Thursday, November 26, 2015

Pen to Paper: Holiday Cards to Others

I hope all of you in the US are having a wonderful Thanksgiving with your loved ones! I am taking advantage of a little down time this morning to work on some of my holiday cards and getting the last of my packages packed and addressed.
Something that I try to do each year is add someone in need to my holiday card list, there are many out there who may not have family or loved ones to send them holiday cards and sometimes a kind thought of a stranger can make all the difference during this time of year.  So I have compiled a list of some charities or places to send an extra holiday card to in order to brighten someone else's day.
Military Members
Our soldiers and veterans should always have our thanks and be in our thoughts. There are many organizations out there that collect cards to send on to our military service members, both overseas and here at home.
The one that I will be sending to this year is Operation Christmas Cards, they are more local to me and I always like supporting local businesses and charities. You don't send to a specific person just write a thoughtful note in the card to a military member and the charity distributes them. Their deadline is December 5th and cards can be sent to the below listed address (there are guidelines so be sure to check the website).
Operation Christmas Cards
867 Grafton St #10#2
Worcester MA 01604
You can also check with your local Red Cross office, in years past the Red Cross has run a large card operation but it appears that they are no longer running it as a whole but individual offices may still be sending cards out.
In years past I have also gone through the Adopt a US Soldier program, however this one takes a little more time and commitment, it should not be looked at as just a holiday thing but a longer commitment. I adopted a soldier for a full year at one point and send a few care packages, several cards and letters throughout the year, the soldier I was sending to was unable to respond, but it is still nice to know that those packages and letters may have brightened his days.
I am looking forward to having Munchkin help me with this idea this year. There is a program called Cards for Hospitalized Kids, and they accept cards year round to distribute to kids where are in the hospital all over the country. They should be hand made cards and can be sent to the below listed address by December 10th (again be sure to check their guidelines on their website).
Cards for Hospitalized Kids
 7290 W. Devon Ave.
Chicago, IL 60631
You can also check with your local hospitals, I know many also accept handmade blankets, scarves and may also accept cards for the children.
Don't forget our elderly, not all of them are able to be with family during the holidays and some may not even have family anymore to share in the joy of the holiday season. You can always contact your local nursing homes and assisted living centers. I did come across this great page on Facebook that lists addresses for elderly living homes throughout not only the country but also the world. Please be sure to read their instructions HERE.
Additional Ideas
I remember years and years ago my church sent Christmas cards to prisoners, this is something you should consider. We received many very appreciative thank you responses at the church and one of the prisoners was an amazing artist and drew the most beautiful picture to hang in the church. This is definitely something you need to contact the prison and find out their guidelines and policies on before sending anything.
The homeless are also people to consider, check with your local homeless shelters or food banks to see if they collect and distribute holiday cards. This little bit of kindness and the simple thought can make all the difference and brighten what could be a gloomy time of year.
I am sure there are many more ideas out there of people who could use just that little bit of thought and cheer during the holidays and all it could cost you is a few minutes and a stamp. Isn't that worth it?! So please consider adding someone extra to your holiday mailing list!
Your Mission for the Week: Should you choose to, I would love to have everyone of my followers to send a holiday card to someone in need. It only takes a moment while you are sitting down to send out your other holiday cards and letters.

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