Project Angel Heart clients find something special in their meal bags the week of Christmas. In addition to their regular meals, each client finds a heartwarming, hand-decorated holiday greeting card.
These cards come from volunteer Erin Burns, who has been inspiring the creation of the cards for over 16 years. It all started as a way to involve her young sons in volunteerism and grew to an annual tradition to send warmth and love to Project Angel Heart clients during the holiday season. Erin may not see herself as an artist, but when she was told of the need for holiday cards, she saw the value in this community connection.
“At the time [we started], the client list was 350, and I remember talking with some of my friends trying to decide if there was any way we could possibly make that many cards,” Erin says. She would host card decorating workshops, inviting friends and their families over to make cards.
Now, the client list has grown to over 1,300. But each year, she finds a way.
Erin collects donated cards from various community groups, from the greeting card company Stampin’ Up, to local schools, art students, and personal friends she recruits.
“I would never have been able to coordinate this every year without the loyal groups of friends and neighbors who continue to donate their time, energy, and money to this great cause,” Erin says.
With everyone from artists to elementary students making cards, the designs are always fresh, exciting and original.
“We have people who stamp, draw, paint, use photography, embellishments, collage…pretty much anything you can think of,” says Erin. “I think it is important to let people know you care about them and that they are not alone, and I hope our cards help convey that message during the holiday season.”