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This merry band of thousands of cardmakers is made up of Americans – and citizens of other nations too – who care about our military, and want to support them through creativity and encouragement. Many thousands of crafters of all ages and levels of experience have participated since 2007!
Care packages filled with hundreds of handmade cards are sent to our contacts, restocking every 6-8 weeks, and are sent in time for the long journey back home to loved ones. Each box is packed with great care, alternating styles, colors, and cardmakers from all over the USA, creating “eye candy” for heroes who see only khaki around them. The topper on each box is a plastic bag filled with 20-30 letters from adults and children across the country, letters handed out especially to those in need of a positive word from the homefront.
Boxes are shipped through every week of the year, so join us anytime in sending your beautiful creations to help our heroes keep in touch with home!
Have you ever asked a question, and been astounded at what came of it?
In 2007, Sandy Allnock heard a radio story about a Texas woman who had sent 1,000 cards to her deployed son’s unit. That seemed like a mighty nice way to get rid of the cards gathering around her own craft room, so she went to a message board to ask some friends about it. “Anyone know where we could send all our cards?”
It seemed that someone should have an organization like this already. It was too obvious. Her friends didn’t know of an organization, but one Soldier, a nurse stationed at a Combat Support Hospital in Baghdad, Iraq, replied, “Hi. I lurk here whenever I have access to a computer,” she said. “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. I will be a point of contact.”
The friends on that message board began collecting their cards, sending boxes, and soon the little grup had to find more deployed contacts, due to the number of cards coming in. Then recruiting more crafters was needed as more heroes were added to the roster. Others helped in processing and shipping cards, Sandy kept the shipping bills funded out-of-pocket, and eventually the first website was developed under the name CardsforHeroes.org. Growth quickly took over, and the upward curve of the project only steepened as more people heard about it and wanted to help.
In 2008, the initial board of directors was formed, and the process of forming an organization began; by September 12, 2008, the group had registered as a nonprofit corporation in the state of Washington. Next, the 501(c)(3) application was submitted, and the board waited anxiously for approval for months. While waiting, it became clear that more changes were ahead, including a name change for the organization; deployed contacts assisted in selecting the new name. On September 12, 2009, the name became Operation Write Home, and on September 17th the final designation as a 501(c)(3) came through from the IRS!
As time has marched on, the quantity and quality of the cards has continued to increase. By May of 2011, the one-million-card milestone was reached, and in early 2012 the next half-million cards was already sent – who knows how fast the next milestone will occur!
The trajectory of the project has all of us amazed…and we are all so grateful to everyone whose cards and financial gifts make all of it possible!
–Sandy Allnock, President and Founder
Does your company need our 501(c)(3) determination in order to make a donation or a grant? Download it here.