If you've been following my blog for very long, you know how I feel about the non-profit organization, From Our Hearts. Through this wonderful organization, stampers from all over the country have been organized and networked to make cards that are sent to deployed troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Working primarily through chaplains, the cards are sent in boxes of about 300 cards at a time to more than 28 different locations. As we receive feedback from those receiving the cards, we know that they are snatched up almost as quickly as they arrive. The cards are used by military personnel to keep in touch with loved ones back home -- spouses, children, parents and friends all receive cherished notes from their loved ones on beautiful hand-made cards provided by literally hundreds of volunteers from across the nation!
Here's the really exciting news -- From Our Hearts has grown by leaps and bounds over this past year - from a little over 20,000 cards mailed last year to over 20,000 cards mailed this month alone! With growth comes new challenges and the organization has out-grown the space in Martie Shae's home -- primarily her spare bedroom and dining room. Martie is the organizer and coordinator of this fabulous outreach!
They have been offered FREE space to move their operations. Beginning January 1st, they will have a large space with room for everything in one space. This is really exciting news! You can read more about Martie's announcement HERE.
With their new space, they have new needs and need our help. Since everything has been in Martie's home up to now, they have simply used equipment that she already had -- computer, printer, tables, chairs, shelves, etc. Now they need to furnish their new space. Approximately $1500 is needed by the end of the year to purchase the things they will need to move the operation to the new space. If you're able to help out this fabulous organization, even with just a small gift, it will make a HUGE difference.
Donations may be made on the From Our Hearts Website by paypal. Any amount is appreciated! Donations may also be mailed to:
From Our Hearts, PO Box 105243, Jefferson City, MO 65109
All contributions are tax deductible. A letter for tax purposes will be mailed upon request.
Now, for some more exciting news! You may remember the Birthday Card Contest that I held last May when so many of you sent Birthday Cards for From Our Hearts. More than 800 cards were received and sent overseas to the troops.
The urgent need for cards right now is Valentine's Day Cards! Yes, I know it's not even Christmas yet. But the Valentine Card shipment needs to be completed before the end of the year! My blog followers donated more than 800 Birthday cards. Can we top that record? Dare we dream of sending 1000 or more Valentine Cards to From Our Hearts before the end of the year? Wouldn't that be wonderful!
So, here's the details. Make a little bit of time to create some Valentine Cards for From Our Hearts. They don't have to be fancy or complicated. They can use retired product and even non-Stampin' Up! product! I would like to challenge everyone who reads this to send at least 5 Valentine Cards with Envelopes to From Our Hearts before December 20th. If you're able to make more (or if you already have a supply that you can send) that would be even better. If you're able to put each card and envelope inside a Clear Envelope, that would be even better than better! With every batch of Valentine's Cards, if you could send some cash to help with postage that would be simply wonderful. I would suggest $2 for every 5 cards that you send. In fact, it cost about $14 to send an entire box of cards (about 300 cards) to the troops so if you're able to donate postage for an entire box, that would be super-fantabulous! Send your Cards/envelopes and donations directly to From Our Hearts (address is below in the Valentine box) and include a note to let them know you are doing this as part of "Gretchen's Valentine Card Challenge". I also need you to leave a comment on this blog post to let me know you are participating.
Martie and her crew will keep track of who sends cards and donations and how many are sent. And then I will award one lucky participant (drawn randomly) a BRAND NEW Clear Mount Build a Blossom Stamp Set and the coordinating Blossom Petals Punch from the Occasions Mini Catalog. That's a value of more than $35 for Brand New products from Stampin' Up! The prize will be mailed out to the lucky winner by January 15th.
If you have questions, let me know! I'm so excited about this new challenge and the wonderful growing pains that From Our Hearts is experiencing! Just think of all the wonderful smiles and tears as military families receive messages back from their deployed loved ones on YOUR hand-made Valentine Cards! it warms my heart and I can't think of a better Christmas present!