The Cards for Troops Drive is officially over.
On 8th September 2020 I received notice from the military that the Troops will be coming home. They have enough cards from previous Drives to tide them over till they are back (exact date unknown). So after NINE YEARS of faithfully sending our handmade cards to our Troops, they are asking us to not send any more.
I have so many cards for this year's Drive and have been figuring out what to do with them instead of sending them to the Troops. I have been seeking out charities who love to receive our cards.
You can see where our Cards for Troops wound up below.
Thank you to all of those who have regifted their donated 2020 Cards For Troops to another charity by leaving them with me and to those who were able to collect their cards for their own charities.
Our cards are certainly not going to waste! I have found some amazing organisations who welcomed a supply of gorgeous handmade cards to assist them in their efforts to help others.
The people I found to donate our Cards for Troops to are just a small sample of charitable groups needing support.
Why not continue to make cards to support a charity near you?
I love to make a difference with my cardmaking skills and those of you who have contributed to the Cards for Troops Drive over the years have shown your willingness to help others too. Please don't stop creating for causes!
An historic moment was recorded as I handed over the last of our Cards for Troops to Brenda Rennie of Crafty Storage Brenda makes amazing storage solutions for crafters of all kinds. Some of her work is displayed Behind us in the photo. I'm going to consult with Brenda for my next craft room makeover in fact.
Brenda found a group on Facebook asking for cards to send to people in Nursing Homes and the like, who often are forgotten and never receive happy mail.
Here's what Brenda asked:
"Good morning all. I have just come across a group called Heart Letter Pen that makes cards and then sends them all around the country for Mother's Day, Father's Day, Christmas, Thinking of you etc.
For Mothers Day they sent almost 5000 card (yes 5K) to various aged care/nursing homes etc: one at Nerang, one at Ipswich, plus all other states.
Just wondering if anyone is interested in making a couple of cards and then sending them direct to November Sheehan at:
Heart Letter Pen
PO Box 222
...From the messages November has posted on their Facebook page from the homes that these have been sent to makes an amazing difference to their residents. I think there might even be an opportunity to nominate a place that some cards could be sent to. There is even a Heart Letter Pen Kids group.
Thanks for your consideration.
As soon as I contacted Brenda and told her I had a tub full of cards from our Cards for Troops Drive just waiting for good homes, she accepted them with pleasure.
So it is with heartfelt gratitude and thanks that I tell you your card donations are now complete. Your Cards for Troops will be well-loved and make a difference in many people's lives, in a different setting than we intended at first perhaps, but it will make a tremendous difference to many.
And if you decide to keep making and sending your future card creations to Heart Letter Pen, tell them Brenda and I sent you.
I hope you do keep supporting good causes with your creativity! There are many options listed for you on this page now and I know you will also be able to find places to donate cards in your own communities.
You are all amazing!
You can see our post acknowledgement at Heart Letter Pen.
So far I have raised some money by selling some of our Cards for Troops cards to help CCA (Caboolture Community Action), a charity that is not-for-profit and who helps with the needs of the Homeless. They will use the funds to create gift bags and boxes for people who live on the streets.The gifts contain such things as food, clothing and personal care items like soap and shampoo.
The CCA happens to be the preferred community charity of my church. I was able to set up a table each Sunday in November to allow church folk to buy our cards. They were mainly interested in purchasing Christmas cards.
We have raised about $200 this way to help the Homeless.
We are also collecting goods that will help the homeless and have several large boxes of food and clothing for them in December.
It costs about $5000 to feed the people who live on the streets of just Caboolture, every month. Our cards are helping to raise the money needed to feed hungry people and give them the basics to survive on the streets.
CCA does not receive much government funding so looks to the community for support of their organisation. Most of the positions held at the organisation are volunteer positions.
If you want to help, do contact CCA directly and ask how best to do that. You could even hold a fundraiser at your home and send the proceeds to CCA, rather than send them cards.
I was so happy to meet a lady who volunteers her time at Neighbour's Aid. a wonderful organisation that raises money through their Opportunity Shop to fund projects like orphanages. Julie was able to take many boxes and bags of our Cards for Troops to sell in their shop.
She wanted all occasion cards rather than Christmas cards due to the time of year it is. Christmas is almost upon us!
This is Neighbour's Aid's vision:
Our Vision – Neighbours Aid will make a difference to the lives of some of the world’s needy children through the provision of education, healthcare and other initiatives aimed at improving the quality of life of the people in the communities in which we work. We will raise funds through our opportunity shops, child sponsorship program, monetary donations and other approved means to finance approved projects in Majority World nations, empowering and enabling local leaders to change their nations one child at a time.
Here is Julie accepting the cards she will be able to use to help raise funds for humanitarian projects.
Julie says Neighbour's Aid will be looking for more cards in the future, should anyone want to continue making cards to support them.
Do contact them directly if you have cards to send.
Ronald McDonald House (RMHC) was so happy to hear from us. They assist families with children who have serious illnesses. They definitely wanted Christmas cards at this time of year but they also wanted sympathy cards and birthday cards.
There are two RMHCs in the Brisbane Qld area and I have been asked to donate 200 Christmas cards and 100 birthday and sympathy cards to them.
Families who have suddenly had to bring a child to hospital will benefit directly from our cards. They will be able to write to family and friends without having to go to the shops to buy cards. They can sit by their child and write in our cards, staying connected in a way only our cards made with love can provide.
The donation of these cards has now happened! Here's what 300 handmade cards looks like in ordinary shopping bags, placed on the counter of RMHC in Herston:
And here am I on the left, officially handing over our card donation to Trish of RMHC.
I took this from RMHC's about page:
Our Mission: To support the ever-changing needs of seriously ill children and their families.
Our Vision: To achieve the best outcome for families by reducing the impact of their child’s serious illness.
Our Programs and Service:When a child is diagnosed with a serious illness, it impacts the whole family. Lives can be turned upside down. That’s why we provide a range of programs to help families stay together and close to the care they need.
RMHC will need more cards after Christmas, so do contact them if you would like to send them some cards in the future.
As I sifted through our cards to find Christmas and birthday cards and sympathy cards for other worthy causes, I put aside every card I found with a butterfly on it. These will go to DEBRA.
This is what the organisation is about:
DEBRA Australia is a not for profit volunteer based organisation that does not receive any direct Government funding and works tirelessly to support those living with a group of rare skin blistering disease called Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB). DEBRA Australia assists in improving the lives of children and adults living with EB, the debilitating and sometimes fatal condition, by providing necessary support services, medical supplies, aids and equipment, support services, assistance with transition to independent living and research focusing on different aspects of EB.
A world where no one suffers from the painful genetic skin condition Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB).
To ensure that people living with EB have access to the best quality support and medical care, whilst also driving the effective development of treatments and cure for EB. To raise awareness and understanding of EB amongst health professionals and the general public within Australia.
DEBRA will use our lovingly made butterfly cards to thank people who help their organisation and raise the spirits of people affected by EB. Butterflies are their chosen symbol for the organisation, hence the preference for butterfly cards.
Do contact them if you are willing to make some butterfly cards for DEBRA. Their details are on their website and you can also find them on Facebook.
Would you like to help the Cards for Troops Drive? Would you like to enable Aussie Troops who can not easily access cards (let alone hand-made ones!) To send some handmade greeting cards to their loved ones?
Calling all you wonderful card makers!
Many of our troops are deployed overseas, where there are no local stations or card shops, and they really appreciate the efforts of people who are able to send them some special greetings.
We will need to send them early in order to allow those who are distributing the cards to get them to people in enough time for them to post back to their loved ones.
The current drive is about all sorts of cards as they cannot always find such things as birthday cards, thinking of you cards, I love you cards, anniversary cards, Christmas cards, Easter cards, or even sympathy cards.
So go ahead and make the cards you would like for all occasions, and send them on to me before October 1st 2020.
And stay safe in the current health crisis.
Please Note: The only specification for cards made for the Australian armed forces is:
The USA armed forces say the cards should have no glitter on them, but the Australian armed forces do not prohibit glitter.
I guess glitter is sticky and could interfere with impeccable inspections. I know it sticks to ME whenever I use it, sometimes for days! So I personally do stick to using heat embossing, bling and metallic ribbons instead of using glitter.
Also, the cards have to be sent in those 2kg Australia Post boxes so the size of the cards cannot exceed the box size! The cards can be any shape, as long as they have an envelope to fit them.
Any card that you would send through Australia Post is a good card.
Thank you in advance for taking part in the 2020 Card Drive!
We will do our best to acknowledge receipt of your cards but if you have not heard from us, please do contact me about your cards.
The address for sending your cards to me after April 1st 2020 is:
Cards for Troops
PO Box 97
Morayfield Qld 4506
As a Volunteer who has been coordinating these Drives since 2011, it has been heart-warming to see how the event has grown each year. The generosity and kindness of those who make cards and share their time, talent and supplies is very moving. I can never thank you enough on behalf of the Troops.
I know each box of lovingly prepared cards costs you in time, supplies and postage, and that is not a little cost.
I have been asked by some of you if I get paid to run the Cards for Troops Drive.
I do not.
Neither have I asked any of you to help with the costs associated with running the Drive, but I thought a little accounting might be useful for those of you wondering. Actually, I was wondering myself how much it cost me to run last year's Drive, our biggest yet.
Some background: When the Drive was small, it was easy to absorb the costs of packaging and sending the collected cards into my household budget. I was working back in 2011 but retired in 2013.
In the early days, sometimes contributors would forget to add envelopes, individual cellophane bags, etc. I would just go ahead and add these from my stash.
Now: We are collecting thousands of cards a year and the costs of running the event are rising, and my income has gone down! I need to budget throughout the year to be sure I can cover the cost of running the Drive.
Let's talk about how you already help. Thank you to everyone who packages their cards individually in cellophane bags, and adds an envelope for each card. That helps a lot.
It also helps when contributors send a bag of say, Christmas cards, to have that printed on the jumbo Ziplock bag you send them in. I can recycle the Jumbo Ziplock bags for packing cards that way.
Another cost is the price of buying the packing boxes and packing tape for the almost 40 x 2kg boxes we sent last year. So if you are sending a large 2kg box of cards, I am recycling that box as well for the Drive.
I always need help packing the cards too, and am blessed to have generous crafting friends (thank you, Shirley and Shelia!) who make time to help. They donate days of their time to the Drive.
None of us puts a dollar amount on our time, but if we did, the minimum wage is around $20 per hour. I have never kept track of the hours we put in throughout the year, but just the physical weighing and packing of the cards into suitable bags and boxes, writing letters and addressing those boxes then ensuring every seam of the box is sealed with packing tape as required, adding Customs forms to the boxes then taking them to the Post Office and processing them through, one by one, etc would be a minimum of 32 hours and more like 64. If it is only 32 hours, 32 x 20 is $640!!
I also spend many hours per year answering inquiries about the Drive, writing to thank people for contributing, making and sending thank you cards (because I need to send you hand made cards!) liaising with the Military and the Post Office, and running card making events.
To give you an idea of costs other than the volunteer hours and card making days I hold and where like you, I also donate a lot of materials and time to allow people to make cards for Troops:
40 x Parcel boxes = $65
5 rolls of packing tape = $12
Envelopes (I donated an additional 80 - 120 last year) = $40
Cellophane Bags (I donated an additional 80 - 120) = $28.50
Jumbo Ziplock Bags (2 per box is 80 bags) = $40
TOTAL FOR PACKING SUPPLIES - $185.50
So you can see, it does cost to hold a Cards for Troops Drive.
The costs are not out of this world costs and I do gradually purchase the things I need for it throughout the year, but I just wanted you to see what the general costs were.
Maybe this little piece will give those of you who are thinking of starting a charitable Drive an idea of what it will costs in time and money.
I hope it encourages you to know it is do-able, and if you run the Drive over a period of six months like I do, you can budget for the things you need.
The thanks we get from the Troops who write back in gratitude is payment enough.
We have already been receiving beautiful cards from our own 'troop' of contributors. I love acknowledging these special crafters with generous hearts. I will add your first name and state here as I receive your cards:
Pat D (x 2)
Phil & Kayla B
A huge thank you to all who contribute to the Drive! .
I will add your first name, last name initial and state to this list as I receive cards from you.
For 2019, here are our contributors:
Liz A, Qld (two lots of cards have been received)
Michelle F and her lovely Mother-In-Law Diane T, WA(two lots of cards have been received)
Kay H, Tasmania (three lots of cards have been received)
Mary C, Qld
Susan T, NSW
Kim Ba, Qld
Kim Br, Qld
Shirley T, Qld (two lots received)
Margaret D, Qld
Margaret H, Qld
Patricia A, Qld (two lots received)
Colleen G, Qld
Pat D, Qld (two lots of cards now received)
Davina R, Qld
Susan HL, Qld
Di B, WA
Liz S, VIC
Vanessa P, Qld
Vicki G, Qld
Barbara O, NSW
Margaret S, NSW
Carol T, NSW
Cheryl W, NSW
Kelly O, Qld
Julie O, Qld
Rachel W, Vic
A special mention and photo for Chrissy G and Chrissy's Creative Crew who got together as a team and made a huge box of 620 handmade cards for the Drive. Thanks to
We have received many, many beautiful cards, and I will feature some of those in coming months. I particularly wanted to show you Kim Brosnan's hand painted cards first.
Thank you so much for your original artwork, Kim! Some Troops are going to love these.
I always put a letter, blank sheet of paper and SAE in with each box of cards, in the hopes that some of the Troops will write back to say how the Cards for Troops Drive went from their end. This year I received five replies, some with a few signatures, and I think our cards have definitely been appreciated!
Here are the letters, photos, a card and a badge that I received on everyone's behalf:
Thank you for your wonderful responses!
The Cards for Troops drive to help our Aussie soldiers on deployment overseas is now completed for 2018.
"Lord, pray war's trumpet cease; Fold the whole earth in peace".
~ Oliver Wendell Holmes
Good news! The amazing cards you all sent for this year's Drive were mailed out today, November 22nd 2018! While some areas have been supplied with enough cards for the year, we were able to mail ours out after all without waiting.
Here's our report on the mailing of the cards.
The Cards for Troops Drive 2018 resulted in 19 boxes of handmade cards being posted to our deployed Troops. Here they are stacked in the back of our car for delivery to the Post Office.
It took two shopping trollies for hubby and I to get all those boxed cards upstairs to the Post Office.
Here we are in the Post Office, lodging the boxes with them so they could be transported to our Troops.
Hubby gives the boxes a final pat before we left them inside the Post Office, safely handed over for delivery.
Thank you. Thank you to all who participated in this year's Drive.
I'll be letting you know when we start collecting for next year
The 2018 Cards for Troops Drive is now complete. I am in the process of checking with the military to find out when they would like our boxes of hand made cards to be sent. It seems it has been a bumper year for cardmakers from various groups to send Cards to the Troops, so they have well and truly enough cards to last over Christmas.(Yay! We could send them in November after all!)
Please hold any cards you are making for next year for now. It may be that our current consignment of cards won't be sent till January 2019. I will delay collecting more till I have heard that they want us to send more.
I'll announce to you all when our boxes of beautiful cards have been sent, and keep them all boxed up and high and dry till then!
In the meantime, I am sending out a huge THANK YOU to all the crafters who have generously given their time and supplies to the 2018 Drive. We have around 2000 cards to send thanks to you! I love your creativity! Here is a list of the first names or initials of this year's valued contributors:
Barbara (2 mailings received now)
I am going to add photos of some of your cards to this page and rotate through the stacks of shots. I have of all your beautiful cards! I'll change them out weekly or so till the end of the Drive for 2018 in October.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
Susan, Shelia and Kim.
The Cards for Troops drive to help our Aussie soldiers on deployment overseas has ended for 2017.
What an amazing Cards for Troops event we had this year! Thank you so very much to those of you who sent so many beautiful handmade cards to us for distribution to the Australian Troops deployed overseas. Altogether, Shelia and I collected eight kilograms of wonderful cards! We could send them in batches of 2 kilos, so that meant we sent four large boxes of handmade greeting cards to them.
For much of 2017, I have been traveling on the road in a caravan, and my friend Shelia has been collecting cards for the drive. That means I personally could not see your cards before they were posted, but Shelia has remarked how beautiful they are and how amazingly talented the crafters are who sent them.
Shelia also took some pictures of the cards for me to share with you (thank you again, Shelia!) Here they all are, boxed up for the Post Office:
Before she boxed them up, Shelia also took some 'group photos' of the many cards we received on behalf of the Troops. I could see that the cards will be so appreciated by the Troops on deployment overseas who cannot purchase such things or carry enough craft supplies with them to make greetings themselves for their friends and family back home:
So many beautiful cards! They just keep coming:
See what I mean about the beauty of the cards?
Past feedback from deployed soldiers has always been so favourable and filled with gratitude, I can assure you that these cards will again be well-received.
For the crafters who made the cards, may we offer the most sincere thanks. I have made you each a card myself and have posted them off to you now, but I want to acknowledge the names of the generous contributors here too:
Julie Hoffman of South Australia
Desiree Johns of New South Wales
Patricia Donovan of Queensland
M. Clarke of Queensland
Rachel W of Victoria
E. Anderson of New South Wales
Mrs D. C. Byrne of Western Australia
Oedina Holmes of Queensland
Davina Rossiter of Queensland
I know some of you sent messages and cards of your own for me, and those have been packaged and sent to me by Shelia. I will receive them sometime in the next few weeks. Thank you for doing that, too!
May all of your Christmas and New Year seasons be blessed.
I look forward to the next round of making Cards for Troops beginning in January 2018. Please do join us in 2018 so we can continue to supply our military with something personal and special, letting them know in a tangible way how much we appreciate what they are doing for our country.
By the way, thank you so much to all the people who contributed to the 2017 Mother's Day card drive. Those cards were sent off to the Troops at the end of March, 2017. Here is just a sample of the ones some people generously made and also a snap of a craft table in use one crafting day.
Written and Created by PaperCraftCentral Susan
Thank you to the ladies of Bethesda Baptist Church for making so many beautiful cards this year. I liked that there was such a variety of greetings this year. We had feedback that troops appreciated more variety so ladies made cards with the following sentiments:
as well as Christmas cards.
You are all amazing! ❤❤❤
If you want to send me handmade Cards for Troops, here are some requests. These things really help the processing and make it a little easier for me and for the Troops:
If you would like to help, please contact me and I will send you address details. We will be joining a nation-wide effort to bring a little joy to our service men and women.
Thank you in advance for helping with my Cards for Troops drive.
Please do make some Cards for Troops. They are so appreciated. To inspire you, here is a very beautiful response I received from one grateful soldier who received some of our cards:
Dear ladies who made Cards for Troops,
I'm a Reservist currently deployed in Solomon Islands and I was lucky enough to receive some of your truly beautiful hand made Christmas cards.
I particularly loved the cards with the roosters. I come from a small farm and dearly miss my animals. So I selected the two rooster cards to send home to my husband and Mother and used your other cards to wish my family and close friends a very Merry Christmas from afar.
Without your generous and beautiful cards, I would not have been in a position to have been able to send any Christmas cards at all. Your cards were certainly appreciated.
All of us are away from our homes and families at the moment and it is pleasing and comforting to receive not just your cards but to know that we are in the minds of families in Australia. Although this is a rewarding deployment we look forward to being with our families again soon.
We feel privileged to be serving our country in the Solomon Islands and making a positive contribution to the future of this country. Our presence and the good work we are doing here is greatly appreciated by the people of the Solomon Islands.
Thank you again for your very thoughtful cards. It made a ‘distant from home' Christmas very, very special. Happy New Year from a very grateful Australian Soldier.
A Solomon Island Reservist
See what I mean? It makes everything worthwhile to receive such a heartfelt response.
If you would like to send things on yourself, here are the details for doing that:
Items which cannot be sent are alcohol, tobacco, perishables and pornographic items. Some of the things that are not accepted are listed below:
Click here if you would like a couple of Mothers Day Card Ideas to try.
If you are sending liquid or store bought food products, place them in a snap lock bag first in case of leakage. When sending items please mark all items"AUSSIE TROOPS PROPERTY"
in permanent marker on everything to help avoid theft.
Here are some items you can send:
FOR FEMALE TROOPS HYGIENE YOU MAY SEND THE FOLLOWING:
ENTERTAINMENT and Miscellaneous Items:
Other allowable sporting or recreational goods:
REMEMBER: WRITE THE FOLLOWING ON ALL ITEMS YOU SEND:"AUSSIE TROOPS PROPERTY"
Why not just send one care package this year to let our defense forces know that we care about them?
Thank you again for making any number of handmade Cards for Troops. Even one card will make a difference to someone!
Thank you so much for your donations to the Cards for Troops drive in 2013.
Thank you to all crafters who donated their time, skills and supplies to enable some of our dear Aussie Troops deployed overseas to write home to family and friends for Christmas 2013.
Before they disappear into postal boxes, here's a little video to show you just how many stacks of cards you all donated this year:
I'll let you know when we can start crafting again for 2014. Watch this page for updates
It's past the time to make Christmas Cards For Troops in 2012 now. Christmas 2012 isn't too far away, (really! It's approaching fast!) and I am very glad many of you decided to make an extra few special cards for our Troops this year.
PS: A special big thank you to all who have sent their handmade greetings and decorations to me. Your generosity is always appreciated so much!
The total number of 2012 Christmas cards donated is 215! I received 18 from Ronnel when I first made the 2012 call, then 60 from Alz and 34 from Lizzy. I received another 40 cards from Laura in Western Australia along with some beautiful Christmas rosette decorations, cards from Sarah, Amanda, Anthea, Kelly, Leanne, Shirley and a local Cub Scout Troop (thank you, Trish!) Way to go, everyone!
I am sending a huge Thank You to all who have contributed to the Cards for Troops drives in the past. Our drives have made a difference to a lot of Troops. People have sent both Christmas and Mother's Day handmade greetings to our Troops before. As an example of your generosity, I am very happy to report that for our first drive (Christmas 2011), we made over 200 cards! They filled three big B3 bags and I was able to post a bag to Afghanistan, one to East Timor and one to The Solomon Islands, all thanks to the generosity of spirit of those who gave unselfishly for others. You can see our other drive results here:
I love to think of the comfort and joy we will be sending to our Troops in foreign lands. Many will surely know they are appreciated and remembered by those they serve.
When I packaged them up, the bags of Cards for Troops looked pretty impressive. Here's a picture of the three parcels right before I sealed them and took them off to the Post Office:
PS: Details of the ongoing appeal appear below. In a nutshell, we can make Mother's Day Cards till March and Christmas Cards till October any year.
Here's a place to ask that question, make that comment or place that order.
Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...
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