Thursday, February 5, 2009

CardsForHeroes: Helping Our Nation’s Heroes Keep in Touch with Home

Here’s a guest post from Sandy Allnock, president of The photo was taken in 2007 when the organization sent its very first boxes.

In these days of e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, and text messaging, a hand-written letter from a loved one is an absolute treasure. But there’s no card store in Kabul or Baghdad —what’s a hero to do? has stepped in to help, providing handmade cards to encourage deployed service members to write that letter they might otherwise have sent via digital media. And when that note makes it home, it brings smiles, heals hurts, and renews relationships in ways that an e-mail could never accomplish! was started by a group of crafters who wanted to share their handmade creations with deployed service members — and the idea has taken off!
Currently 100,000 cards have made the round trip to deployed heroes and back home to bless their families and friends at home. Those making the cards as well as sorting and shipping them have been touched by the experience as well. This project touches lives across the U.S. and around the world!

Over 1,000 crafters are involved in the making of cards -- individuals and groups, stamping clubs and retail stores -- using supplies they purchase or items donated from local businesses.

The cards are packed up and mailed to a shipper (addresses on the website), who in turn process the donations and sorts the cards until each box of 200-350 cards contains a wide selection of styles and themes from people across America.

Each box is “topped off” with a bag of “AnyHero” mail — cards or letters filled with messages of gratitude from the homefront. Children in schools and scouts make their own cards and write letters inside them that encourage deployed heroes and remind them of home.

The service members receiving the boxes distribute this hero mail, focusing on those who get little mail or need extra encouragement at the time. Feedback on AnyHero mail is tremendous: letters are posted on a wall to share with others, treasured in a locker of memories from home, or carried around in a pocket as extra incentive to do their job well on a difficult mission.

There are many opportunities to get involved with
• make blank cards (all-occasion or for holidays)
• donate funds to help with shipping
• write letters to deployed heroes
• sign up your deployed loved ones to receive and distribute cards

Visit the website or e-mail

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