Although many individuals distribute eCards and photo postcards at Christmas time, traditional Christmas cards are still very popular. However, they have little worth past December 25th if you choose not to reuse them for other creative projects. Fortunately, there are a few charities that collect used Christmas cards, giving these seasonal greetings a second chance at life.
Who Collects the Cards?
If you're looking to donate locally, you can start by asking your local church or chamber of commerce if they know of any organization that may use the cards. Other options include:
St. Jude's Ranch for Children
St. Jude's Ranch for Children gathers used Christmas cards through their Recycled Card Program. The cards are used to make new ones with a unique look that are sold to support their initiatives for children and young adults that are battered, neglected and homeless. While the kids learn the value of completing a job, ranch donors receive a card that is like none other.
They only use the front of the card, so the organization asks that the back side of the front is free of blemishes. Also, they prefer cards that are five by seven inches in size or smaller. Lastly, Hallmark, Disney or American Greeting cards cannot be accepted at this time.
Donations can be sent to:
St. Jude's Ranch for Children
Recycled Card Program
100 St. Jude's Street
Boulder City, NV 89005
The Reusable Resources Adventure Center
The Reusable Resources Adventure Center of Brevard County is an initiative of the Institute for Self Active Education, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. The center collects the front of used greeting cards and puts them to good use in creative art, construction projects and various learning activities.
If your are interested in donating the front of your used Christmas cards to the center, give them a call at (321) 729-0100.
Used greeting cards can sometimes be donated to local prisons, rehabilitation center or other state-run facilities. These entities often have craft times where residents or inmates can refurbish the Christmas cards, either for profit or to pass the time. Many people do not think to donate to prisoners and those overcoming life struggles; so your donation could really brighten their day.
Before donating your used Christmas cards, keep the following tips in mind:
Review Submission Guidelines
You will want to review the submission guidelines to ensure the cards are appropriate for the cause. For example, cards that are overly crass or adult in nature are probably not ideal for St. Jude's, while ones with cartoons jabbing prisoners or alcoholics will not be suitable for rehab centers. Instead, try to stick with classy, traditional looking cards that recipients will enjoy.
Confirm Donation Windows
Only make donations if they are currently being accepted. Otherwise, the charity may become overwhelmed and eventually toss them out.
Do Your Research
Always do your research before mailing off your cards. That way, you will rest assured they are going to a worthwhile cause, and not getting dumped in the trash. Getting rid of your Christmas cards by donating them is a unique way to give back, and could really help an organization that will use them.