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Bringing Valentine cheer to Arkansas Children’s Hospital

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I’ve worked on several promotions with Tiny Prints in the past year. It’s a great company, they put out a quality product and they have compensated me with greeting cards and other personalized goodies.

So when I posted about their selection of classroom valentines a few weeks ago, I found myself in a conundrum, because I received 50 free classroom valentines in return.

I don’t have children or nieces and nephews, so I picked at my brain for a good while to find someone who could use these valentines. Then I thought about the numbers of children who could use some Valentine’s Day cheer at Arkansas Children’s Hospital.

If you live in Arkansas, chances are you or someone you love has been involved with ACH either as a patient, the parent of a patient, or a volunteer. ACH is known for its community involvement, as well as its commitment to giving treatment to children up to age 21, as well as support to their families. This is my favorite part of their mission statement:

ACH is committed to working with others to achieve high quality, cost-effective, fully accessible services for Arkansas’ most precious resource — our children, without regard to race, religion or inability to pay.

Within minutes of the lightbulb popping over my head, I made a call to ACH Volunteer Services and asked if they could use a gift in-kind of 50 classroom valentines. I was immediately told that they would accept them, and was given rules about what the greetings couldn’t say (i.e., no ‘get well soon’ messages). She gave me the Hospital address for shipping, and I immediately went to Tiny Prints and designed a card for them.

Here’s the front of the card:

I added a general “Happy Valentine’s Day” message to the inside, without including my name. I was told that these Valentines would be distributed with the kids’ lunch trays on Valentine’s Day.

Over the weekend, I received a very nice letter from Robin Armstrong, Director of Volunteer Services at ACH. Here’s some of what it said:

Let me assure you that your donation of Valentine cards is greatly appreciated by these children and their families. After all, when they are counting on us, nothing less than the best will do – and your donation helps make that possible.

I’m filing the letter, which also recognizes my gift as tax-deductible.

I got to thinking about all the ways you could use greeting cards to help out people in need. Here are some of the places I came up with:

– Nursing homes

– Rehabilitation facilities

– Women’s and children’s shelters

– Any nonprofit that sends out Thank-You cards or greetings to supporters

The possibilities are endless. I know my day is brighter when I receive a thoughtful message in the mail; what about you?

If you ever find yourself with too much of something – be it greeting cards, toys, craft supplies, paper, free product samples or anything else – I suggest making a list of nonprofits that could use them. If nothing comes to mind, your local United Way can also direct you to the right resources. Make sure that before you donate an item to an organization, that you contact them first to see if it is an item they can use, and to discuss the rules regarding in-kind donations for that organization.

Can you think of any other types of nonprofits that could benefit from donated greeting cards? If so, what are they?

This is a public service post, and is not affiliated with Arkansas Children’s Hospital, Tiny Prints or the United Way. All opinions are my own.

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