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Posted by on Dec 27, 2015 in Annual Review | 50 comments

OWH Final Report: Let’s celebrate!

Hello one last time, friends! It’s Sandy here and I want to share with you our final report….I think you’ll enjoy – and be amazed by – the size of the numbers. You’ve accomplished so much! Watch the video below or click HERE to see it on YouTube.

I’ve also put together a little jpg with some of the swanky numbers….both the video and image are on our new homepage (haven’t seen it?? Click HERE and check it out!)

Operation Write Home Final Report GRAPHIC

I was hoping to have new pictures to put in it, but alas – our heroes have been busy and haven’t been able to send new ones in. And as I was working on the new website design, I had hoped that people could comment on the homepage…but that doesn’t seem possible. So leave comments here on the blog. And let’s celebrate all we’ve done!

Receipts for your 2015 donations will be sent out over the next few days, so watch your email!

Please feel free to visit me over on my blog anytime, I’d love to stay in touch!
Sandy

50 Comments

  1. Sandy’s Beach Vacation in August at Ellen’s house in Vancouver, WA.

  2. Amazing summary! Thanks so much for taking the time to do this for us!

  3. My favorite season was Halloween. OWH affected my family and I in ways I never thought possible. It made us all aware of real people making a real life changing decision for us even though they don’t know us. I am honored to have been part of this special group and have a dedicated OWH wall in my office. Thank you Sandy for all you do and encouraging me to be a better American. See you on your blog. OWH forever in my heart.

  4. Thank you so much for everything you and Operation Write Home did. I think I joined your carmakers in 2010 so it has been a wonderful and rewarding 5 years for me. I loved watching the OWH webisodes. Scrapwrangler will always be my favorite, of course the Glitter episode was pretty funny too.

  5. Sandy, thank you for this last report and for everything you have done over the years with OWH. Your videos were always informative and entertaining. I will miss OWH because it gave me a greater purpose than just making cards for family and friends. I am honored that I was able to be a part of such a wonderful organization. I look forward to see you on your blog. May God bless you forever and always.

  6. I feel blessed to have been able to make and send cards to OWH. As a wife to a Air Force retiree, I know what cards and letters coming from him in the mail meant to me. I have learned so much from you, Sandy, as you have inspired me and kept my creative juices flowing for my card making for other organizations now. Many thanks for your hard work over the years to help and serve our military all over the world. Oh, and Scrapwrangler was one of my favorites!

  7. Sandy, Thank you for all you’ve done! Thank you for including me, even when my “stride” changed, you kept me in the loop.
    God bless! ~Shari

  8. I only learned of OWH in 2014, when my son (Army) sent me an OWH Mothers’ Day card from Afghanistan. He was so excited about this project and figured I’d want to get involved, since I love scrapbooking. I had never made a card before, but between September 2014 and July 2015 I made over 400 cards! Thank you, Sandy, for OWH. You’ve done an amazing thing for our heroes; thank you for letting me come along for the ride!

  9. Thanks for all of your hard work. So proud to have been a part of this organization.

  10. Enjoyed being a small part of the effort. Tried to start a group dedicated to OWH here but was unsuccessful. So just kept plugging along. Enjoyed the card sketches and my favorite season was when I could use snowmen……or stars for 4th of July.

  11. Congrats to everyone involved on a job well done over the years. My favorite was the glitter video – super, super funny. I didn’t have a favorite season since most of my stamps are non-seasonal. Loved learning how to use Pearl Pens via one of your tutorials/videos. I still remember the huge “ah ha” moment, while watching OWH TV, when I realized I could completely change how I made my cards and they looked so much the better for it. Thanks for the memories.

  12. Although 21K donors is an amazing number I’m sure it falls way short as it would be impossible to count all those in groups who gave time and talent for one box sent. Sad as my group was to see OWH come to a close, we felt honored to be able to contribute to this worthy cause.

  13. OWH had an amazing outreach and included so many of our men in uniform. I was on both sides of the OWH cause, donating and receiving cards. I always looked forward to receiving cards from my son (Air Force) when he was deployed and also eager to hear how his fellow service men sent cards to their loved ones. My favorite was writing notes in the Any Hero Cards and getting some notes back in return. I am blessed that my son is home and decided not to re-enlist, but he remains a hero in my eyes. He couldn’t quit cold turkey and has enlisted in the National Guards. Thanks Sandy for your dedication and enthusiasm you bestowed to the members of OWH and especially to our service men, our heroes.

  14. I started with OWH back when it was still Cards for Heroes…which became OWH. It’s been an incredible journey. In your numbers Sandy you forgot to do a little more multiplying 3.2 million cards x 3 not 2. Since the person who made the card, at least in my case, was effected by it too! I know that my card making has evolved over my years with you. All the tutorials, sketches, boot camp, videos and challenges have taught all of us so much. Still think that the Scrap Wrangler was on of your funniest, closely followed by the Glitter episode. Even now that glitter is “allowed” I have a hard time bringing myself to use it! All those years made me Glitter-phobic! You are continuing the education on your blog, periscope, live teaching and you-tube videos, thank you for that!

    It has been an honor to be able to give back some small token to our Military and their families who do so very, very much for us. I’ve enjoyed every step of the journey. I’m involved in 3 paper crafting groups, 2 of which started as a direct result of OWH, we all miss creating for our Heroes. If,God forbid, you need us to create for those Heroes again all you need to do is say the word. Till then we’ll create and donate where our hearts lead us.

    Thank you, Sandy, and thanks to the board, previous shippers and all who worked so tirelessly behind the scenes to make OWH such a pleasure to work with. Your efforts and stewardship were appreciated more than you can know. God Bless the USA, all of you and esp. our Heroes here at home or still serving overseas.

  15. Thanks to you Sandy for giving us cardmakers a chance to show our support for our troops in such a great way. I will always miss OWH and feel so lucky to have contributed. My most touching time was when I received an e-mail from a young man thanking me for a card I had made. And when I was a featured stamper it just really blew my skirt up(HA I don’t wear skirts). It was an honor I will always cherish.

  16. Thanks, Sandy, for the final report, and for the amazing multi-faceted entity that was OWH, dedicated to our troops and their families, and nurturing a generation of card makers, and creative retailers. From the “Cards for Heroes” days, when any old sized card without envelopes were allowed, to what it ultimately became- a phenomenon of artistic altruism, led by our own selfless and tireless leader, Sandy Allnock.
    What the power of one person can do!!!!

  17. I have learned so much being part of OWH. Thank you Sandy and to all the other OWH shippers and board members for you did for us all.

  18. Thank you for all your time and talents. Your blogs and videos have helped me take my crafting and cardmaking to higher levels – and OWH gave me the motivation to get back into my craft room and make something meaningful with all those supplies! I always liked making cards summertime cards in the main themes – always so much fun!

  19. As Rufus said, I too was affected by being a cardmaker for OWH. Not only was this a way to hone my cardmaking skills, it was a daily reminder of how fortunate we are to have so many heroes watching out for us. I am forever grateful that I had the opportunity to thank our heroes with Any Hero cards and to give them the means to stay in touch with their loved ones. I don’t have a favorite card season, but I loved making kid cards for our heroes to send to their children. I am proud to be in the company of other OWHers and so grateful to you Sandy for spearheading this awesome organization. God protect our heroes and God bless America.

  20. Thank you Sandy and all you did to give my BFF’s Jerri and Lisa the opportunity to work together with me and enjoy our fellowship knowing we were making something for our heroes in USA uniform. Both Jerri and I are married to Viet Nam vets and know firsthand how family at home need to hear from our loved ones when they are on assignment away from family. We also have other friends who have sons and daughters deployed during our current conflicts. Making cards for OWH gave us the feeling we were helping to support these friends in a small way. It was an awesome experience!

  21. Being part of OWH was such a privilege! I started making cards the end of 2010 and kept on until the end. I miss making cards, but my life has changed the last few months and crafting time is very limited. It’s hard for me to pick an actual favorite type of card, I enjoyed them all but the few I miss making the most are snowman/flake, Valentines, cute animal, spring, and fall. Thank you, Sandy, for all that you did for this organization! I cannot begin to fathom the amount of time and dedication it took to do the job you did.

  22. Such amazing numbers! Thank you Sandy for all of your hard work throughout the years!

  23. Though I loved making all kinds of card throughout the year if I had to choose one it would probably be making patriotic Any Hero cards. I loved the feeling of community that built up around our cause and all the fun that was had during the blog hops and virtual card making parties.

    Being a part of OWH was a ‘life changing’ experience for me in so many ways and I will always consider it an honor to have been able to serve our military heroes in my own small way through the great work of OWH.

    • Thank you Paula for the Boot Camp tutorials–so very helpful and extremely informative to new and old card makers. I continue recommend these to those new to the craft.

  24. Thank you so much, Sandy, for putting together this organization that was so important to so many lives. It was my pleasure to be a part of it, and I will miss it greatly. I think my favorite occasions to make cards for was Christmas, and I know my card making skills have greatly improved with all the tutorials and tips you and others have given throughout. Thank you so much for keeping the site up, and leaving all those wonderful tutorials and sketches for us to visit.

  25. Beautifully wrapped up! Having joined up with OWH only in the past couple of years, I found the history and overall statistics interesting. Thank you, Sandy, for all your hard work and dedication to an organization that impacted many lives. The website looks wonderful and I appreciate the fact that it is still available as a resource out there.

  26. I’m wowed, but not amazed because I know that there are amazing people in this country who really do want to help our soldiers. And this was one of the most amazing ways to help. I was happy to play a very small part in OWH, it was my honor to do this simple thing for our Hero’s. I have 2 Hero’s of my own and I know how appreciative they were. So a big thank you to all involved with OWH and an even bigger thank you to Sandy for getting this up and running. I know it was no easy task all these years. And most of all, I thank our Hero’s for all they do, for it isn’t a job that just anyone can do. These men and women give all for the American people and I am so proud of them all!! Hugs, Brenda

  27. Dear Sandy, thanks for the informative final newsletter and report. I just want to echo what everyone has been saying so eloquently–that I will always be proud to say I was an OWH volunteer! OWH gave me a new purpose, passion, hobby and friends. It was beyond rewarding to know that every single card we made actually reached our deployed troops and made it to the hands of their loved ones. Through OWH, I learned how to make a card and am always learning. I had no idea about the great big world of card makers out there! I miss the weekly OWH challenges that gave me structure, motivation and inspiration, as well as the fun blog hops and virtual card making parties! My favorite hop was always Memorial Day, when we rocked cyberspace with so many beautiful patriotic cards!! I miss the TV show, the hilarious chats there, and your funny videos (glad we can still watch your videos on Patreon and YouTube!). Such good times, and all for a good purpose. Sandy, you brought legions of card makers together for a vital purpose; the work you did is staggering and I congratulate you! Glad to stay in touch and, as Rufus commented above, I for one am happy to be in your “reserves” if you ever need me! Bless you and every OWH’er out there!!

  28. Cards for heroes and later Operation Write Home allowed my daughter and me a wonderful opportunity to share a passion for card making. We used the suggested layouts and ideas from other card makers to improve our skills. Looking back over our early cards, I am surprised by how primitive our early cards were. Sandy and Papertrey are largely responsible for the more professional look of our cards today. As I think about the number of cards that were mailed to our military, I am truly impressed by the size of the organization as well as the requisite time commitment. You should be proud of what was accomplished!!!

  29. Although I was not a huge donor like some of the dedicated regulars, I was involved with a couple of card drives with the Fiskateers and did manage to send my own cards in at least once. I remember doing an online chat on the Fiskateer message board with Sandy and other OWH volunteers set up by our lead, Tami Bayer. That was the beginning of a fun week where each time we finished cards to send to OWH, we added them to a running total on a message board thread and put pictures in the gallery.

    Thank you to all of the other card makers who were so dedicated! Thank you to everyone who volunteered in other ways to keep OWH going – physically and financially! Most of all, to you, Sandy! Your vision made it possible for everyone else to give to our Heroes – it would not have happened without you! You compelling changed your life, in many ways, to give it your all to make sure the Heroes had the cards to send home. Now as it is coming to an end, I know you will find what you are meant to be doing next and do it just as well with your unwavering enthusiasm! God bless!

  30. We moved to a new state three years ago and OWH for a short time offered to connect other OWH cardmakers who might be in the area. I received a response from a fellow crafter who actually lived in our same subdivision a few blocks away. Through her I got acquainted with a hobby group I otherwise would never have found. Thank you, Sandy, for not only how you blessed the troops but how your efforts blessed me personally. It was sad to see OWH come to a close, but mission accomplished. Wishing you every blessing in the new year.

  31. Thank you Sandy for all of your hard work. And a big thanks goes out to all OWH supporters. I feel proud to have been part of this organization. God bless the USA!

  32. Sandy, your vision, dedication, and hard work touch so many lives. Servicemen and women were able to keep in touch with loved ones through handcrafted cards, they received cards and letters from appreciative Americans, and knew that their sacrifices were noticed. But even more, you gave many crafters like me a way to express our appreciation and to turn our passions into a meaningful experiences. I don’t know how you did it, but you managed to make us feel like a family as we follow your growth and adventures. In short, you deeply affected my life as well as many others. My love and prayers are with you on your new adventures!

  33. It’s been an honor and privilege to give back to our troops for all they do for us. Sandy, thank you for the amazing job you have done. Your final report was nice to see the impact OWH has made. It’s hard to believe together we accomplished so much. Happy New year to you and your family.

  34. Many thanks to Sandy and the OWH Board for all your work. You made it possible for all of us volunteer cardmakers to serve our heroes and their loved ones. My favorite cards to make were “miss you” and “love” themes. I learned a lot and especially from Paula’s Boot Camp series. It was a great experience, and I appreciate the focus on our mission all the way through.

  35. Thanks to Sandy and the OWH Family for this opportunity to serve and honor our service men and women.

    I most loved making Any Hero cards and often used the weekly sketch to do just that. As Cindy mentioned, Paula’s Boot Camp series was fabulous.

    Most of all, I relished being a part of this loving and generous community. So many friendships were born while crafting for a common cause.

    Best wishes to all fellow OWHers in the new year… and Godspeed to the members of our military.

  36. Thank you Sandy and all the volunteers that helped you pack and ship our precious handmade cards to the troops. I thoroughly enjoyed makings cards for OWH. And even though I have only made cards for about 3 years, I miss it terribly.

    But Sandy, I would also like to thank you personally for your wonderful program and outreach to all our deployed service men and women around the world. We as people take that freedom for granted and seldom think of the sacrifice and service that our freedom costs. Thank you for heightening my awareness of this. I will forever be eternally grateful to you for this opportunity and am honored to have been a part of this wonderful program. May God continue to Bless You and God Bless the USA!

  37. Thank you Sandy and everyone that contributed to this wonderful organization. I started making cards not knowing much about making cards and through all the challenges, tutorials my skills improved so I could make better cards for our heroes who deserved only the best. I was honored to be a part of this and support our service members. I think my best two fun moments were the scrap wrangler and the glitter factory burning up. I miss our OWH challenges and my fellow OWHers too. May you all be blessed with a healthy, happy New Year.

  38. Oh Sandy–so many wonderful memories with OWH–I was so blessed to be the Featured Friday Card Maker coordinator during 2014–I remember accepting with fear and trepidation–hoping I could make and uphold a year long commitment. I had the best time doing that feature, thank you for thinking of me.
    OWH has been a project dear to my heart for many years and the ending of the mission has been bittersweet. Knowing that we, the volunteers, have sent a little love to our heroes, who in turn have sent that love home continues to strike a deep cord. As you know I graduated from North GA College (now UNG), The Senior Military College of GA–all the boys I knew, and loved and grew up with went military upon graduation. Their overwhelming response and encouragement to and for OWH–is quite humbling. I was fortunate to receive a few thank you notes from the heroes, another humbling experience. I would read these and think–you are thanking me for a card?–You are willing to die for this country–somehow a life vs a card–not even close on the scale of sacrifice.
    So many great features, Paula’s Boot Camp tutorials, the sketches–still used each time I make a card; my fave video tutorial of all time ‘How to tie a bow with a fork”, Scrap Wrangler, glitter, the ugliest card ever, naked Snoopy, the live chats…..all so much fun, such good, good times.
    Now this chapter has closed, thank you Sandy for a wonderful book. Now as Brad Paisley says “Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one.
    Decolores my friend.

  39. Thank you so much for all of the wonderful cards. I have been stationed in Afghanistan and loved being able to send the awesome cards home to friends and family!!

    • From the bottom of our hearts, THANK YOU for your service, dedication and courage.

  40. Sandy, thank you for all you have done for our service members. I was truly blessed to be a part of OWH. My favorite memory was the first response I received from a soldier who had received an Any Hero Card. He sent me a postcard from Afghanistan saying how much it meant to him, and others, that we let them know we appreciated their service and sacrifice. And it was fun being a Featured Friday Cardmaker. Best wishes to you.

  41. Sandy
    What a beautiful summary! Your farewell brought tears. Thanks to you and everyone else involved. And yes, God bless America.

  42. Am so sorry to read this as I have 1000 or more for the troops who are still fighting. You did an awesome job and the farewell was well done. Thank you for all that you did for our troops here and over sees. God Bless

  43. Thank you so much for what you did for so many years. As a troop deployed to Afghanistan, I have sent dozens of cards home to family and friends over the last few months. I’m not normally a writer, but I put a few cards on my desk to remind me to make the time to write home.

    We’re almost out of cards now, but I pick a few up when I’m traveling around Afghanistan and come across leftovers at USOs around the country. Would love to see someone else start sending cards like these. I know they mean a lot to my family because you all did such a fantastic job of having a wide variety of personalized cards. My family and friends will keep these over the years because they aren’t just any cards…they are cards made especially by patriotic Americans who took the time to make amazingly unique cards.

    I’m looking at a Route 66 card with a motorcycle on the front right now made by Diane M….and I can’t figure out which nephew I want to send this to. Thank you for making such unique cards that carry a message on the outside of the card as well as the inside.

    If anyone is interested in sending more cards over to Afghanistan, I can provide a mailing address. My unit has gone through an entire box in the last 3 months.

    • I’m interest Stephen, please send over a mailing address and I can get a box out today as well as pass the address on to my cardmaking friends. Thank you!

    • I am looking for a place to donate unused greeting cards and saw your post. These cards were bought and never sent over the years. I have almost every kind from general birthday, almost all holidays, family members, children, religious, wedding, graduation, baby, blank and sympathy. If you know of someone that can put the to good use please let me know. Thank you

  44. Thank you so much, Sandy, for this amazing journey. I had donated cards on more than one occasion to your cause. It was wonderful to be a part of this. Thank you for your dedication!

  45. Can I use my OWH stamp for cards I send with my Blue Star Mother Group?

  46. Sandy I ordered envelopes u had given us a site for….do u remember who that was?? I used to get the large one n small ones
    Any help would b greatly appreciAted

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