Monday, January 9, 2012

Getting carded

Recently, my pal Irma lamented that she had so many beautiful holiday cards sent to her, and she really wasn't sure what to do with them all.  She asked her friends for their advice on saving versus tossing.  I know a lot of people get crafty with their cards, turning them into wreaths or garlands or what have you; I applaud such efforts, even though I don't do these things myself.  I'm personally an advocate of keeping cards of particularly sentimental value (for example, I have the last Christmas card I ever got from my mother's parents before they both died in 2006), but I'm also a big fan of taking a third option, which in this case is donating the surplus cards to charity.

The best known recourse for donating cards is a program called St. Jude's Ranch for Children, a rescue mission for abused, neglected, and abandoned children.  (It's not to be confused with St. Jude's Hospital, which caters to critically ill children regardless of their ability to pay for treatment.)  The ranch has a program for recycling cards by having the resident kids turn them into new cards.  These are then made available for purchase as a fundraiser for the ranch.  Of course they mostly work with holiday cards, because that's what the most people send to each other, but they accept donations of all kinds of cards all throughout the year.  In fact, there is currently a particular need for birthday and thank-you cards.

There are a few rules, of course.  For one thing, the program cannot accept any cards manufactured by Hallmark, Disney, or American Greetings.  They use the front part of the card, so make sure before you send any cards that there's no writing inside the front.  Oh, and please don't send those really big novelty cards - cards measuring 5 by 7 inches or smaller are vastly preferred.

If you're sending a large quantity, the website notes that the most cost-efficient way to mail them is in one of those flat rate packages at the post office.  (You know..."if it fits, it ships.")  Bundle up your donation and send it to:

St. Jude's Ranch for Children
Recycled Card Program
100 St. Jude's Street
Boulder City, NV  89005

If you're interested, you can also purchase the cards made by the kids, to complete the cycle.  Cards are sold in packs of ten for $10.  You can place an order by calling 1-877-977-7572, or by sending a check and written request to:

St. Jude's Ranch for Children
ATTN:  Donor Office
P.O. Box 60100
Boulder City, NV  89006-0100

Reducing waste, helping kids in need, saving trees...sounds like a great way to start the year, doesn't it?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Photo contest! Check it out! (These are mine.)