Last Memorial Day, Adele hosted our family (although we weren't living together yet) and her own for an Operation Write Home card making party. Adele learned of Operation Write Home through a pen pal of hers who was stationed in, I believe, Iraq and had come home intact only to suffer a massive car accident with life changing injuries. The woman became very involved with this organization because she knew first hand how much it meant to our service people stationed overseas.
Many of them would like to use traditional pen-and-paper to communicate with family, friends, and loved ones. After all, while e-mail is a fabulous tool, there is nothing like a letter received in the mail sent with good thoughts and care to make you feel good. But the problem was there was not an ample supply of stationary in Iraq for our service people to write on. Without the resources to provide it to them, they went without.
Ergo, Operation Write Home. In essence, it is a grass roots organization that is spreading across the country. The premise is simple. Volunteers create cards in various categories and ship them to central points where they are sorted, packed, and sent to various military posts around the world. They provide the envelopes, we provide the card-making materials, the creativity, and the fun. Every card is signed by it's maker so that our men and women in leading roles know that the cards were made just for them, and not mass produced. How special is that?
At any rate, Adele hosted her card making party, I took photographs, she shipped the cards off to wherever it is she sends them, and we moved on. (I note that Adele has taken this enterprise to the next level, organizing a scrap booking meet-up group that she belongs to into making cards once a month and also sponsoring card making parties with various family members and friends. I think her latest shipment of cards numbered over 500+.)
Operation Write home is an extremely organized group with an extensive web site, details about the cards and how they are to be made (no glitter that might come off on uniforms and give away positions and night, for example), packed, and sent. Addtionally, they encourage sponsors to write "Any Hero" cards; letters of support to our heros who might not be receiving mail from home or might need an emotional boost. I would encourage you to visit them, and see what they are about and up to.
But one feature that especially caught our attention is their Blog. It is a regular publication which we receive via e-mail.
Now keep in mind that I have not been good about keeping up this blog because of too much work to do, but imagine our surprise when this particular blog showed up at the beginning of the month:
(Click on image to enlarge)
Well, if you looked at the pictures I provided the link for above, you might recognize this particular card. It was made by Miles! We were flabergasted... Miles was suddenly famous. But the organizers did not know who the card was made by; they simply came across it in a group of pictures that "Sandy" had on file and thought it was cute enough to feature. Adele brought it to our attention before we had even seen it ourselves, and Eric immediately contacted Operation Write Home to let them know the origins of the card. The next day, this appeared in their blog:
Of course, Miles wants to know where the money is now that he is famous. He and I are talking about Karma a lot lately; how when you do good things with no expectation of a reward, other good things come back to you. He's seen it in action as we've fitted out his very first bedroom alone and have been looking for items that we know he'd enjoy. He's also seen it in action as he is having all sorts of other good things and love bestowed upon him. And now another chance to bring in good Karma is coming.
Adele has set up two more card-making parties over the Veterans Day holiday. On September 11, one of them will be held right here in our new home. We are especially excited about this one as it's dedicated to "Any Hero" cards in which we will write our own messages of support. I can hardly wait to see what we all come up with. More pictures to follow... and maybe we'll make some small picture print-outs of Miles (and the rest of us) to attach to the back of our cards for our service people to enjoy along with his (our) art, just so they know exactly who they are receiving their notes from. I'm thinking maybe this photo would be a good one of Miles to bring a smile to their faces: