There are a few rules I need to pass on for you to keep in mind with chosing your cards:
The basic guidelines:
No glitter. Seriously. It's a hazard for our heroes, so we won't send cards with any glitter that will flake off the card.
A2 sized cards. Most efficient for our shipping dollars, so we strongly recommend A2 (4.25" x 5.5" - half a sheet of cardstock).
No storebought. Yep, pretty straightforward. Our heroes don't like them, so we send them our cards filled with love and creativity!
Watch the deadlines. We have to mail cards 5-6 weeks ahead of a holiday, so check out the deadlines posted on our homepage, on the left side. Those are the very last last last dates, so aim for a couple weeks earlier if at all possible, since we start shipping 8 weeks ahead.
Any quantity. One card to 100 to 500 — every card matters! We recommend emphasizing quality over quantity...relax, do your best, and pour lots of love into each card!
Packing Slip. Download their handy packing slip and write in your contact info and quantity—the shipper will be able to email you to let you know your cards arrived. If you haven't heard back you can also check the Thankful Thursday post each week to see if they've arrived. Our shippers get lots of packages every day, so please give them some grace in getting back to you.
Some additional things you may want to do that will help out our shippers:
Stamp the backs of your cards. We put "Operation Write Home" on the back of every card so families at home know how their hero received such a work of art to write home on. You can order your own stamp, acrylic or self-inking; you can handwrite "Operation Write Home"; you can make a label; or have your own stamp made at your local office supply store. Listing your own information on the back of the card is fine, we just add OWH to it.
Sort your cards by theme. It's especially helpful if you note which cards are for a holiday; if we get a vast number of cards at once, we may need to just pull out the holiday ones right away to ship them, and we don't want to miss yours.
Learn "the tuck." If you are including envelopes (some people prefer to include a donation for envelopes instead, and leave the labor to our shippers), the tuck is very helpful if your cards are already stamped. If they are not yet stamped, leave them entirely outside the envelopes. Check out the mailroom video below for more info on the tuck.
Include a donation. Small or large, cash or check, every bit helps! Please paperclip it to your Packing Slip to be sure your check doesn't sneak off to Afghanistan by accident.
Limit multiples. Some folks like to make a lot of one design. While that's fine, it becomes a biggg problem in one particular instance: holiday cards. If you want to make a lot of those (over 30), please send them 8 weeks ahead (or more). That allows us to mix them into the most boxes; we often end up with 100 of one design arriving the last week, and if most of those holiday boxes had already been sent in weeks prior, those multiples will have to wait til next year.
If you would like more detailed information on how to submit or if you have a question you can check out their blog HERE!
Thanks for listening and I hope you can all send in some cards or a donation!
Troops photo from HERE
UPDATE: After reading this post I had a very sweet person donate digi's for you to use in your cards! You can check her out HERE and here are just a few of the free digi's shes offering to you!