If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ve probably learned that over the last five years, I’ve been donating the majority of the cards I make to Operation Write Home.  OWH is an organization that provides handmade greeting cards to our country’s military men and women who are deployed overseas, so that they may use the cards to write home to their loved ones.  OWH also welcomed “AnyHero” cards and letters containing messages of support for our troops.

It’s with mixed emotions on my part for me to state that OWH has ceased its collection efforts as of August 1, 2015.  This is due to many more deployed service members returning home, and staying home, than in the past.  On the one hand, it’s wonderful news that there are not as many people stationed overseas, and that they no longer need to make the sacrifices of being away from their homes and families.  That’s a fantastic thing!  On the other hand, as a card maker, to me it feels like a loss of a purpose, the end of a good cause.

OWH called its final campaign “Finishing Strong” – and that’s what I aimed to do.  Thanks to the USPS tracking system, I know that my last shipment to OWH was received by them on July 30.  I’m not going to state the total number of cards I’ve sent over the last five years because I don’t want to come across as bragging, but I’m proud of the number.  And I will readily admit that I couldn’t have done it without the support of a number of friends – friends who encouraged me by commenting on the cards I’ve posted here on my blog, friends who didn’t mind my donating cards they’d sent to me as part of card swaps (yes, I gave the friends credit for creating the cards!), and an elementary school principal and several teachers who gave me permission to bring AnyHero coloring pages into the classrooms in which I was substitute teaching for the students to complete after they’d finished their assignments.  To all of you who have helped me – THANK YOU so much.

Most of the cards in my last shipment have already been shared here on my blog, but I did make a few at the last minute so I could finish up with a nice round number.  I’m sharing a couple of them here today.  First is an any occasion card.  The “hello” is suitable for just about any reason.  I cut it from textured cardstock.  The white cardstock is textured, too.  The layout of the card is a sketch I’d designed for a CAS Colours & Sketches challenge last February, turned on its side.  The designer papers come from one of my favorite Basic Grey collections (which is kind of hard to say because I love so many of the Basic Grey collections!).  Although the colors seem to suggest masculinity, this card could be sent to pretty much any person of any age.

7-15 hello

And here is the last card I made specifically for OWH.  It’s a quick and easy design I’ve used in the past, but it just seems pretty classic, like this well-known tree image from Stampin’ Up.

7-15 miss you

Operation Write Home, I will miss you – the sketches, the other challenges, the blog hops, the virtual card making parties, and most of all, the camaraderie of everyone involved with the organization.  Thank you for allowing me to brighten the lives of our military men and women and their families.

As for me – I’ll still continue to make cards.  I’ve been looking into some other organizations that accept donations of handmade cards.  Although my time with OWH is finished, there are still plenty of other opportunities for me to spread some cheer through my creative efforts.

Supplies for the “hello” card:
Stamps: none
Cardstock: Sahara Sand, Sahara Sand textured, Whisper White textured (Stampin’ Up); scraps from Oh Baby! Boy collection (Basic Grey)
Ink: none
Other: Hello die (Avery Elle)

Supplies for the tree card:
Stamps: Lovely As a Tree (Stampin’ Up); Year-Round Sentiments (Hero Arts)
Cardstock: Naturals Ivory, Always Artichoke (SU)
Ink: Always Artichoke (SU)
Other: sponge

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