In the midst of a global pandemic that’s left people of all ages shut off from normal activities, a kind greeting or gesture from a friend or stranger takes on greater meaning.
In July, Homeland Hospice started a Care Card program and shared the opportunity with the online volunteer-engagement network VolunteerMatch. Since then, packages of cards have been arriving in the Homeland Hospice mailbox each week. Homemade, store-bought, crafted from construction paper — the cards came in every size and a rainbow of colors. Some have stickers. Some have jokes and riddles, others include crossword puzzles and search words. Some are from children who express love and respect to total strangers along with crayon drawings of flowers and smiles.
The reasons people are becoming involved are as varied as the cards. Some are looking for opportunities to complete community service hours, others want a project to do with their children, and some simply want an outlet for their creativity. “It has been very heartwarming to connect with people from all over the country who want nothing more than to bring joy to person’s day and a smile to their face,” says Laurie Murry, Volunteer Coordinator for Homeland Hospice.
One 10th grade student from Pittsburgh created over 70 thinking of you cards and a few paintings and inspirational signs. She shared that she worked to earn the money for supplies and to be able to buy some pretty cards. “I hope they will make people smile and feel a little happy! I can’t think of a better cause to earn the volunteer hours I need for my National Honor Society application.”
Another student from Texas shared that she spent approximately 20 hours gathering supplies, designing, and making her cards. She expressed excitement in making another batch of cards since she has developed a more efficient “system.” She commented, “Thank you so much for organizing and letting me join this volunteer activity. I greatly enjoyed making the care cards and knowing that they might help brighten someone’s day!”
A woman from New York City responded to the posting and shared that she is a finance professional with a secret passion for painting and she would love to make some custom cards with personal messages to encourage others.
A fourth-year student from the University of Florida stated that his personal life mission is make an impact on the lives of others, and he wanted to become involved.
“People simply want to help and it is very refreshing since so much of what we see and hear is negative or bad news,” said Laurie.
Learn more or sign up to participate in the Care Cards program on VolunteerMatch.com.