Prepare cards to mail

As you can see, we receive packages of all shapes and sizes. Mostly flat rate packaging (one price no matter the weight or distance), but many other types as well! So now that you’ve got your cards made with lots of TLC, go through this simple checklist, tape up that box, and label it with your shipper’s address!



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Are they stamped on the backs? Operation Write Home (the full name, not OWH) needs to be on the back of every card so our heroes and their families can find us on the web. You can handwrite it, use a label, print from your computer, have your own stamp made, purchase a self-inking stamp, or request a free red rubberstamp. Text is fine, it doesn’t have to be the logo. Plus you can use your own personal stamp (with or without your contact info) on the backs as well as listing our name.

Got liners? If you’ve used dark card bases, white or a light color liners are needed! Our heroes may only have a pencil to write with – so even some Kraft paper needs a liner. Test it out to decide.


Sorted? Placing cards in a box by theme is a huge help to the shipper. Marking AnyHero mail is also a huge help! Some folks put a slip of paper between themes, a paper band around each group, or rubber bands to mark them for the shipper. Plastic bags are okay, however they make a lot of plastic for landfills. We can recycle paper.


Packed securely? Bubble packs, manila envelopes, and boxes are all fine ways to ship. Note that sleeves are not needed (and are removed) – just add a little bubble wrap, paper, or other packing material to keep your cards from bouncing around and crumbling in the package. Some folks put a paper band around themes to keep them secured as well. The best packing filler: AnyHero mail![/wpcol_1half]

[wpcol_1half_end id=”” class=”” style=””]Tucked? Envelopes for A2 cards are required, and having cards arrive tucked and ready to go assures your cards can be mailed out quickly and saves the shipper hours of labor. There are two versions of a proper “tuck,” – and it actually shows both version of the tucks. Cards folding along the short side go entirely into the envelope. If the’re not stamped on the back, please don’t tuck at all, since they’ll need to be removed and stamped anyway….but with the free stamp listed above, you’ll be stamping, we know!

Completed your packing slip? To get credit for your tax-deductible donation of cards and funds, you must send along a completed packing slip. Even if you’re a ‘regular,’ we need to have the count of cards and all information for our records. Place any donation in an envelope and/or attach it to the packing slip so it doesn’t get lost! (A vlog in fall 2011 addressed the packing slips here! Prepare to giggle!) Tip: Keep a copy of your packing slips so you can track the number of cards made throughout the year. You’ll receive a year-end summary in January with the total number of cards and financial donations for your taxes.

Download packing slip


  1. Hahaha!! I totally agree with you on the sentiment ick! I do not like live, laugh love either!! Nor do I like “create” or “dream” not because I don’t like to create or dream but on a card?! No!

  2. When I click on the Download packing slip button it causes my Internet Explorer to stop working. :(

    • Oh no! :( It works on my IE….can you upgrade the browser, or try a different one?

      • I can open other .pdf files on other websites… are you using something really recent? I’m reluctant to upgrade because I’ve heard bad things about the next version… I do still have one packing slip from the last time I sent cards…it might be from 2011. Is the form still the same? I can photocopy it and use that if it hasn’t changed.

        • Sandy Allnock

          Yep, same form – just use last year’s.

          IE is notoriously buggy in general – I switched to Chrome and it’s soooo much faster not to mention can see sites that IE can’t. Just a thought :)

          • Okay, will do. And thanks for the Chrome tip – I may give that a try.

      • MaryLou Rupp

        Live well
        Laugh often
        Love much

        This is how I have heard it said. I agree that those three words by themselves don’t mean much, with added adjective to say what we are living, laughing and loving about helps some. I don’t use it much by itself. That’s it…no more. Keeping smiling and making those cards

  3. Sharon Roselli

    live well, laugh often, love always

  4. Lucy Solberg

    I am confused on the number of cards you can put in one shipment. I have 400 cards ready to mail. Is this to many for one shipment? This includes 50 Any Hero cards. The cards are stamped, tucked and sorted by theme.


  5. Lucy Solberg

    Can cards be shipped to a shipper location via Fed Ex ground or do I need to find a post office someplace? I live in a rather remote area and Fed EX comes into my area if that is ok.

    • If you send via FedEx please don’t require a signature. Some of us work and then have to jump hoops to go find a FedEx 20 miles away to go pick it up. Thanks!

      • Lucy Solberg

        Thanks Sandy for the FedEX info. I’ll try to get to a post office. FedEX in my area delivers to my house so I thought they would deliver to the shipper address and you would not have to go anywhere to pick up a package. Ours also leave all packages on the porch if no one is home. I’ll see if I can do better than FedEX.


        • I think if you tell them not to get a sig, it should be fine; they do drop some packages off. But sometimes when that’s required and I’m not home, it makes it a struggle. Thanks!

  6. Christie Proctor

    How do you tuck the hero cards? Do you want them in 2.0 or totally inside the envelope ready to seal? I know if says with or with out envelope – which would you prefer if we are sending cards that are hand made?

    • dixiecochran

      Christie, you can do either. I know when I was a shipper, I liked the tuck for hero cards so I could pull them out quickly to check and then I’d put them back in the envelope.

  7. Sandy Allnock

    With or without envies is fine, but I’ve grown to appreciate no envies, since I have to read them all and retuck; so just reading is easier :)

  8. Oh I can hear Dixie now, her rant….hearts!

  9. I was given a bunch of envelopes with the company name on the flap. If I cover the name can it be used?

    • Hmm. I had some with a company name on them and used them for my AnyHero mail, and just put a fun patriotic sticker over the logo. Hadn’t really thought about sending cards in with them. I suppose if it could be covered tactfully (without a big black mark or something) they might be alright?

  10. I guess I am an odd duck as I like the Live, Laugh, Love…. Because, like Sharon up above here Live well, Laugh Often and Love Always or, Love Much is what I think of and they are really great words to live by. When I got sick and almost died in 2010 I put this on the inside of my phone to remind just how precious life is. It helped me to remember to keep living every day to it’s fullest and to think that just about almost two years ago this month I was in the hospital getting ready for brain surgery those words really helped. But, I get it I dislike some sentiments as well so, don’t be shocked if I still send cards with Live, Laugh, Love on them it is not an order just a reminder. ;0)


  11. What about handmade envelopes? Do the envelopes have to be white or can they be any light color as long as the written mailing address can be seen?
    Cant help you with the meaning of live, laugh, love cause I have no clue. Never liked it either.

    • Envelopes should all be light, but we don’t encourage handmade ones. They fall apart with all the handling they get, and a lot of the templates are larger than A2 (even a slight bit messes up a box being shipped). Having adhesive on the flap is crucial, too, and all it takes is forgetting it once and it renders envelopes useless. The ones you can get from Heinrich with our OWH coupon code actually make them about 2c each, so it’s hardly worth the time/effort to make them for that cost. (See this page for the coupon code and link:

  12. Two links are not working: 1) free red rubberstamp and 2) by theme.

  13. Garnet Parker

    My UNfavorite sentiment is BELIEVE. I do believe. I believe in God and in Hi Son. But the word by itself became so overused. It often brings to mind the old joke, “Everyone has to believe in something. I believe I’ll have another beer.”
    So, as you might guess, I only use the word BELIEVE when making Christian cards.

  14. Pat Wroblewski

    I dislike “Happy Holidays and Season’s Greetings.” It is so PC. I like to say Merry or Happy Christmas. For my friends that are Jewish, it is Happy Chanukah.

    • We love to have a selection of both happy holidays and Merry Christmas sentiments – that way no matter what our heroes like to say, there’s a card they can send :) (But I agree – I like Merry Christmas best!) :)

  15. Sharon Underwood

    OMgoodness. What’s wrong with Live Laugh Love? After a year of turmoil, those three words have been a constant reminder for me to keep going, no matter what, & to try to laugh & love every day I am living. I imagine that would help those in combat, as well. And, Believe? Hope? Without those two, what is there?

    • lol! Sharon, I don’t have any issue at all with those words. Definitely we need much more laughter and love! However – it’s not something that works all that well on cards – they ask us for “Thinking of you” and “I love you.” For many guys who are looking for a quick card to convey their thoughts, we keep it straightforward as much as we can. Lots of them have no idea what occasion you’d send a card with “Dream” on it for, so they leave it behind – and we want them all to be used and loved :)

  16. Dawn Edens

    lt’s now April 2013 & last post was on December 29th ’12 is anyone still reading this? I’m English but now live in Madeira – minute island in the gulf off the top of Africa but actually part of Portugal. lf l made you some A2 cards would you like them? or am l the wrong nationality?
    l promise not to put ‘LIVE, LAUGH, LOVE’ on them : )
    lf l’d known it was happening before l would have offered but only read about it today.
    Every Blessing, prayer and hugs to all who have a family fighting in this war.

  17. Jean Mc Farlane

    This is exciting! I made 18 cards yesterday. Got them ready to stamp when my OWH stamp comes.
    Will there be an address, I’m confused about the Mail to any shipper~address. Jen Mc Farlane

  18. Robin L

    Hi Sandy, I’m getting ready to send another box. So glad you showed the “tucking” cause I was doing it wrong on prior boxes(SORRY!). But I did want to ask if it is OK on dark card bases to line both sides for more writing space? And I have always sent “adult” birthday cards but could there be a “kids” birthday card for thoses who have children or does it matter?

    • No worries Robin! If you did “tuck 1.0″ those were never re-tucked…only ones that had the card slipped under the flap had to be redone. We don’t separate kids cards – one birthday section with a great mix for everyone, one love section, etc.

  19. I’m doing an event this weekend to stamp for OWH & wondered: is it still OK to line the inside of the card with a folded sheet of paper, providing lots more space for writing a message? It’s been a while, and I don’t see this on the website any more – not current “procedure”? Many thanks …

  20. karenladd

    I can’t remember if there was a post indicating the preferred weight of cardstock for card bases. I usually use 65-80 lb cardstock for my cards, is that okay? I used to buy boxes of pre-cut and folded cards from companies like DCWV but these are really flimsy…probably less than 65 weight so I just use them as card mats instead now. Thanks.

  21. Debbie Long

    I saw where you can stamp your own personal stamp on the back of the cards. What if you do not have a personal stamp, can you write your name and place where you live on the back?

  22. I participate in swaps where we swap just card fronts, not whole cards. Is it okay to recycle those into card for OWH by gluing the front onto a folded card base (light color)?

  23. Helen Pfeffer

    I watched the vlog listed above, but there was no mention of ‘tucking’. In fact, the vlog video was in no way similar to anything commented on above. Maybe I’m more tired than I think, but I do not know what is meant by ‘tucking’. Please explain. Thanks :)

  24. Rosemary G

    Can some one tell me if we should stamp the owh stamp on pages that have been colored by my grandson from his coloring book or are we not allowed to use those? Thanks.

  25. OMG – and here I thought I was “tucking” my cards correctly…ugh. Sorry – Will do better next time.
    I have a new batch ready to be paired with envelopes. will do it “correctly” this time around :-)

  26. Juanita Engel

    Thank you for sending my Operation WRite Home so promptly. Can’t wait to send them off. How will I know if they are acceptable, or if I should be doing something different. I took lots of notes off of your website, and hope I got it all right. Thanks, Juanita E

  27. Christine

    Ugh! I just sent a box full of 70+ cards and realized I tucked wrong. I watched a video of the tucking years ago, and thought I had it right. It wasn’t until I just watched this video that I see that I am tucking the tab in instead of out. I have them all tucked backwards. Now my cards will have to go to the hospital. I hate that I caused so much extra work. I’m so mad at myself!

  28. Audra H

    Hi. When I opened the packing slip link (above) the Adobe Reader highlights the fields for me to fill in. The address field is skipped and doesn’t allow me to type my street address in this area.

  29. I have been crafting off and on for a while now, just getting back to a schedule again and have some cards saved up from swaps and such that I have been “meaning” to get to you. I finally took the time to sit down here and find out all of the do’s and don’ts, printed them too and will be getting a package together for you soon (basic 5s more than likely but possibly some Father’s Day will make their way before the deadline too). I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for what you are doing for our troops … your “rant” as you called it 😉 was perfect and definitely needed. I have been in swaps and seen some of these rush through cards, and I would never give those to a soldier/their families. You definitely touched my heart with the hero’s s story of his card chosen for his brother, Sandy. <3 Bless you, and Thank You for sharing it with us, Kelly

  30. geraldine quesenberry

    my cards will be in the mail tomorrow. Yeah!!! This is my first batch. i hope i did everything correctly.
    please let me know if they meet all your specs. i took to heart your message and did the very best i could.
    i feel really good about what i have done. take care and march on!

  31. WaS wondering if I can decorate the envie a little – like a small stamp or drawing on the flap or corner. I’m the matchy matchy type lol!

  32. geraldine quesenberry

    i don’t like naked envelopes either!!!

  33. Tiffani Sparks

    I seriously can’t use an envelope bigger than an A2? It’s very slightly bigger. I received 3 big boxes of envelopes with 2000 in each box for free from an invitation company that went out of business.

    • Unfortunately those don’t fit in the boxes we send – they fit exactly two rows of A2 envelopes, and the bigger ones mean we get lots fewer cards to fit :(

  34. karenladd

    Finally preparing my box of 100 cards to mail and I wanted to clarify the instructions about lining dark cardstock cards. I have lined mine with white cardstock but do I need to line both inside sections with the white cardstock, or only one side? I hope this question makes sense! Thanks!

  35. geraldine quesenberry

    if you have cards larger than A2 you might want to send them to “cards for soldiers”. they will use anysize.

    • Garnet

      I just looked at CardsforSoldiersblogspot. They also require A2 size.

      • geraldine quesenberry

        yes, you are right. but, i talked to pam Bumgardner who runs the progam and she said i could send them. i have sent many different size cards to them and have not received an email not to. so,you might email her and ask her. it would be interesting to see what she says. she is also on facebook.

        • The larger cards are inefficient for shipping from any organization – the larger ones don’t fit in well, so you get less in a box. Maybe they don’t care. We’d rather focus on ones that fit in the rows so we get the biggest bang for our shipping dollars and get the most cards to our heroes as we can.

          • karenladd

            Also wanted to chime in that there’s always a possibility the envelopes might become separated from the cards and if we sent cards of varying sizes and shapes then the envelopes wouldn’t fit and our Heroes couldn’t send them! So making them all the same size makes perfect sense in more than one way!

  36. Juanita

    I feel silly, I thought I was tucking properly but I goofed it up so the poor person who gets the hundred cards I sent should make me come and fix them. I will do it right next time.

  37. Jen Knee

    There is only a couple things I’m confused on I can’t seem to make heads or tails off. I know we can write letters to the Heros. But when it comes to making cards, do we leave the large part of them blank for soldiers to send home? Or would you like us to add notes in some of them?

  38. Can cards be created without any sentiment on it? That way they could be used for any occasion. I used to hand carry my cards to a local store that sent all cards collected for OWH. They are now going out of business, so I will be mailing myself. I never realized how many rules there were, and I thought maybe I should have had sentiments on each one. Thanks,

  39. Barb,
    The gals at my church make a lot of the OWH cards without any sentiment. As you said, they can be used for any occasion or for just a notecard.

  40. Garnet,
    Thanks for your quick response. I am so glad we can keep the cards plain. It makes it nice to add your sentiment inside. Have a super day!

  41. Barbra S.

    It is now March 2015 & the last comment here is from Aug 2014. Is OWH still active? Our church is planning a card making session for OWH next week.

  42. Geraldine Quesenberry

    In lieu of sending envelopes can i send a donation for them instead. i would rather do that. thank you.

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