November's PaperTrey Ink challenge was to use our hobby to help others. I honestly can't think of a better challenge, because I know that I am much more consistent at making cards than I am at mailing them! (I won't even venture a guess at how many cards are sitting in boxes in my stamping room.) Nichole challenged the PTI design team to choose a cause and get busy. I chose to focus on military personnel who are far away from home and from any semblance of a card store.
There are several organizations that send cards to soldiers, but the person with whom I've sent cards through in the past is Debbi, the mom of a soldier, who sends boxes of cards monthly through Operation Care and Comfort. Debbi has just finished getting the Christmas cards ready to go, but she could use Valentines cards, as well as all-occasion cards (Birthday, Thinking of You, Love You, Hello, Friend, and Miss You) for them to send to their families at home. She asks that the cards be left blank inside for the sender to write, and that if you use a dark card base, you add a light panel inside on which to write. Of course, it would certainly be appropriate to send along a personal thank you note too!
The card at the top is a thank you card for a soldier. I tried to keep it fairly gender-neutral, thinking that the odds favored its going to a male. (Okay, so that frame has some curves--I couldn't help it!) For cardstock, I chose PTI's Ocean Tides along with Vintage Ivory.
I used some Eclipse masking paper to cover most of my card front before stamping the leaf pattern from First Fruits in Ocean Tides ink, knowing that I wanted to score on either side of the leaves, and wanting a clean edge near the score line. I ended up trimming the strip and matting it after I scored it because it looked a little plain.
The frame is from the Recipe Box Label set, while the sentiment inside it is from the First Fruits set. I stamped the frame in Oasis Green onto Vintage Ivory cardstock, then trimmed carefully around it. Using a ribbon would have covered most of my leaf pattern, so I chose pewter brads to add a bit of decoration without getting too frilly. I used paper piercing on the ivory mat of the frame strip before attaching it to the card front.
Tonight I'm sorting through my card stash and pulling out some cards to send to Debbi for Operation Care and Comfort. We each chose different causes, so be sure to check out what other players came up with too: Lisa Johnson, Lauren Meader, Heather Nichols, Mish Wooderson, and of course Nichole. Would you like to join us?
If you would like to encourage someone serving in the military, as well as that person's loved ones at home, e-mail Debbi for her address, and check out the requirements on this blog post. (Cards need to be inserted into envelopes in a special way and left unsealed.) Thanks for visiting!
Other Military Card Outlets:
Soldiers Angel's Wounded TLC Team For this opportunity, you would adopt a soldier and send a weekly card, as well as care packages.
A couple of you have suggested Cards for Heroes--looks like another great place to get involved!
If any of you are associated with organizations that send cards to military personnel, please feel free to share a link in the comments section. Thank you!