Homefront Blog



Announcement: Mailroom changes

Posted by on Sep 9, 2013 in Homefront Blog, Stars and Stamps | 54 comments

NOTE: If you received the link to this post and are not on our monthly eNewsletter – please sign up using the link at the right.

Hello! It’s Sandy here with some news about OWH.

It is with sadness — and yet utter gratitude! — that we bid a fond farewell to our supercalifragilisticexpialidocious shipper, Kris! She’s been with us for five years, serving you the cardmakers…our heroes….and me, too! Kris has been a shining example of what selfless dedication is, and she has inspired me on many long nights of sorting and packing, when I wanted to give up. I knew she wasn’t slacking – and that gave me the ability to keep going, too! Thank you Kris!

Please watch the video announcement in today’s segment of OWHtv:

Please leave some love for Kris on this post, on YouTube, or on our Facebook page – let her know how grateful YOU are for all she has done for you and for our heroes!

I know some of you are going to have instant questions, so please read this before you ask:

  • No new shippers are needed at this time. I get many requests all year long from folks who want to be a shipper. However, at this stage of the organization, we’ll be instead consolidating shipping in one location. That may be more work in one location (supported by our team of volunteers), but it also means better stewardship of your financial and card donations. We’ll be more nimble and responsive as all our assets are in one place, and documenting our financial and reporting records will be streamlined. It would also be impossible to train up someone this quickly in the midst of the busy holiday season – so it makes the most sense to consolidate operations in Washington.
    NOTE: If we decide we ever need another shipper, we’ll announce it and allow an application process; requirements will be proven ongoing dedication to the cause and an understanding how to create and ship great cards, so get busy sending in perfectly packed boxes as your “resumé” in case that day ever arrives! :)
  • Yes, shipping may be more expensive for SMALL packages. We do understand that some folks may no longer be able to participate if their shipping increases, and we are full of ideas to help you: I recommend trying out flat rate shipping (as I do for all locations of course)! Those are FREE boxes and envelopes from the post office, and they travel any domestic distance for one rate. We get MANY tiny packages that cost everyone well more than they need to because they use their own packaging; if you can plan ahead and fill a  flat rate package before a holiday, that’ll save YOU money. As well, combining many small shipments into one large one saves OWH additional data entry as we log in so many packages.

The address is always on the Mailroom page; the needs list there will be updated as I see what’s coming in from the nation. In general, anything goes for a while til I get a sense of the flow. Remember to check the list of Undesired Themes HERE.

YOUR COMMENTS: Please leave them in comments on this blog post, on YouTube, or on our Facebook page.

PLEASE DO NOT EMAIL COMMENTS: I’d appreciate NOT emailing questions/comments about this to me, as I am in the midst of some big and exciting things for OWH, and would like to keep the inbox clear for those important emails. Know that I do read comments on all our social media and will address the major questions on Friday’s video; our board members and blog team are also going to help watch comments and answer any urgent needs as well. Thanks so much for understanding!

April report is ready!

Posted by on May 6, 2013 in Homefront Blog | 6 comments

Happy Monday! It’s Sandy here, and I’m gonna just admit it….

I’m a geek.

I don’t know if any of you are like that. Most creatives wouldn’t wanna touch a spreadsheet with a ten foot pole! But I love having good and accurate information! I love to watch trends, and see how we’re doing…I usually know without seeing the numbers if we’re meeting our heroes’ requests, but…numbers are fun! And they give me a clue whether I need to start pressing for an increase in card or financial donations, or if we’re trending ok and get to just cruise!

I pulled a comparison to see how we’re doing in the splitting of the nation at the Mississippi River; it looks like we’re *just* about right in choosing that as a national divider! The east coast did seem to be more prolific with both letter writing and cardmaking…but in April, the west coast rocked it and made up a lot of ground to bring the numbers so much closer together! (But this little chart does explain why I’m always runnin’ short of letters out west. *hint hint!* heehee!) THANK YOU for all your wonderful donations!

Jan-April

And just for fun, I let Excel run a little chart showing the trend day by day. Not a surprise to see the spikes – lots of our crafters wait til that deadline! Feel free to get your cards in to your shipper ahead of time, she’ll love you for it! :)

Jan-April2

The rest of the numbers – April’s – are on the Reports page…and you may know by now what that means: it’s Cardmaker Connection time! Be SURE to look at the pdf to request a specific connection that Caro can look up, not just “someone near me.” If there’s no one on this month’s list near you, check it out next month and see…you may yet find a friend!

View April Report

PS Thanks for all the fun at the VCMP – you still have til Weds night to play along!

Renovation of OWH central!

Posted by on Apr 11, 2013 in Homefront Blog, Stars and Stamps | 6 comments

Hello everyone! Sandy here…and I hope you’ve got your fingers and toes crossed that the renovation comes to its planned conclusion today or tomorrow. Wheeee! What a ride it’s been!

I appreciate your patience…with missing the show, with waiting for your receipts, with how long it’s taking to get to emails. Kris has been on several trips this month too, and is headed out on another – so we both are thankful for your patience! Please hold off emailing us about why you didn’t get a receipt yet…we have huge stacks of them, since our first priority is getting boxes out to our heroes for Mother’s Day.

882793_3987160857440_2104491261_o

There’s no OWHtv episode this week

*But ww will be back next week!* since I will finally be able to start moving into the room with gusto when I get home from work tonight. I hope! I’m so anxious to see if things fit! However, if you’d like an informal sneak peek, I’m going to do a live (not free) personal webcast Sunday afternoon 1pm Pacific time. Click here for details.

photo

Your inspiration instead:

While you all graciously await the big REVEAL next Thursday on OWHtv…we have had so much inspiration lately, there’s no excuse not to go get busy making cards! We’re not desperate for quantity after the Mother’s Day deluge – so dig in and enjoy that mojo! Kris and I both need thank you and miss you cards more than anything at the moment.

PS: Welcome Newbies!

We’ve had lots of new cardmakers joining us lately (YAYYYYYY!!!!!) We’d love to invite you to visit the Welcome page and read a little more about us. Our shippers have been getting way more cards that don’t follow the guidelines in the last couple weeks, so please check out THIS video about how to do the tuck (and pay attention to the cards that fold on the short side – they tuck alllll the way inside the envelope; that’s been trouble for some folks!)…..please fill out a packing slip, including counting your cards – that takes us tons of time; and be sure to order your OWH stamp HERE so you can put Operation Write Home on the backs of your cards so your shippers don’t have to. Our card hospitals are taking in more patients, and we’d rather discharge them to duty overseas! :)

Alrighty…. I’ll see some of you on Sunday….the rest next week on OWHtv!

-Sandy

Happy Superbowl-Hangover Monday!

Posted by on Feb 4, 2013 in Homefront Blog, Mailroom Monday, Thankful Thursday | 6 comments

Did you see who WON the Superbowl yesterday? Okay, at least who won the ads…KLEENEX ALERT!

 

GO JEEP! GO USO! BEST AD!

Please share :)

Okay, now on to the promised Monthly Mailroom Report! Instead of the report living here on the blog, there will be a page that will host the reports each month, so you’ll know where to go for it; the single monthly report now contains the Mailroom Monday and Thankful Thursday reports for the month of January. We’re just running it once a month rather than weekly, to save us some time.

We’ve emailed this out to our eNewsletter list, so if you didn’t get it – go subscribe using the link in the right sidebar! :)

Don’t forget to order your stamps in the Fundraiser Stamp Sale!

 

Updatelets…taxes,VCMP, bootcamp, and words from a hero

Posted by on Jan 19, 2013 in Homefront Blog, Stars and Stamps | 11 comments

What’s an updatelet? It’s just a little update :) And I have a few for you!

  1. Ideas for the President’s Day Weekend VCMP (Virtual Cardmaking Party) are due by Monday! Details HERE if you’re interested in hosting a challenge on your blog that weekend.
  2. Tax time: We hear the IRS is in the throes of reprogramming computers after last minute laws – so please don’t panic about getting them done instantly. I’m getting tons of emails asking about our usual year-end donation summaries, and they’ll be coming shortly – we’ve already sent you your receipts with each shipment though, so if you’re in a rush, just use those.
  3. Our first Design Bootcamp is coming MONDAY! You are going to be SO excited…Paula has shared the content with the blog team to make sure it all is coming together, and WOW. Come back here Monday!
  4. POSTAGE INCREASES begin January 27! If you have a package close to ready, you might want to get to the PO this week.
  5. Copic colorers: You asked for a review of the class I took while in Anaheim – it’s HERE!
  6. Our CHA Pinterest board has been loaded with some inpsiration – like this cute card seen at Lilybee Designs…I smell a CASE coming on! (Note that the big pearl on top of dimension is a little thick for OWH cards, but the design could totally be adapted!

Lilybee Designs

One more bit of fun…and inspiration: I’ve been having a longgggg email chat with one of our heroes. Oh the stories he’s been telling! I pulled out a little of what we talked about:

Q. Who do I miss at home?  

A. I miss my wife and three kids, my family and friends

Q. How do I keep in touch?

A. Internet is the number one answer (skype, email, Facebook messaging).  I sends lots of cards thanks to OWH and my kids love getting mail especially at their age.  Anything from Super Daddy makes them feel important.  I also write letters, mostly thank you letters to people who support my troops through their respective organizations.

Q. When I pick out a card, what goes through my mind as I search the box for cards?

A. At first, I thought, boy am I glad these are all separated by type with a tab/index spacer (thank you category; Happy Birthday category; you get the picture).  When I first sent cards from OWH, I looked for just the perfect card for the occasion.  After a while, I realized the cards are all perfect. All that matters is that I send it.  Our post office is real close to my office and postage is free so I really don’t have any excuses for not sending cards at least once in a while.

Q. How often do you write?

I admit that I am now sending more cards than I ever have in my life.  I average 4 a day minimum.  I have a wife and three kiddos waiting for me back in the United States.  I send each of them their own card each day.  My kids are 2,5 and 8 and they love getting personalized mail from daddy daily.  It makes them feel very special and important to get mail delivered.  I continue to encourage my Soldiers to send cards and they do.

Q. What kinds of cards appeal to you most?

A. I’m SOOOOOOOOOOO spoiled now on awesome three dimensional cards.  I can’t ever go back to flat boring cards.  I guess I’ll have to figure out something for when I return stateside.  I can’t afford a new hobby so I know I won’t make them.  I’m so ADD and OCD tripled with being a perfectionist that I’d go nuts crafting.  :)  My wife is the crafty one.  I get involved only rarely.  I’m more of a handy man.

Q. What do you mean by “flat”?

The flat cards are just that.  Flat. One layer.  I like the “everything” that is added to the card stock to make it puffy.  I guess some of the cards are still flat but the design is not printed on; rather, it’s hand glued making it-in my mind-three dimensional.

Q. You really sound like a prime candidate for cardmaking. Won’t you join us when you get home?

A. No, I’ve got quite a few projects when I get home as it is. I’ve got camping to prepare for and a few of my current hobbies is playing drums and shooting.  My wife likes to sew and make door hanging wreaths. She’s a girl scout troops leader too so the girls are usually doing something crafty and sometimes big ole rugged daddy takes a turn at making something with more glitter on it than I care to admit!

He went on to tell me crazy stories of making projects with glitter with his kids….he’s got a special dislike for the stuff! lol! Maybe on OWHtv sometime I’ll share some. It’s been a real encouragement to hear how much the cards mean while I’ve been recovering from CHA…even though I’m pretty wiped out and buried in email to answer, it’s great to know just what the cards mean to our men and women overseas – and laugh with them a little!

We’re at CHA!

Posted by on Jan 12, 2013 in Homefront Blog | 2 comments

272836_10151199298911409_506486969_oOur booth was set up yesterday, and this morning the tradeshow opens! We’ll be making cards at our booth, and one of the fun additions we brainstormed – we have a bigggg map of the US, and we’ll be filling in states for cardmakers who stop to make a card. Let’s cheer on our states and see if we can fill in that map! If you know someone at the show, be sure to send them a tweet or a Facebook message and encourage them to come to booth 1390!

Be sure to follow our CHA Pinterest board for all the photos – we’ll post a few on Facebook, and we’ll try to see if internet service is strong enough to do some live webcasts throughout the show. (We had a big “fail” yesterday, so who knows what’ll happen today!) Those will be announced on Facebook; and we ask your patience with technical difficulties! If we can’t do things live, we’ll still try to post lots of pics and videos….and maybe a bit of candy too!

Also…the weekend is a GREAT time to share videos with your friends and family–that’s when lots of people have time to surf! So go share our two millionth card announcement….

Oh and check out this ADORABLE video with 281 AnyHero cards from Whitfield Elementary…it’ll make you sing along!

A little news….

Posted by on Jan 10, 2013 in Hero Blog, Hero Photos, Homefront Blog, Press, Stars and Stamps | 10 comments

Share!

Pass on the video (url: http://youtu.be/Gls-0a86NB8) to your friends and family – inspire them to join us, whether it’s just by donating a few dollars, writing an AnyHero letter, or maybe helping you assemble some kits or help with your tucking and stamping!

Feel free to send this video to your local news stations – who knows, they might be interested in covering OWH and getting the word out! Tell them in a cover email what your own involvement is – why you do it, how it makes you feel to help our heroes, and give it a personal touch. They’re very interested in you as a community member – and your passion!

Remember, though, if you do any interviews that go out to the general public: many have NO idea how to make a card. So for a general audience we love to request AnyHero mail, since that’s something EVERYone can participate in! 

Let’s start the party!

Would YOU like to make a 30 second video too? We’d like to compile YOUR thoughts on the 2 million cards and make another video. Just record yourself for 30 seconds on a simple cellphone video (hold it horizontally please!) – and email it to sandy(at)operationwritehome(dot)org by January 27th. I’ll stitch them together in a followup video and you’ll get to be part of the celebration!

 

Mailroom Monday, Thankful Monday – December 31, 2012

Posted by on Dec 31, 2012 in Homefront Blog, Mailroom Monday, Thankful Thursday | 1 comment

Here’s our final report for the year! Happy new year everyone!!! Thank you for an AWESOME 2012!!!!! Here’s a little picture that came in from CPT D.K. in Afghanistan – as a thank-you for you!

MerryChristmasHeroes

This past week, we sent out 20,500 cards at a cost of $913.10 – we are —-><—-this close to two million!

To heroes serving in Afghanistan
175 cards to an Army unit
360 cards to an Army unit
370 cards to an Army unit
365 cards to an Air Force unit
170 cards to an Air Force unit
360 cards to an Army unit
60 cards to an Air Force unit
375 cards to an Army unit
370 cards to a USO unit
175 cards to a USO unit
175 cards to a Civilian unit
375 cards to an Army unit
65 cards to an Army unit
175 cards to an Army unit
375 cards to an Army unit
350 cards to an Air Force unit
375 cards to an Air Force unit
375 cards to a National Guard unit
175 cards to an Army unit
175 cards to a Marine unit
175 cards to a Civilian unit
375 cards to a USO unit
170 cards to a USO unit
375 cards to an Army unit
65 cards to an Army unit
170 cards to an Army unit
375 cards to an Army unit
175 cards to an Army unit
375 cards to an Air Force unit
375 cards to an Air Force unit
175 cards to an Air Force unit
370 cards to an Air Force unit
360 cards to an Air Force unit
190 cards to an Army unit
350 cards to an Army unit
350 cards to an Army unit
350 cards to an Army unit
190 cards to an Navy unit
190 cards to an Army unit
350 cards to an Army unit
190 cards to an Army unit
350 cards to an Air Force unit
350 cards to an Army unit
190 cards to an National Guard unit
350 cards to an Air Force unit
190 cards to an National Guard unit
190 cards to an Army unit
340 cards to an USO unit
340 cards to an USO unit
340 cards to an USO unit
340 cards to an USO unit
340 cards to an USO unit
340 cards to an USO unit
340 cards to an USO unit
340 cards to an USO unit
340 cards to an USO unit
340 cards to an USO unit
340 cards to an Navy unit

To heroes serving in Bahrain
190 cards to an Navy unit

To heroes serving in Japan
340 cards to a Navy unit

To heroes serving in Korea
370 cards to an Army unit

To heroes serving in Kuwait
375 cards to an Army unit
370 cards to an Army unit
340 cards to a USO unit
340 cards to a USO unit

To heroes on a ship at sea
375 cards to a Navy unit
190 cards to a Navy unit
To heroes serving in Qatar
350 cards to a Civilian unit
190 cards to an Army unit
190 cards to an Army unit
190 cards to an Air Force unit

Extra packets of AnyHero mail
240 cards to 6 units

Number of boxes sent: 6,582
Number of hero contacts: 2004
Total cards sent: 1,992,703

Deadline reminders: Calendar is here
Valentines: Dec 31
Winter: Jan 10
Race to the mailbox challenge: Mail before January 27
St Patricks: Jan 31 *Note that we never have gotten requests, but this date is here for those who love the green :)
Easter: Feb 7
Mother’s Day and general spring: March 31

And now….our Thankful Thursdayish report this Monday night….just to close out the year. Stay tuned in February for a monthly report instead of weeklies. Thank you!!!

  1. Amalia M, Bronx, NY
  2. Amy S, Gaithersburg, MD
  3. Amy S, Netanya, Israel
  4. Angela B, Altoona, PA
  5. Angela E, Johnston, IA
  6. Ann M and Park Tower friends, Hutchinson, MN
  7. Anne J, Gering, NE
  8. Anne N, Franklin Park, IL
  9. Annette H, Acworth, GA
  10. April C, Eugene, OR
  11. Arlene Y and First Team Stampers, Mariposa, CA
  12. Barb G, Kentwood, MI
  13. Barb H, Milton, WI
  14. Barbara G, S Plainfield, NJ
  15. Barbara P, W Lafayette, IN
  16. Beth L, Howell, MI
  17. Bev C, Sequim, WA
  18. Cam M and Greenview Stampers, New Market, MD
  19. Cara S, Phoenix, AZ
  20. Carmen Z, Northville, MI
  21. Carol P, Louisburg, KS
  22. Casey C and Laurel Meadow Elementary 5th graders, Mechanicsville, VA
  23. Charlotte H, Lexington, KY
  24. Charlsie S, Napa, CA
  25. Cindy B, Marblehead, MA
  26. Cindy M, Normal, IL
  27. Cindy M, Pewaukee, WI
  28. Connie W, Monroe, NC
  29. Debbie A, Irvine, CA
  30. Debbie D, Oregon City, OR
  31. Dee M, Puyallup, WA
  32. Delane A and Kindergarteners through 5th graders, Strawn ISD, Strawn, TX
  33. Delma B, Land o Lakes, FL
  34. Dena L, St Cloud, MN
  35. Denise K, DeSoto, MO
  36. Diane L, Ames, IA
  37. Diane W, Stoneham, MA
  38. Dolores A, Frederick, MD
  39. Donna C, Port Washington, NY
  40. Donna S, Kingwood, TX
  41. Donna W, Bedford, IN
  42. Doris G, Seattle, WA
  43. Elaine A and Jane M, Kathy H and Chris D, Apple Valley, MN
  44. Elaine C, Farmington Hills, MI
  45. Elaine L, Severna Park, MD
  46. Ellen A, Clearwater, FL
  47. Ellen P, Vernon Hills, IL
  48. Emily T, Irvine, CA
  49. Erika H, Columbia, SC
  50. Esther C, Ferndale, MI
  51. Esther E and East Woods Presbyterian Church, Vancouver, WA
  52. Esther E, Vancouver, WA
  53. Evelyn M, Ludington, MI
  54. Farilyn R, Sautee, GA
  55. Frances S, Silverdale, WA
  56. Gail S, Sacramento, CA
  57. Gala B, Blue Springs, MO
  58. Gale W, Tucson, AZ
  59. Glenda F, Renton, WA
  60. Harriet C, Winston-Salem, NC
  61. Heather S, APO AE,
  62. Heather S, Maple Valley, WA
  63. Helen C, Cottleville, MO
  64. Holly B, Union City, MI
  65. Jean D, West Valley City, UT
  66. Jenny J, Watkins, MN
  67. Jeri C and Scrapbook Art Cardmaking Group, Columbus, OH
  68. Jill and Ashleigh B, Monrovia, MD
  69. Jill Y, Sacramento, CA
  70. Joan T, Breezy Point, NY
  71. Joanne M and Judi and Elaine, Oxford, MA
  72. John V, Reading, PA
  73. Judith G, Mission Hills, CA
  74. Judith M, Hudson, IA
  75. Judy C, Lynn, MA
  76. Judy K, Orfordville, WI
  77. Kathie G, West Covina, CA
  78. Kathie M, Irvine, CA
  79. Kathleen T and Mesquite Thank You Girls, Mesquite, NV
  80. Kathy A, Gainesville, GA
  81. Kathy G, Champlin, MN
  82. Kathy M, Armada, MI
  83. Kathy O, Vinton, VA
  84. Kathy S, Reedley, CA
  85. Kathy W, Republic, OH
  86. Katie H, Chicago, IL
  87. KellyRae C, Coolidge, AZ
  88. Kim B, Mansfield, TX
  89. Kimberlee L, Westminster, MD
  90. Kimberley M, Kennewick, Wa
  91. Kristina M, Honolulu, HI
  92. Laura N, Dinuba, CA
  93. Laura P, Seatac, WA
  94. Lauren H and 11th grade Ticktockers and National Charity League, Moorpark, CA
  95. Lillian G, Mission Viejo, CA
  96. Linda B and Fran McCann; Mad Hatters of Old Bridge, East Brunswick, NJ
  97. Linda L, Fairfax, IA
  98. Linda M, Port Orchard, WA
  99. Lisa E and Mary C, Wichita, KS
  100. Lori B, Marietta, GA
  101. Lori L, Clovis, CA
  102. Lori T, Gaithersburg, MD
  103. Lucinda C, Peoria, AZ
  104. Lynda D and Highland Heights Church of Christ, Lebanon, TN
  105. Lynn L, Lake Wales, FL
  106. Madonna N, Westminster, CO
  107. Mali C and Real Scrapbookers of the East Bay, El Cerrito, CA
  108. Marian J, Huber Heights, OH
  109. Marilisa W, Gridley, CA
  110. Marjorie S, Beaumont, CA
  111. Marsha M and The Rabbit Hutch, Englewood, OH
  112. Mary D, Wichita, KS
  113. Mary E, Rantoul, IL
  114. Mary M, Flushing, NY
  115. Mary P, Dassel, MN
  116. Mary R, Englewood, CO
  117. Maude B, Las Cruces, NM
  118. Melanie L, Everett, WA
  119. Melissa J, Camdenton, MO
  120. Melissa Y, Camarillo, CA
  121. Mia L, St Augustine, FL
  122. Mindy H, Jacksonville, FL
  123. Ms N, Gaffney, SC
  124. Nancy H, Jeffersonville, IN
  125. Pam Y, Mesa, AZ
  126. Pat K, West Richland, WA
  127. Patricia H, Verona, VA
  128. Patricia H, Verona, VA
  129. Paula K, Robbinsdale, MN
  130. Peggy D, Huntley, IL
  131. Penny L, Lincoln, NE
  132. Rae R, Sauquoit, NY
  133. Rae R, Sauquoit, NY
  134. RaNae E, Des Moines, IA
  135. Rebecca S and MOPS Abiding Hope Lutheran, Littleton, CO
  136. Rita K and Kingsport Civitan Evening Club, Kingsport, TN
  137. Robin and Stephanie G, New York, NY
  138. Ronni U, Peoria, AZ
  139. Ruth G, Winfield, IL
  140. Sally S, Cedar Springs, MI
  141. Samantha E, Fort Huachuca, AZ
  142. Sandra S, Sun City West, AZ
  143. Sandy T, Weatherford, TX
  144. Sharon F, Oakhurst, CA
  145. Sharon N, Waterloo, IA
  146. Sharon S, Goodyear, AZ
  147. Sharon S, Panama City, FL
  148. Sherry H, Arlington, VA
  149. Sondra K, Eureka, CA
  150. Stephanie K and The Church at Rancho Bernardo, San Diego, CA
  151. Sue W, Hinckley, OH
  152. Susan H, Whippany, NJ
  153. Susan M, Rapid City, SD
  154. Susan R, Stevensville, MD
  155. Susie M, Winterville, NC
  156. Suzanne H, Lincoln, NE
  157. Sylvia S, Alexandria, VA
  158. Tami H, Gladstone, MO
  159. Tanisha R, Manassas, VA
  160. Theresa E, Wenatchee, WA
  161. Tina B, Covington, LA
  162. Traci O and MI National Guard Family and Youth Programs, Lansing, MI
  163. Tracy F, Jamaica, NY
  164. Valerie L, Mineral Wells, TX
  165. Vicky S, Faribault, MN
  166. Whitney K, Murphysboro, IL

Some late additions –

  1. April S and Eastwood Women’s Ministry, Fisherville, KY
  2. Antoinette S and Janara and Girl Scouts of Hwy 58, Chattanooga, TN
  3. Katie Z and Thurgood Marshall 5th grade class, Gaithersburg, MD
  4. Sandee G and Vernon UP Church, Waukesha, WI
  5. Rosalia H, Hyde Park, NY
  6. Bobbi A, Dayton, OH
  7. Kaki D, Lacombe, LA
  8. Janie R, Powell, TN
  9. Elaine S, Rose Hill, NC
  10. Debbie J, Rotonda West, FL
  11. Ann W, Knoxville, TN
  12. Judith M, Hudson, IA
  13. Angela W, Dover, OH
  14. Elizabeth S, New Canaan, CT
  15. Prue T, Orange Lake, FL
  16. Sharon H, Commerce Township, MI
  17. Natalie V, Venice, FL
  18. Shelly P, Royal Oak, MI
  19. Jean S, St Louis Park, MN
  20. Lori K, Toms River, NJ
  21. Lisa E, Taylorsville, NC
  22. Judy B, Cleburne, TX
  23. Christina H, Naperville, IL
  24. Cyndi B, Colorado Springs, CO
  25. Rebecca P, Springfield, IL
  26. Janet M, Biddeford, ME

Race you to the mailbox!

Posted by on Dec 31, 2012 in Challenges, Homefront Blog | 7 comments

racetomailbox
I’ve got some good news and some bad news for you on this last day of 2012. Which would you like first?

The good news? Okay! We’ve got a brand new card drive challenge ready to roll, and I have FIVE medium flatrate boxes full of crafty goodness to share! Yeah! Who doesn’t want to start their year off with new goodies? Click HERE to get details onthe Race You To The Mailbox drive.

(And no, it doesn’t supercede the Kids Cards we’re working on – this is just incentive to get shipping them fast.)

That leads to the bad news.

I just heard this weekend from the post office that prices are going up again. Now, before anyone badmouths our postal service, please remember that we depend heavily on them. They carry not only your mail to our shippers, but they carry our boxes over to our heroes, and the cards they write back home to their families. So while we might not be very happy about it – USPS needs to stay solvent. I could go on a tirade about what they’re going through – and how they’re not exactly allowed to do the things a normal business would do to compete and stay in the black. But I won’t because, well….all that doesn’t matter. What matters is….the rates are going up. And I for one am going to continue smiling at my postal clerks when they total up my shipping receipt, and I encourage you to do the same. Let’s make them happy to see OWHers in their line….even the grumpy ones can’t resist our smiles!

How much are prices going up? Are you sitting down….? Here’s what I got from their site:

  • Small box — $5.80   <———–that’s some of you
  • Medium box — $12.35   <———–that’s some of you
  • Large box — $16.85    <———–that’s some of you
  • Large APO/FPO box — $14.85   <———–that’s OWH, yikes….

Now would be the time to assess whether you should switch up to the large box – just take a little more time between shipments and pack it good and full (AnyHero mail makes great packing material!)….and don’t pay to ship air, as we say in the care package business!

So….get your next box ready to mail and get it out to the PO before the rate increase on January 27! Click to see the challenge details.…then get your friends together and set up a quick cardmaking party. Don’t rush and make cards that’ll fall apart, but be sure to fill a box and take advantage of the current rates quickly!

(And buy a roll of stamps for yourself too…letters go up a penny, but Forever stamps will last after the increase!)

Happy New Year!
Sandy

PS Tonight after our shippers complete all data entry, I’ll post one more Mailroom Monday/Thankful Thursday report with the final shipments for 2012. Then we’re onward and upward to 2013!

 

Thankful Thursday: December 27, 2012

Posted by on Dec 27, 2012 in Homefront Blog, Thankful Thursday | 3 comments

Welcome to the final “normal” Thankful Thursday post! We’re changing things up a bit in 2013 – and there’s something in it for you as well as for us!

For us: We’ll only be posting one Thankful Thursday report each month. That saves a lot of time by combining the whole list for a month, rather than doing it every week! You’ll still receive your receipts in a timely manner (within a couple days of receipt of your package), so that’ll be your notification that your package was received. The first of these monthly reports will be within the first seven days of February 2013.

For you: When that Thankful Thursday report is posted,  you’ll be able to look at the list by state – and see if there is someone near YOU who might want to get together to craft! Our dear Caro, though she’s departing as a shipper, will be the person making those connections; in early February when the report is live (and once Caro’s settled in her new home!), you’ll be able to make a request to connect with the other person. Note that if you do NOT want to be connected with another person, you’ll only be bcc’d on an email; so your info will be kept private unless you choose to reply to that crafter.

No OWHtv tonight

The show’s on vacation but will be back next week! In the meantime – you can go catch up on past episodes or check out the ICP for inspiration! Have you noticed there’s a badge for the ICP on our blog now? Feel free to rightclick to download that badge for yourself, then upload it to your blog and link it up to the ICP…then you’ll never be at a loss to find it!

Heads up, bloggers!

Last year we started what might become a tradition (two years in a row makes it one, right?)…..and that’s a New Year’s Top Ten! We’ll be posting an InLinkz on Tuesday that you can link your post to – and what will you be posting? Your top ten BEST cards from 2012!!! So spend this weekend digging around your blog and figuring out your favorite ten cards to share, and copy them all into one giant post so we can all come and see!

End of year giving

If you make end-of-year donations and wish to do so for 2012, they must be received by midnight on the 31st. PayPal donations can be made right up til midnight, but be aware that PayPal does take a small fee from your gift, though you receive full tax credit for the complete donation. OWH pays that fee on our end.

Thank you!

And now…big thanks to all our crafters who sent in cards in the past week, as well as our financial donors. You all are so wonderful and keep us so busy with beautiful cards….bless you!

  1.  Amalia M, Bronx, NY
  2. Ann M and Park Tower friends, Hutchinson, MN
  3. Anne N, Franklin Park, IL
  4. Arlene Y and First Team Stampers, Mariposa, CA
  5. Barbara P, W Lafayette, IN
  6. Bev C, Sequim, WA
  7. Cara S, Phoenix, AZ
  8. Carmen Z, Northville, MI
  9. Carol P, Louisburg, KS
  10. Casey C and Laurel Meadow Elementary 5th graders, Mechanicsville, VA
  11. Charlsie S, Napa, CA
  12. Cindy B, Marblehead, MA
  13. Cindy M, Normal, IL
  14. Cindy M, Pewaukee, WI
  15. Connie W, Monroe, NC
  16. Delane A and Kindergarteners through 5th graders, Strawn ISD, Strawn, TX
  17. Delma B, Land o Lakes, FL
  18. Denise K, DeSoto, MO
  19. Diane L, Ames, IA
  20. Dolores A, Frederick, MD
  21. Elaine A and Jane M, Kathy H and Chris D, Apple Valley, MN
  22. Elaine C, Farmington Hills, MI
  23. Elaine L, Severna Park, MD
  24. Emily T, Irvine, CA
  25. Esther E and East Woods Presbyterian Church, Vancouver, WA
  26. Farilyn R, Sautee, GA
  27. Gail S, Sacramento, CA
  28. Glenda F, Renton, WA
  29. Harriet C, Winston-Salem, NC
  30. Heather S, APO AE,
  31. Heather S, Maple Valley, WA
  32. Helen C, Cottleville, MO
  33. Jean D, West Valley City, UT
  34. Jeri C and Scrapbook Art Cardmaking Group, Columbus, OH
  35. Jill Y, Sacramento, CA
  36. John V, Reading, PA
  37. Judith G, Mission Hills, CA
  38. Judith M, Hudson, IA
  39. Judy C, Lynn, MA
  40. Kathleen T and Mesquite Thank You Girls, Mesquite, NV
  41. Kathy G, Champlin, MN
  42. Kathy S, Reedley, CA
  43. Kathy W, Republic, OH
  44. Kimberlee L, Westminster, MD
  45. Kimberley M, Kennewick, Wa
  46. Linda B and Fran McCann; Mad Hatters of Old Bridge, East Brunswick, NJ
  47. Linda M, Port Orchard, WA
  48. Lisa E and Mary C, Wichita, KS
  49. Lori B, Marietta, GA
  50. Lynda D and Highland Heights Church of Christ, Lebanon, TN
  51. Lynn L, Lake Wales, FL
  52. Mali C and Real Scrapbookers of the East Bay, El Cerrito, CA
  53. Marian J, Huber Heights, OH
  54. Marilisa W, Gridley, CA
  55. Marjorie S, Beaumont, CA
  56. Mary E, Rantoul, IL
  57. Mary P, Dassel, MN
  58. Maude B, Las Cruces, NM
  59. Mindy H, Jacksonville, FL
  60. Pat K, West Richland, WA
  61. Rae R, Sauquoit, NY
  62. Ronni U, Peoria, AZ
  63. Sally S, Cedar Springs, MI
  64. Samantha E, Fort Huachuca, AZ
  65. Sharon N, Waterloo, IA
  66. Sharon S, Panama City, FL
  67. Sherry H, Arlington, VA
  68. Sondra K, Eureka, CA
  69. Stephanie K and The Church at Rancho Bernardo, San Diego, CA
  70. Susan H, Whippany, NJ
  71. Susie M, Winterville, NC
  72. Sylvia S, Alexandria, VA
  73. Traci O and MI National Guard Family and Youth Programs, Lansing, MI