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Postcard Project: weekly winner & questions answered

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*If you are new to my blog, you can read about The Postcard Project here.

The Postcard Project
<a href=”https://veronicascornucopia.com/the-postcard-project&#8221; target=”_blank”><img src=”https://reciperhapsody.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/the-postcard-project-buttun3.jpg&#8221; border=”0″ alt=”The Postcard Project”></a>

The Postcard Project

<a href=”https://veronicascornucopia.com/the-postcard-project&#8221; target=”_blank”><img src=”https://reciperhapsody.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/the-postcard-project-buttonc.jpg&#8221; border=”0″ alt=”The Postcard Project”></a>

Looky looky looky! I not only made buttons, but buttons that you can GRAB!! I’m such a genius. (OK, not really, I used the tutorial I found here, and that worked for my side bar but not on this blog post, so I had to do a bunch more Googling to figure out how to get the code to stay in html code below the buttons and after a million years, I finally got it!)  So if you like, copy the code below the button of your choice to add a Postcard Project button to your blog’s side bar. Wheeee!

I’m sure you are all as thrilled with the buttons as I am, but I suppose we should go ahead and move on to the giveaway anyway.  :)  The winner of a dozen crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside, blue ribbon-winning, delicious brown butter chocolate chip cookies this week is…

Suzie Shaw from Michigan!

Can you hear us clapping for you, Suzie?  Wait, this might help…

Congratulations!  I already have your address, so I’ll be getting the cookies out to you on Monday, along with the postcards you requested.

OK, we’re two weeks into the project now, and have almost doubled in participants!  Wilma from Indiana sent the most mail with 16 pieces (let’s hear a hurray for Wilma!  Wilma, go back to the video and play it for yourself. :)), so she’s in the lead for most total mail sent as well (not counting myself), with Teri, Mary Toland, and Donna G. all coming in very close behind her. Keep racing, ladies, because the person with the most mail sent by the end of the month will be awarded an entire batch of my cookies.

I’m very excited that two participants joined us from outside the US, one from Russia and one from Canada!  (Questions regarding eligibility for those outside the US will be answered below.)  Thanks to everyone who is participating–you rock my face off! *L    <– See look what you did to my face! It looks like that because you rocked it off! hahaha

This is the final week of the month which means next Saturday there will be two prizes awarded.  A dozen cookies will be awarded to one participant, drawn randomly from the names with any number, other than 0, in the “completed” column for this final week.  And as I mentioned above, the person with the most mail sent for all three weeks of the project combined will be awarded an entire batch of cookies.  So be sure to update the spreadsheet with any mail you haven’t reported in past weeks of the project.

Q&A

I have gotten a couple questions from readers and want to address them here.

Q: Does it help the US Postal Service if I mail something to the US from Russia?

A:  The answer is quite complicated, but it boils down to this: if you’re sending mail to the US from another country, even if we do not profit from the sale of the stamp on your letter/postcard/package, there is a higher likelihood that the person who receives the mail from you will respond in kind and send a letter back, which does help the US Postal Service.  And it most definitely fulfills the first priority of the project: spreading joy and cheer!  So, if you are outside of the US and would like to participate, go ahead and add your name to the spreadsheet, but make sure the number you are reporting is mail sent to the US only.

Q: Will you ship cookies overseas?

A: YES! If you live outside the US and win one of the drawings for cookies, YES, I will totally ship them to you.  ANYONE that sends mail will be entered in the drawing.

Q: Do bills count toward my total number of mail pieces sent?

A: Although mailing bills does help support the Postal Service, it only fulfills one goal of the project.  You can count bills if you include a note with it, such as thanking the company or person that you’re paying for their service.  I’m sure they never see a personal note accompanying a bill and I bet that would really brighten their day!

My postcard collection

I’ve emailed with a few readers and exchanged my address with them because I’ve started a postcard collection, trying to get at least one from every state, and one from as many countries as I can.  So far I have one from six different states and one on the way from Russia!  If you would like to exchange postcards with me, please send me your address to vraklis@yahoo.com and I will do the same!

Please remember

If you will be sending mail this week, please return to the spreadsheet to report how many pieces you plan to send.  I always include a reminder at the end of my Friday morning blogs to return again and report your mailing as “completed,” since only those that do are entered in the drawings, but if anyone has a better idea of how to help people return, please let me know!  I could do the reminder Thursday, perhaps, or maybe I need to rethink the whole “sign up sheet” process to make it simpler.  Give me your ideas and I’ll do some brainstorming.

I apologize for the very long post.  Let’s do a recap so you don’t have to read it again to remind yourself of the bullet points:

1) If you have a blog, would you do me the favor of grabbing a button and adding it to your sidebar?

2) If you would like to exchange postcards with me, send your address to vraklis@yahoo.com.

3) Please remember to update the spreadsheet with your current goal, and update your past numbers if you need to, then be sure to return by Friday night to report how much mail you sent in order to be eligible for the drawing.

4) Just for fun, check out my favorite card this week:

5) Thank you for spreading joy and cheer, and helping support the U.S. Postal Service!  Let’s make it a great week!

Winners & Postcard Project Update

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Warning: This post is heavy on bold print and exclamation points.  Sorry if you’re easily dismayed by such overusages!  I am an effusive person by nature and if I didn’t express that in my writing, it wouldn’t be me. :)

Since I had to sort through comments that weren’t entries for the Eggland’s Best prize pack, I did the drawing the old-fashioned way and wrote down the names of everyone  who entered (multiple times for those of you who had extra entries), cut them out, folded them, and put them in a bowl for Dennis to draw one.  So you can’t blame me if you’re mad you didn’t win! It’s all his fault.  :)  And the winner is…

Britany!

Check your email, Britany, and reply back to me with your address so I can forward it to Eggland’s Best.

Now for The Postcard Project winner!  I did this one the same way, putting the names of those who had any number at all in the “completed” column on the PP spreadsheet onto paper and having Dennis draw one.  And the winner of a dozen of my blue ribbon chocolate chip cookies is…

Jenna Satterthwaite!

I already have your address, Jenna, from the last giveaway you won, so you don’t have to contact me–I’ll get your cookies out to you on Monday!

I am just so excited about this project it’s very hard for me to not talk about it every time I blog!  We’ve kicked off the first week with 17 amazing people, and 117 pieces of mail!  If we can get that much sent out the first week, just think how much more once the word starts to spread and more and more people join the effort!  This is how change is made.  One person at a time.

Please help spread the word about this project by linking to it (use this page’s link) on Facebook, on Twitter, and pinning it on Pinterest or any other site you use.  If you have a blog, you could put a button with the logo on your sidebar that links to The Postcard Project page of my blog.  (If I figure out how to make the code for a button, I will update with it next Saturday.)  One idea that I hope to execute soon is to have a “Postcard Project” party and have a bunch of friends come over to create homemade cards for loved ones and if that appeals to you, have a party of your own!  I want to make this explode!

I want to put a disclaimer here before anyone gets a wrong impression about my motivation for the project.  I’m asking for you to spread the word, which will inevitably garner more attention for my blog, but I promise you that I’m not self-promoting.  I have no reason to.  As you can see on my side bar, I have no advertisers over there.  I’ve never signed up with Foodbuzz or affiliates and do not get paid for what I do here.  I don’t have a problem with bloggers who do, in fact I don’t think I know more than a handful that don’t have affiliates, but I enjoy blogging as a hobby and want to keep it that way, at least for now.  So if this project gets my blog more attention, I won’t be benefitting from it financially at all.  That’s not why I’m doing this.

I started this project for the two reason I have already stated:

1) To spread joy & cheer (which this world could always use more of!)

2)  To support the US Postal Service.

If you’re reading this right now, I want you to join me in this effort!  Let’s get excited about this!  Yes, I’m asking for action, which I know is harder than slapping down money when someone asks for help.  But I don’t want your money.  I want your Grandma’s face to light up when she sees a “thinking of you” card from you in her mailbox, and I want your niece in the military to burst into tears when she gets a letter from you.  You can’t put a price on that.

Together, we can save the dying art of “paper hugs,” as my friend, Jaci, calls personal mail.  And we can help save the Postal Service and the hundreds of thousands of good jobs it provides our country, and a service that is priceless.

So, add your name to the spreadsheet.  If you’re on it, update it & put a number in the column for letters you plan to send this week.  Not because you have to in order to send mail, of course, but so you can help build excitement for the project as the list grows, and so we can all see how widespread it becomes and how we are all making a difference.

In closing, I wanted to share the highly inappropriate (which, IMO, makes it that much funnier) Halloween card I just sent my in-law’s this week.  (Don’t worry, they have a great sense of humor and they loved it!)  I got it at Dollar Tree, a great resource for inexpensive greeting cards, for $.50. I have more resources & ideas for cards & postcards listed hereIf you pick up a funny card that made you snort, scan it and email it to me (vraklis@yahoo.com)–I’ll be featuring my favorite next Saturday when I announce the next winner of cookies.

*For next week’s drawing, please make sure you put a number on the spreadsheet indicating how many letters you plan to send, and return by Friday night to mark how many you did send.  Only those who mark theirs as finished will be entered into the drawing. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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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