Poetizing Life: Amazing Card Maker’s Passion Sends Operation Write Home
By: Heather Farrar
Yolanda Derstine works a full time job by day, and becomes a creative card making artist at night, making blank cards for our troops. This card making thing is serious busi- ness with her and one of pas- sion for good reason!
I encourage everyone reading this to get involved, especially if you work with children, as this is a perfect event for them to participate in! Read this following interview to find out more:
Heather: Tell me about your ministry and what motivates you to make the cards?
Yolanda: Operation Write Home is a group made up of thousands of volunteers nation- wide who equip deployed mili- tary troops with handmade blank greeting cards for all occasions that they can use to send home to loved ones. I found the orga- nization on Facebook in May just before my youngest son de- ployed to Iraq. As an Army mom of two soldiers I know how hard it is to let them go and do what they want so badly to do. We’ve spent our lives trying to protect them and now we let them go into what we may view as the worst possible scenario. We can be consumed with worry or we can do something posi- tive with that concern. OWH seemed just the thing to help me deal with his deployment in a positive way. And it turned out to be just what I needed. Now I also volunteer as part of their blog team, helping to organize blog hops throughout the year to inspire our fellow cardmakers with new ideas, tutorials and a place to showcase their work. There are some amazing cards being made.
HF: How many do you make?
YD:I have made over 100 cards a month for Operation Write Home since May—900+ cards. My goal is simply to send a box each month, with no set quantity. So if I make less than 100 I’m fine with that. My one card, plus someone else’s and someone else’s added up to 450,000 cards just this year!
HF: How much time do you spend making them?
YD: I make cards three to four times each week and usu- ally spend two hours crafting per session. Sometimes I’ll do stamped images for cards
ahead of time and pull them out when I’m ready to craft.
HF: Where do you get your inspirations for the cards?
YD: Everywhere! I get a lot of inspiration from different challenge blogs and from Operation Write Home’s very active Facebook page.
HF: What types of materials do you use?
YD: I use a lot of rubber stamps, designer papers and cardstock, A2 envelopes, tape runner, trimmer and assorted embellishments such as stick- ers and buttons.
HF: When you are finished making them, how do you distribute them?
YD: OWH has a designated shipper for each region of the country. I send my cards to the shipper in Kansas and she sends them to troops who have requested our cards. They may be in Iraq, Afghanistan, on a ship at sea, in Kuwait—any warzone in which our troops are serving. They are sent to re- questers in all branches of the military and a few are sent to ci- vilian contractors serving along- side our troops. Adults would be welcome to write thanks on any greeting card and I would see that they shipped. Donations may be made to help with ship- ping at http://operationwrite- home.org/donate.html
HF: What final thoughts would you like add?
YD: Operation Write Home card makers are a vibrant and welcoming online community that honors our military and encourages their families. Our troops deserve our thanks for the sacrifices they make for our country, the inconveniences they endure and most of all for their willingness to put their lives in danger for the sake of our nation. It’s a little thing I can do to make their load lighter and help keep their families strong dur- ing the lengthy separations they face.
I invite any and all kids to check out the coloring sheets for scout troops at:
and send in their sheets to: OWR Coloring Sheets, PO BOX 786, Warrenton, MO 63383*
(Absolutely no glitter allowed for the troops’ safety.)
Kids’ notes are especially encouraging!
The following sites are for more information for kids and adults:
If you would like to donate materials please contact me here at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*This address is for Yolanda collecting from her community. Please continue to send your cards to our shippers, thanks.