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The Postcard Project Cookie Swap

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**IMPORTANT NOTE: The sign-up deadline for 2011 has now passed, but I plan to continue the swap in 2012 so if you’d like to go ahead and sign up in advance, feel free!  (Sign up link is below.) You will be added to the list and I’ll contact you in November to see if you’re still interested in participating. **

I just found out about The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap, 2011 and had to sign up.  Not only do I love baking and cookies, but this swap accomplishes both goals of my Postcard Project: it spreads joy and supports the US Postal Service.  I am all over this!

After signing up, I immediately started drafting a post to promote the swap, when I realized that the majority of my readers would be left out.  What about all the people who don”t have blogs?  Don’t you want some cookies too???

OF COURSE YOU DO!

Not wanting anyone to be left out, I contacted Lindsay, the co-host of The Great Blogger Cookie Swap, and ran my idea of doing a separate one for non-bloggers past her.  She gave me the go-ahead, despite my blatant copy-catting and ripping-off of her & Julie’s idea. Thank you, Lindsay!

How does it work?

My cookie swap has the same premise as the blogger cookie swap.  You sign up for the swap, and I will match you to three other participants.  You will mail them each a dozen cookies along with the recipe and a personal note telling the recipient a little about yourself or even about your recipe, if it has a story.  In turn, you will receive three dozen cookies from three other people who received your name.

Talk about sweet returns!  Want to join in the fun?

Click here to sign up now!

Sign-ups are open through November 18th. I will email your matches on November 21st, and I ask that you mail your cookies no later than December 5th. Before signing up, please be sure that you can make the deadline.

I’m accepting registrations from all countries, but I must receive at least four other sign-ups from your country to be able to include it. I will only be matching people within the same country to keep the shipping costs reasonable. If I don’t receive enough sign-ups from your country, I will notify you by November 19th. Reversely, as soon as I have a total of five participants from your country, I will let you know so you won’t be waiting on pins and needles! :)

And as a last note, there is a field for dietary restrictions/allergies and you will only be matched to those with the same restrictions, so this swap really is for everyone.  Let’s have some fun!

Announcing: THE POSTCARD PROJECT

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It is my birthday tomorrow, and I’m taking advantage of it by posting this idea today, in hopes that my upcoming birthday will put you in a generous spirit and you’ll be willing to grant me my birthday wish, which you will discover if you bear with me and read all the way to the end. Please and thank you! XOXO, V

I don’t know about you, but I get excited each time I check the mailbox.  I get excited when I hear Jessie barking when I’m home mid-afternoon because I know it means the mail carrier has arrived with unknown treasure.  I expect the catalogs, advertisements, and letters from charitable organizations, but what gets me excited is what I hope to see: an envelope with a handwritten address on it.  Or a million dollar check from some sweepstakes I entered and forgot about. :)  It’s these things that give me that tingle of excitement every time I reach into the mailbox.

Perhaps you don’t go to your own mailbox with the same hope each day, but I think we all know the feeling of receiving a card, letter, or package in the mail.  It is enough to sweeten the dreariest of days.  We all know how nice it feels to read something written in the hand of someone we love, and how we cherish those words, whether few or many.  And yet, despite that warm feeling it gives us to receive personal mail, we rarely participate in this dying art.

As you may know, I work for the US Postal Service.  I guess it runs in the family!  My Dad became a mailman when I was a little girl and served as one through twenty-three cold winters and scorching summers, two serious dog bites, and one death threat.  He walked on broken toes (actually it was just one toe that he had the misfortune to keep breaking), walked against fifty mile-per-hour winds with a negative wind chill, fell down icy steps, fought through foot-high snow, and sweated through long 100+ degree temperature days with a heavy mail bag that caused a permanent slope to his shoulder that he still has, three years after retiring.  And he delivered the mail each day with a genuine smile.

Four years before Dad retired, my sister, Danielle, and I took up the reigns and signed on as data conversion operators (data entry) for the Postal Service.  Danielle went on to become an industrial engineer and also opened up her own gift boutique, but I’m now into my seventh year with the Postal Service, and just recently became a permanent career employee.  It was a very long process since the position was designed to be temporary, but it was well worth the wait.  As any postal employee can tell you, we are very well paid for what we do, and the benefits are fantastic.

By now you’re probably wondering where I’m going with all this.  Well, as you are probably also aware, the post office has a huge deficit and is facing default.  While I’m hopeful that the steps we are taking will prevent that, the fact remains that in an age where texts have replaced post cards and email has replaced letters, the service we offer just isn’t as highly in demand it once was.

Some people think that the post office gets its money from the government.  Not true.  The Postal Service operates on the revenue it generates from the sale of stamps and the mailing of packages.  We are entirely dependent upon the revenue we generate from our service to you.  Which is why each year the Postal Service’s prognosis looks more and more bleak.  There just aren’t as many letters and postcards being sent as there used to be.

This is why I’m introducing…

Artwork by Tara Roush of Wichita, KS

The aim of this project is twofold: 1) to spread love and good cheer through the mailing of postcards, cards, letters, and care packages, and 2) to help support the Postal Service at the same time.  A simple plan, but if enough people get involved, it could make quite an impact!

It is my birthday tomorrow and I’m taking full advantage of it by using my soon-to-be birthday girl status to ask everyone to embrace The Postcard Project and commit to sending a postcard, card, letter, and/or package to someone this week (better yet, tomorrow on my birthday!!).  Anyone.  Send it to someone you love.  Send it to someone that is lonely.  Send it to a soldier.  If you’re an animal lover like me, you can help raise money to feed them just by mailing postcards to  The Pet Postcard Project!  Sponsor a hungry child and correspond with him.  There are so many great opportunities afforded to us by using the Postal Service!

If you would like to spread the postal love and join the Postcard Project, please click here and add your name to the spreadsheet along with the number of cards, etc., you plan to send this week.  Make a mental note of your number line so that once your card(s) are mailed, you can return to the spreadsheet to check it off!  If you look at the top of my blog, you’ll see I now have a page titled “The Postcard Project” which will have the link to return to the spreadsheet so that it isn’t a hassle for you to find it again.

As each person completes their commitment, I will update the total on The Postcard Project page so we can all see how this is spreading.  Tell everyone you know and let’s see how far we can take this project!!  Are you in?

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