards to a Navy unit

To heroes in Kuwait:
345 cards to a National Guard unit
344 cards to an Army unit
337 cards to an Army unit













To heroes in Kosovo:
337 cards to a National Guard unit




Other fun statistics:
Number of boxes sent: 3,446
Number of hero contacts: 1,324
Total cards sent: 1,071,810


Deadline reminders:  Calendar is here
July 31 - Back to school
Sept 16 - Halloween
Sept 30 - Thanksgiving
Oct 31 - Christmas

Current shipper needs: see here.