Caring Hearts Q& A

Hi peeps! First of all, I want to thank you all for your enthusiasm and support for this cause. We’ve received quite a few questions that I want to answer. Hopefully this will help clarify a few things.

Q: How do you determine which nursing homes receive the cards?
A:  Many of the nursing homes receive donations because crafters like you volunteer to hand deliver the cards directly to those homes. Perhaps the crafter works there, has a parent or grandparent living there, or visits for another reason. Basically, people e-mail us their recommendations, and we add the suggested nursing homes to our list.

Q: How do you decide how many homes to support?
A: Each year, we never know how many cards we will receive, so we never know how many homes we can support. We keep a list of the homes that would like to receive our cards but, again, it all depends on the amount of cards that people donate. The 1st year, we only received 750 cards, the next year we received 3,500, and last year we jumped to over 17,000. This allowed us to send cards to over 80 nursing homes throughout the US, Canada, and Australia. So, as you can see, the number of homes we support varies year by year.

Of course, we'd like to support as many as we can. I cannot guarantee that this year we'll receive over 17,000, so the honest answer is that I don't know how many homes we can support this year. I’ve learned that I can never predict the amount. I never know until the card drive ends. 

Q: Do you hand deliver the cards?
A: With the help of volunteers we are able to hand deliver most of the cards. But, for those crafters who have nominated a nursing home they'd like to support, but can't hand deliver the cards, we ship the boxes directly to the nursing homes with a note explaining who the cards are from, as well as our mission.

Q: Can we help collect the cards?
A: We appreciate your willingness to help collecting; however, to help us keep things organized, please send your cards to the 5 address listed. After all, just like any non-profit organization, we have a center where the donations are sorted, packaged, etc. 

We put a lot of thought into our box preparation. Having a centralized donation center allows us to sort the cards and make sure that each nursing home receives a good mix of cards with a variety of designs from different senders, etc. This helps make things a bit more personal…and more special for the recipients.

Q: Why do I need to sign the card with my name and where I am from?
A: The purpose of this card drive is to let the people who receive our cards know that someone is thinking of them. Your holiday note is what personalizes the card. It’s a small gesture that makes them realize, “Wow, someone is taking the time to write me a note”. And, judging by the thank you note I received, guessing where his or her card comes from is also big part of the fun for each recipient.

Q: Should I include an envelope or can I just send the card without envelope?
A: The envelope not only helps protect your fabulous work on the card, but also makes the recipient feel like they're opening a present. The little things do make a difference. :)

Q: Can you send donation receipt?
A: We are not an 501c organization. We're just a few individuals that organizing this card drive. We're not claiming or filing anything that tax related. So, we really can't send a tax donation receipt. 


Q: Should I sign with my complete name, just first name or just last name?
A: Whichever you're comfortable with. 

Q: Do I need to stuff the card in the envelope or leave it out?
A: You could leave them out.

Also, I'd like to note that this endeavor is completely on a volunteer basis. None of the main people involved in organizing this get any kind of payment whatsoever. The first few years, Jennifer and I covered all the shipping costs ourselves. Only last year, we started to give people the option to send $1 or $2 to help with shipping costs. We all also work full time & have family, so please be patient & kind when you have question or needing respond from us.

We do this because we want to bring joy to others. And we appreciate all of you who support our card drive. It all happens because of your support.

I will update this post as more questions come in. 

33 comments:

Cathy P. said...

This is such a wonderful idea, Vera. I wish I had known about it in previous years. I am planning to have my family make cards when we gather together on Thanksgiving. We try and do something together to help count our blessings and do something for others.

Can I grab your Caring Hearts icon and post a link to your card drive on my blog?
Warm hugs to you,
Cathy

Bonnie said...

I was just wondering how many cards you collected? Would love an update. I think this is a wonderful idea and hope you got the cards I sent you.

Vera Yates (Ling) said...

Update has been posted. 😊 And, thank you for your cards!! I really appreciate your support.

Christi Conley said...

What a fabulous idea! Is there a mailing list I can subscribe to that will remind me to participate next year? A blog? I just know that I'll need a reminder :)

Melanie said...

Hi Vera, this is such a lovely idea. Do you know if anyone does anything similar in the UK?

Debbie Anemaet said...

Can I print the inside sentiment on my printer? Then I'll sign my name and where I'm from by hand.

Vera Yates (Ling) said...

Yes, you can print the inside sentiment. 😊

Patricia Haessler said...

Because I do cards for other groups, I know some of the nursing home do's and don'ts, like no glitter that will rub off. I presume you also do not want any rgular glitter that will come off?

Vera Yates (Ling) said...

We never received any notification regarding glitter use. Just use your own judgement. Thank you.

Kathy said...

Hi - I am just wondering if you would like the envelopes stuffed or you prefer that we just provide them. I'm not sure if you will be inspecting before sending out so it would be easier on the volunteers to leave out - Thanks!

April said...

This is a fabulous idea! I'm wondering, can someone send many cards that are duplicates, or do they each have to be unique?

Vera Yates (Ling) said...

You can send in duplicates. We sort though and mix up the cards so each place maybe only get 2-3 duplicates.

Katherine Rabuffi said...

I would like to know if its ok to have Christian sentiments. In todays world ,sadly, many say to avoid this. I hope this isn't the case but
I will follow through with what you want.
Post 30 years as a nurse, Ive seen too many elders alone as I will be one day so this means a lot to me to participate! Thanks so much!!

Vera Yates (Ling) said...

Yes, it''s okay to have Christian sentiment. 😊

Barbara said...

Last year a group of ladies from Griffin, Georgia got together and submitted quite a few cards....more than 150 cards and $50 toward postage. We never received any acknowledgement of receipt of those cards. I realize you have quite a lot to keep track of, but some sort of notice of receipt would have been most appreciated. Just sayin'. It is such a good cause and makes everyone feel good. Thanks.

Olivia said...

Thank you guys for organizing this great card drive!!! You said you're branching out to the United Kingdom so this will allow you to start distributing in Europe. Do you distribute cards to German nursing homes as well? If that´s the case I would write the message inside my cards in German.

Olivia said...

Thank you guys for organizing this great card drive!!! You said you're branching out to the United Kingdom so this will allow you to start distributing in Europe. Do you distribute cards to German nursing homes as well? If that´s the case I would write the message inside my cards in German.

Kathy said...

Hi - Just re-asking as i think you missed me above - I am just wondering if you would like the envelopes stuffed or you prefer that we just provide them. I'm not sure if you will be inspecting before sending out so it would be easier on the volunteers to leave out - Thanks!

LauraJ said...

Thanks for all the work you and the others do to make this happen. I would also appreciate clarification about the envelopes. Stuff or no stuff.

Vera Yates (Ling) said...

Currently we don't have any nursing home yet for Germany. If you have one, please email me the information.

Vera Yates (Ling) said...

We received thousands of cards from hundreds of contributors. We all work full time & do this on volunteer basis, so our time & source is limited. If you like confirmation email me. Everyone that email me & ask receive confirmation. We can't email every single one that send cards. We do try our hardest to reply to those who ask.

Vera Yates (Ling) said...

You don't have to stuff them.

Alma Dirpaul said...

FYI: I was unable to find a way to comment on Amy's blog and Ruby's blog this year. Can you contact them and let them know please?

Vera Yates (Ling) said...

You have to click on their post header/title for the hop (not the blog address, but the post) and scroll down. HTH.

Georgia Lydic said...

Do the envelopes need to be sealable? I make my own envelopes and need to know whether to include double stick tape in the sealing area or not. Thanks!

Vera Yates (Ling) said...

No, the envelopes don't need to be sealable.

Margo Lauer said...

Good morning! How would we know if we won one of the coupons or discounts? There is always so much I'd love to buy from our wonderful stores and if I were to have a gift card, I could plan to use it on my projects. I sent in 100 cards that I had so much fun making - next year I'll start earlier and be able to make more! Thank you!!

Vera Yates (Ling) said...

Winners will be announced on 12/10. We have over one thousand people swnding in their cards and many send over 100, so we're still working on finishing all the packing. Our priority is to get the cards shipped to the nursing homes first.

Cheryl Robertson said...

One of the coordinators lives near me. Rather than waste money sending my cards to her, next year I would like to deliver them to her address and donate the "saved" mailing cost to be used for shipping. Would this be acceptable? If so, I would like to get her contact information. Thanks!

Vera Yates (Ling) said...

Sure. Just let me know which coordinator it is. 😊

Bev Ward said...

Can I glue buttons on cards?

Bev Ward said...

Are glued on buttons ok on cards?

Stacy B said...

Hey Vera, box mailed to you today (due arrival on Monday)! Sorry it's so close to the deadline...but I completely lost track of time this year! Thanks again for doing this amazing card drive and for letting me be a part of it. Hope YOU have a wonderful holiday season! XO, Stacy

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