Hi everybody! Fortunately I did get power back – so I’m back to normal temperatures 🙂
Charity Wings voting link – http://tinyurl.com/7xmwsjo
And a little more about the low card count for this month:
I do know that I had said a while back that we may be facing less contacts, since those serving in Iraq were scheduled to come home. My direction was to scale back a little – mostly those who set giant goals to make thousands, ease up a little and focus on quality cards and not only quantity. Our expectation was that we’d have fewer contacts, however, nobody was more surprised than me that we have more contacts on our list right now than we did last January. Who’d a thunk it? Our waiting list stands at 18, some waiting since mid-December; we typically cover them within at least a month of signup date, and always try for 2 weeks, but haven’t been able to this year.
Through November and December, there was a small drop in cards, which was expected, and totally fine – but usually things start to pick up up more in January when the holidays wear off. Not so this year! I checked just this morning and we’re at 9,633 cards as of today…which is a fraction of what normally would be coming in – to compare, last January saw 39,665 cards!
The “goals” posted on our homepage each month are roughly based on the last year as well as current info on contacts on our list…I thought 34,000 seemed like a low, reasonable goal, but it’s proving to be out of our reach for this month. We always feel like we’re not getting enough in January, but that’s often because we have extra heroes on our list who signed up during the holidays, and by March or so things even out a bit. So some of this is expected, but not at this level. Typically December through February we stretch the time between restocking units to 7-8 weeks rather than the usual 5-6.
What’s the reason for the slowdown? It could be a number of things, here are some things I’m thinking it might be:
- A lot of folks took my fall email to mean they can stop making cards entirely, or slow down to 2 shipments a year from their normal 6. I had hoped they’d slow down by maybe 10-20%, not quite that drastic of a cut!
- Some people think all wars are over and all troops are home. They didn’t catch the part that we’re still fighting in Afghanistan….though the loss of six Marines should hopefully catch their attention.
- The economy is still hurting us! Ack! I can’t wait til things are back on track.
- Santa didn’t provide enough inspiring goodies in our stockings?
- The eggnog hangover hasn’t worn off yet.
So what does OWH do now? Here’s the plan:
- First, we’ll be stretching the time between restocking each of our units a little further. It could be 8-10 weeks until we get back on track.
- Second, we’re reaching out to more new cardmakers. CHA will be great exposure to get us in front of a lot of folks who don’t know us yet. And PTI’s podcast will feature OWH this weekend, and that should help too!
- Third, let’s all get the word out to our crafty friends! Be sure to post on your blog about our heroes’ needs. Make sure that folks know we’re still in operation.
One more REALLY important thing!!!Keep on making GREAT cards. I don’t want this shortfall in January to lead to boxloads of sneeze cards just because everyone panics. That’s not what will help us. Don’t beg non-cardmakers to jump in and help, just because of a shortage now….cards that we cannot send will not help us fill boxes. We simply need all our regular crafters to go back to making cards for our heroes, at their normal pace….if we all do just our part, then the burden of both time and treasure is shared among everyone, and we’ll be able to meet our heroes’ needs without panic.
And a final PS: As of next weekend, I’m gone to CHA for a week, and then for another week on the cruise – but my mail is being taken care of by my housesitter. Kris will be on the cruise, and her hubby is bringing in the mail. NEITHER of us will be doing reports and recording packages, so please don’t expect a receipt or email acknowledgement til we get back and our feet are under us again, and that could take til Feb 18th or so. We’ll have one giant Thankful Thursday and Mailroom Monday report when all the data is in.
Caro is around and will be continuing shipping as normal – and she and our board will be keeping an eye on you ladies on Facebook! Ha! Our blog team will be all over the S&S blog, too, so no shenanigans, ya hear? *grin*
Got more questions? Leave them in a comment and I’ll answer as I can!
It’s been a few weeks, but here’s a tidbit for you…with our very cool banner for our CHA booth 🙂 Don’t forget to check out our CHA page too 🙂
If you’re here for the Hero Arts hop, scroll down one post – or better yet, stop in and watch this quick vlog, and you’ll get to see some of the new Hero Arts stamps first!
We’ve got so much excitement built up it’s starting to spill all over! 🙂 Here’s your promised vlog…with a little silly bit to the background story of the OWH/Hero Arts partnership’s beginning….
Be sure to hop over to YouTube to give the video a ‘like’ and leave a comment to have a chance to be one of the lucky winners of a stamp set – and stay tuned all week for more giveaways!
And…just because it’s the weekend, we’re also going to share another card with you, using one of the Hero Arts stamp sets….in Afghanistan! Yes, we sent out a few in the hopes we can share some smiles with you, to show you just how much our heroes love these stamps too!
See you at the hop!
Here are your two-things-and-a-rant for the weekend!
Never seen the “welcome” page on our site? Could be because Sandy hasn’t been updating like she hoped. But now you can get to it using the tab on the very far left on the website:
That old Rolling Stones song has been running through my head…it feels like the behinder I get, the behinder I get! 🙂 Here’s your weekend vlog…enjoy 😉
A couple updates for you:
- OWH Cardmaking Cruise –
- Our secret Facebook group is a hoot! We still have some cruisers who haven’t joined us there – if you want to be part of the goofiness, send me a friend request and I’ll add you. Only if you’re cruising with us though – if you still want to sign up, do it quick! You’ll miss out on the pool tournament!
- Donations are coming in! Wahoo is this going to be FUN. Our sponsor logos are getting added to the cruise website; we’re sharing a little more info in the secret fb group!
- Christmas card deadline is COMING UP!! They’re due October 31…so get them in quickly. Our shippers have a lot of processing to do…so please help out:
- stamp the backs with our name (or use a label)
- line dark cards – our heroes have no white pens!
- tuck the cards in envelopes (tuck 1 or 2, either is great!)
- doublecheck for glitter – it’ll quarantine your whole box
- include a completed packing slip! We have no extra time to count your cards for you.
- CHA! It may seem early for January planning…but we’ve got some legwork ahead. We’ve been invited to have a booth in the nonprofit area of the CHA trade show….you can’t imagine how excited we are! Last July’s show brought forth a lot of great things for us…stay tuned for details in a few months as things start shakin’!
Goooooooood weekend to you all! Sandy here with a couple quick updates. It’s been just a little crazy with having been on vacation this week, so I hope these thoughts come out coherently…I apologize for being scattered lately, but this happens every year during our heavy shipping season…I just seem to forget that it occurs yearly!
- Cruise update! I am getting SO excited. (Even though on vacation I gained back a couple of pounds I had lost, lol!)
- Email – Later today I hope to get an email out to everyone who’s signed up for the cruise with a survey – I want YOUR input on what you want to do, classes you’d like to have, all sorts of fun ideas. If it doesn’t go out today, look for it later this week. I need to pick pumpkins with a sweet little girl, so it depends on what time I get back 🙂
- Stuck on GlueDots – We got an AWESOME donation of more GlueDots than we’d ever be able to use on one cruise – lol! LOVE being overrun by great boxes like those. Thanks so much, GlueDots!!!
- Signup – If you haven’t signed up yet but are thinking of going, please let me know asap! Every time I ask, more people tell me they’re still pondering, so I hope you all raise your muffins* soon! I’m recruiting donations and ordering OWH craft totes for us, so I want to be sure to get all that we need.
- Patches! It’s been brought to my attention that some people have thought that a donation of over $10 means they get a patch automatically. Nope. You need to let us know you do want one by sending an AnyHero card and a nice big clear note that you want a patch (so our shippers don’t miss it when they enter your donation.) If you had thought you were getting one, you can request one with your next package.
- Fundraising update: Thank you SO MUCH for the wonderful response to the Jedi Kittens vlog a few weeks ago! You are rallying to help our heroes, and that is AWESOME. Keep up the great work!
- TSHIRTS!!!!!! Yes, I’ve been telling you for a while I’ve been working on them, and yes, I finally got a sample in the mail yesterday! Still needs some tweaking and now we need to get the site set up, but stay tuned soon. Watch OWHtv this Thursday night (6:30pm Pacific) to see me sporting the first ever official OWH tshirt!!