We gathered on a Friday night with a goal of making 1,000 cards in one evening for the Badger Honor Flights out of Madison, Wisconsin. Not only did we have a fabulous time stamping and goofing off, we got MORE than 1,000 cards done AND raised over $1600 to help veterans get to Washing, D.C. to be honored for their service. What a fantastic night!
Twenty-five demonstrators brought 40+ cards all prepped and ready to stamp and assemble. Almost 70 people showed up (including some husband-and-wife teams!) to put them together and hand-write a message inside. I still can't quite believe what we got accomplished in just three hours!!!
Of course, it's not a Stampin' Up event without handmade nametags, displays and decorations! We transformed the room into a red, white and blue extravaganza. Combined with a silly photo booth and props, card-count updates and star-spangled music--which we couldn't even hear over the hubbub of happy voices--it was such an energetic evening.
There are too many people to thank for everything that was donated and done that evening, but there's a few standouts. I especially want to thank my team for being the most amazing committee ever--I had to stop them from doing and donating too much!! Kathy Van Duser has been our Honor Flight liasion since we took them on as our team's community project four years ago. We also appreciated a visit from Shannon West (below, middle left) from Stampin' Up's home office in Utah, and their donation of SNAIL adhesive refills for our event.
It was our privilege as well to meet the super-sweet Marnette (below, top left) from Badger Honor Flight and we're looking forward to personally presenting our cards and officially registering the donations next month.
Donations included a Stampin' Up branded suitcase (our top bid!!) and hundreds of dollars' worth of other items for the silent auction and raffle. A huge thank you to every one who bought tickets, bid on items, brought food or cards and especially thank you to those who stayed past nine to make sure EVERY card was written in. Mount Horeb United Methodist Church was our host and we appreciate the use of their lovely facilities.
Penni's daughter Anna was an amazing helper during the event. She emptied trash bags over and over, brought SNAIL refills around and picked up finished cards to transport to the writing tables. She's going to make an awesome demonstrator some day!
During registration we asked our stampers to tell us who they would be stamping in honor of. I cried when I put this board together... not just for my own grandpas, who didn't live long enough to get to go on an Honor Flight, or for my great-aunties, who never married after their generation of young men was decimated. I cried for all the bravery and hope those slips of paper represent, the tears and the pain, the women left behind and the children who never got to know their dads or uncles or grandpas. These names are just the ones who made it, who came home and went on to have families and descendants who remember.
Our board was a tiny microcosm of the courage of America at her best and most honorable.
I love that all of us worked together to pass on the practice of honoring our veterans and their sacrifices for our country and make sure every one of them got the homecoming they deserved. We will never know the full impact of our card efforts, but I love the "ripples in the pond" that we set in motion just by putting our crafty talents towards a great cause.
If you'd like to know more about (or get involved with) the FANTASTIC work of Honor Flight, go to www.honorflight.org and find the chapter nearest you. I hope you will look into donating cards for veterans, whether it's at VA hospitals near you or just the local nursing home or assisted living facility. They need to know we remember. And cardmaking and Honor Flights are a match made in heaven!
Thanks for reading this post! Leave a comment if you love a veteran... or have an Honor Flight story of our own to share!