Monday, September 26, 2011

1,000 Cards for Our Troops: How to Organize

I was asked to prepare supplies to make holiday cards for our troops.  The requirements were specific.  The organization that collects and mails the cards asked that the cards be made on plain 8-1/2" x 11" copy paper folded into quarters.

About ninety youth from our church  assembled to make and write sentiments inside more than 1,000 cards.  This posed an exciting challenge when it came to the pre-planning.  The cards needed to be simple enough and easy enough for everyone, yet still show that a lot of thought and time and effort went into each one.  No sloppy, hurried work allowed!

I have to is much easier to create a complicated card than it is to create a simple card.  I looked at each sample card that I came up with and could see that each one had so much more potential.  However, I kept reminding myself of the purpose of the task at hand.  I didn't need to create the most gorgeous cards, I needed to create the most appropriate and heartfelt cards.  I wanted the troops to smile when they opened each one. 

Luckily, Michael's had a sale on all of their holiday-themed foam stickers.  I combined the stickers with some easy stamping and came up with twelve different cards.  I wanted to make sure that the youth didn't get bored.  Variety is the spice of life!

I placed each card and its supplies inside of a deep-dish disposable lasagna pan.  All of the supplies, including paper, pens, stickers, ink, rubber stamps, and samples were in each pan.

We put a lasagna pan on each table.  It was fun to see how each group tackled the job of making so many cards.  Some groups worked in an assembly-line fashion, some groups were really slow, some were really fast, but all of the groups had a great time.  They collected granola bars and hot chocolate, too.  The event was a success!

After all of their hard work making the cards, the youth had a cookie-decorating contest.  Don't these giant chocolate chip cookies look delicious?


2 packages of copy paper (500 sheets each)

Foam stickers

Christmas stamps (in English and Spanish)


Deep-dish disposable lasagna pans (use the plastic lids to collect the back of the peel-off stickers)


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