Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Operation Write Home to end operations by the end of the year.

On May 12th, we got the news from Sandy with the May Situation Report from Operation Write Home,  (http://operationwritehome.org/finishing-strong-campaign/), that OWH was going to end operations by the end of the year.  Our last cards to Sandy will have to be delivered to her by August 1st.  Sandy said she used to send out 250 flat rate boxes of cards a month to contacts overseas, but that has dwindled down to 60 and still falling. It means our men and women are coming home, or are already back now with their family and friends, and this is a VERY good thing.  The original purpose of the organization, the reason for the non-profit status in the first place was to send cards to units that didn't have access to cards or stationary...those in combat zones that didn't have a post store (PX) to go to where they could get some.  Of course, there will always be troops overseas on bases that are already established, but those do have the ability to get paper/cards/stationary to write home on.  And we're hoping they do!  But the news that our favorite charity was closing up shop stunned us all.

This news hit many of us hardy card makers very hard.  And it's taken many days to process what this means for all of us.  This has been our passion and obsession for the last 5, 6 or 7 years.  Sending hand made cards to our troops in harms way and has been the thing driving many of us to continue to make lots of cards, to have gatherings with friends to produce many cards and write letters and notes to the service men and women, and frankly, justify our need to buy more card/art supplies!  But it was inevitable and really, we have to remember that the reason is a good one.  I just wish all of them could come home and we didn't have to send them overseas in the first place.  But I suppose there will always be a need to have a US presence in other countries.  We have embassies everywhere after all, and the military bases in friendly countries.  Someone has to stand guard.  God bless them all and protect them.

So, this last week, our local group associated with East Woods Presbyterian Church has had 2 more meetings where cards were produced to fill those last few boxes we will be sending to Sandy.  I went to this week's group at an LSS, Molly's Craft Shack.  Molly, the owner,  opens up her crafting room for us to make cards and has even helped out with a lot of the assembly of card kits.  I hope we can continue to go there for fun gatherings.  She has said she hopes we continue as well.  It's good for business after all.  LOL

Here are some cards I made into kits for our meeting on the 18th.  Esther says they are all packed up and on the way to Sandy now.  I brought in 56 already finished cards and 15 in three kits that we put together.  With others contributing, the box contained 248 by the time we were done, and 132 Any Hero cards.  Esther says she has a bunch in another box already and we hope to fill that before the deadline.  We have one more meeting planned at my friend Mary Benson's Assisted Living home, Brookdale at Fisher's Landing, on Monday the 25th.  Then next month, I think we're still planning on meeting at Ellen's on the 2nd Tuesday evening, and at Molly's Craft Shack on the 3rd Monday of the month.


These first five are Any Hero cards that will be used to write encouraging notes of thanks and appreciation to our troops.  Those go in the boxes with the blank cards Sandy sends.








These three were kits that I took to the group on last Monday that were made up into cards and put in the box Esther mailed out.





 This one is a card design I put together after I got home Monday and several of these will go out in the next box to OWH.




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So, I continue making cards for OWH, but at a much slower rate, and I'm trying to branch out into other avenues for my crafting.  I've gotten involved in a FB group, Seongsook's Stampers, and we have challenges every month or so to try a new technique, or new theme, and send one card to one other member of the group.  The names are chosen at random, so you aren't just sending to the same person and this way we get to know everyone a little better and get a variety of wonderful cards.  And everyone shares their cards they are making or have received by posting pics on FB, and I'm having the best time.  Everyone in this group is so talented and encouraging and helpful.  This is so much fun and my go-to group every day.  You know,  after sending cards out to family and friends for so many years and not getting many back...this is a treat because I have gotten so many lovely cards and look forward to going to the mailbox again!  Yay for the USPS.

But I digress.  I just wanted to jot down a few thoughts about OWH closing and post some of the cards I've made recently that will still go to the troops.  Now, what am I going to do with all those patriotic stamps I have stock piled?  :)  

Thanks for stopping by.

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