What are the guidelines? Our guidelines are in place for the safety of our heroes, for efficiency of our operation, and by specific request of our heroes. Please review the full list here, and print out a guidelines brochure here that summarizes the most important info. How many cards should I send? You can send just a few cards, or more than that – we encourage taking your time and doing your best work, since they’ll be used by America’s best! Can I send multiples of one card? Yes – with a caveat. Anytime of year we can accept 30 multiples of the same/similar general-themed cards, since we can take time to spread them out over weeks of shipments. (Only one or two of a single design goes into each box, for variety.) However during HOLIDAY seasons, we ask that the number be reduced to 25, and they should be sent early so we have time to spread them out. When they arrive just at or past the deadline, many will need to be saved for the following year, and we don’t want to store more in our homes than necessary. Do I need to send envelopes? Yes, they are required, AND if you can tuck the cards and sort them by categories as you pack your box, it helps our shippers so much! They put in crazy volunteer hours of labor preparing the shipments, and your assistance is crucial to letting them have a little family time. A link to discounted envelopes is here. Do I need to send postage stamps for each card? No, lettermail is free for our heroes to send home. Do cards have to have sentiments on them? You may include sentiments on the outside of your cards, on the inside, both, or neither. Sentiments may not be HANDWRITTEN. Blank cards are very versatile, so if you have no sentiment stamps, just leave it with a pretty design! How are shipping costs covered? Individual donations primarily cover our expenses. You may include a donation along with your cards if you wish – or PayPal it right now – to ensure our work continues! Gifts are tax deductible, and you will receive an email receipt for each shipment you send in if you include a packing slip. Read more about our stewardship here. Can I write a letter to a hero? Yes! We hope everyone puts AnyHero cards/letters in every package too. Can my children be involved? Yes! Kids are only to make cards with notes in them for our heroes to keep. Lots of info is here if you’re interested! Can scouts, seniors, or brand new cardmakers do this? Inexperienced crafters should consider making AnyHero cards at first, writing a note inside the card to a hero. It takes the pressure off to make something fancy, while learning the ropes of cardmaking! As experience takes over, you’ll be ready to roll! How do I pack cards? Envelopes or boxes are fine – make sure they don’t float around inside the package and destroy each other. And be certain to include a packing slip - so we can credit you with your tax-deductible donation, and email you to let you know your package arrived. Where do I send the cards? To any of our three regional shippers here. What are the most needed card themes? General cards work great all year long – thinking of you, hello, blank ones can be purposed by our heroes for any occasion. They also ask for love, missing you, thank you, and birthday cards. For seasonal cards, refer to the holiday deadlines calendar. Can I see some examples of cards that are sent in? Yes! We have a card gallery full of ideas, and keep up with our blog as well; new samples are posted there for each of our challenges all week long. On our Facebook page and Pinterest board we also post cards daily – so there’s a great photo gallery collected there, too! Newbies might be especially interested in the Before/After board. What is the best way to get more questions answered? Our Facebook is a great resource; even if our volunteers who monitor emails are busy, lots of crafters are on Facebook and ready to help you out at any time. What are the holiday deadlines? They’re posted here, and are generally 6-8 weeks prior to the holiday itself; that allows time for processing, shipping to our heroes, time for them to get them written, and back home before the holiday. Are there problem cards that I shouldn’t send? Our shippers have to repair cards that are falling apart due to poor quality (or not enough) cardstock or adhesive, or adding liners inside cards too dark to write on with a pencil – so staying out of the “card hospital” is a big help. Our biggest no-no is glitter – it not only makes our heroes visible to night vision goggles, but it also will contaminate all your other cards, so removing it from your stash before sending is a good idea. How can I improve my cardmaking? Follow our Stars and Stamps blog to see tutorials, samples, videos and more – many of our crafters have told us they have improved drastically since joining up with OWH….from practice as well as learning! Visit our cardmaking glossary if you’re confused by terminology used; see a list of Cardmaking 101, 201, and 301 level tutorials. What happens to my cards when they arrive at my shipper’s address? The package is first checked for a packing slip and for Operation Write Home on the backs; then cards are sorted by theme and put onto shelves to await packing up day. If no envelopes are provided, or cardbacks are not stamped or labeled, the cards are set aside until the shipper has time to tuck them. When enough cards are gathered to pack a bunch of boxes, our shipper begins dealing them out into each box so that every card is different than the last – See the video on the Mailroom page for a view of what cards go through. Do real people actually receive these cards? Oh yes! Check out the Hero Blog for hundreds of thankyou notes! I’m pretty new to cardmaking. What do all these words mean that you’re using? Check out our Cardmaking Glossary!
We have plenty of resources to help everyone learn…and we get so excited watching everyone grow in their crafting skills! Our best advice for new crafters is to take your time and pour lots of love into your cards.