Greeting cards have been around for hundreds of years, we give them for all kinds of occasions; birthdays, holidays, sympathy, love, weddings and more. Sending greeting cards started in ancient China, where the Chinese would exchange cards to celebrate the New Year and the ancient Egyptians used papyrus scrolls to send their greetings. During the 1400s Valentines were being exchanged in Europe, and by the 1800s with the advancement of the printing press and the postage stamp, cards were becoming quite popular and an affordable way to communicate. Cards have evolved over the years, and with the internet, electronic greeting cards became quite popular. And now scrapbooking and card making has become common, taking a piece of history and reviving an age-old craft.
What has not changed is how one feels when they receive a greeting card. Knowing someone has taken the time to think of them for whatever occasion; the celebration of a birthday or life achievement like graduation, wedding or the birth of a baby. It serves as a condolence of sympathy for someone hurting or words of encouragement during an illness.
We also send cards out to seniors on a regular basis: birthdays and anniversaries, illness or surgery, “thinking of you” cards, sympathy and thank you cards. I can’t tell you how many times I have been told, “thank you” by someone who received one of our cards. For many, they tell me our card was the only one they received, or it came at just the right time and made them feel good someone was thinking of them. A simple card makes a difference in someone’s day.
We get our cards through donations, and we also buy them at discount stores. The other night as I was standing at the card isle in a Dollar Store sorting through the small selection, I started thinking about how many times I received a homemade card and how beautiful it was and how much more it meant to me because someone took time to create it. It got me thinking, what if we were able to send out those same kinds of cards to our seniors? It wouldn’t be something mass-produced but instead created by people who care. But how do we do this? Then a light bulb went off, I have some friends who are into scrapbooking and card making and they even have weekends dedicated just to this craft. What if some of these groups volunteered to make cards for us to send to our seniors? It doesn’t even have to be a group of crafters, it could be families, scout groups, youth groups or individuals. What a great community service project and fun at the same time. I can only imagine the joyous warm feeling that our card recipients will feel knowing someone took time to create something beautiful.
So if you are one of those creative card crafters or belong to a group that would be interested in participating in our “Make a Card for Seniors” project, you can contact me or Volunteer Coordinator Paige Baranyai at the City of Auburn Hills Senior Services Department in the Community Center. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org; Paige is email@example.com or call 248-370-9353.
Karen Adcock, Director of Senior Services