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The Nursing Home Card Project Needs Handmade Cards

The Nursing Home Card Project Needs Handmade Cards

The Nursing Home Card Project would love for you to make and donate handmade cards to their participating nursing homes across the United States.

If you’re looking for a project for your family, school club, or community organization, making handmade cards is always a great option.

Not only are handmade cards something that you can make quickly, but the basic materials are also easy to find and budget-friendly.

You also don’t need to be an artist or even consider yourself super creative.

A simple message with a fun illustration or even just a bunch of stickers will still be appreciated by the recipient.

Who Needs Handmade Card Donations?

I have already featured a variety of organizations whose sole focus is providing people with handmade cards.

One supports hospitalized children, while another send cards to people battling cancer, and another just wants to brigthen someone’s day.

Handmade cards for Nursing Home Card Project with motivational messages intended for seniors.
Image Credit: Nursing Home Card Project

I have only featured one organizatino so far, Forget Me Not, whose main focus is seniors, though.

So, I was thrilled to learn about another one, the Nursing Home Card Project, through a post on Instagram.

Founder Interview: Rachel Bennett, Nursing Home Card Project

And since it’s always best to learn about an organization directly from its founder, I quickly sent a DM so we could connect.

Below, the Founder of Nursing Home Card Project, Rachel Bennett, shares her organization’s story with us.

Please note: Some of the interview has been very lightly edited for clarity.

Create To Donate: Why did you decide to start Nursing Home Card Project (NHCP)? 

NHCP: I started the Nursing Home Card Project in April 2020 when I watched, with heartbreak, nursing home residents not be able to have any visitors.

We all need love,  kindness and to be seen and remembered.

I started the project to help our vulnerable and older or disabled brothers and sisters receive cards AKA *LOVE* in the mail.

It wasn’t right that they had no contact from the outside world. This was a small action to remind them they were SEEN and LOVED.

Handmade cards wit hearts that were donated to Nursing Home Card Project.
Image Credit: Nursing Home Card Project

I also started the Nursing Home Card Project in honor of my mother, Shaunna Bennett. She spent her entire life writing cards and notes of love to her family and friends.

She always remembered people with a card, whether it was their birthday, anniversary,  confirmation, or asking them if their tomatoes had grown that year.

She sent love through the mail to people and made them feel special.

I wanted to keep her legacy alive.

She lived in nursing homes from 2010-2016 and died from complications related to early onset Alzheimer’s.

Handmade card displayed on a table.
Image Credit: Nursing Home Card Project

Create To Donate: Who do you serve and where?

NHCP: I serve the men and women who live in nursing homes in the United States and beyond.

So far the Nursing Home Card Project has sponsored a nursing home in 34 states in the United State.

We have also sponsored seven different countries, including Italy, Scotland, England, Korea, Australia. Germany and Japan.

Create To Donate: What other types of groups or organizations do you hope to serve?

NHCP: We aim to [continue serving] nursing homes. People who live in nursing homes are incredibly lonely.

You can’t understand it until you visit. 

My project inspires people to write and send cards, yes, but even better and more meaningful — we hope people will drop the cards off themselves to a nursing home and give the cards to residents in person. 

You cannot understand how special this makes them feel.

Many of them have nobody who visits them or talks to them.

Nursing Home Card Project wants your handmade cards to help brigthen a senior's day.

The staff at nursing homes do the best they can, but nursing homes are often understaffed.

I hope that schools, teachers, parents, churches, synagogues and community organizers will encourage kids to visit nursing homes, especially.

Intergenerational connection of the old and young is the staple of a healthy and dignified society and we have a lot to learn from each other. 

Image Credit: Nursing Hoe Card Project

Create To Donate: How does someone request support from your group?

NHCP: A nursing home can contact us through caringbycard [at] gmail [dot]com if their residents want cards.

If people want to SEND cards, they write to us at that same email and we will give them a nursing home to send cards to and tell you how many residents that nursing home has.

You can also find our *nursing home of the month” on our Make Cards page.

Image Credit: Nursing Home Card Project

Create To Donate: What requirements & guidelines do you have for card donations? Are there specific types of cards that are more popular than others?

Any card that is handmade and comes from the heart is a winner! The Sky’s the Limit!

Some people like to write jokes inside, others like to write a poem, others like to use big stickers, or pompoms, glitter, sequins, popsicle sticks.

Some people have included bookmarks in their cards.

The important thing is to WRITE BIG, since many of these people are older and have a hard time seeing.

You can get many ideas from our Gallery Page on our website.

Image Credit: Nursing Home Card Project

The most important thing is to HAVE FUN and know that your creativity and kindness will brighten someone’s heart and life.

Many of these people have nothing in their rooms. Just a bed and a dresser.

This may be the only brightness and sign of love they receive and they will look at it all the time. 

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Create To Donate: Where should people send their cards?

Please look at our website and you will see our “Nursing Home of the Month.”

The two newest nursing homes we are sponsoring that people can send cards to are:

Beverly Park Place Health and Rehab

ATTN: Activities Director 

5321 Beverly Park Circle

Knoxville, TN 37918

165 residents 

Hermitage Care & Rehabilitation Center

ATTN: Activities Director

1614 W Parrish Ave

 Owensboro, KY 42301

91 residents 

Group of handmade cardst that people made to send to nursing homes to support the Nursing Home Card Project.
Image Credit: Nursing Home Card Project

Create To Donate: What else would you like people to know?

NHCP: The Nursing Home Card Project is passionate about going into nursing homes to show love through cards, but also through singing.

We urge people to join us in New York City for a few singing events we will be hosting and also to start your own singing group at your local nursing home.

Go to this link to find out a step-by-step guide on how to do it!

Image Credit: Christian Ladewig on Unsplash

We are delighted that the Rudolph Steiner School in NYC  has committed to sing through the halls at the Mary Manning Walsh nursing home three times a year.

We hope more schools will do this through their community service programs!

We also hope that EVERY single person knows where their nearest local nursing home is.

You can find out where yours is here: Find Healthcare Providers: Compare Care Near You | Medicare

Support Seniors With Handmade Cards

Creating and donating handmade cards is something people can do year-round.

The holiday season, however, is a time when cards are even more important for seniors who are separated from (or just don’t have) family.

And, as I’ve said before, every card makes a difference.

So here are some creative card ideas to get you started:

Will You Make & Donate At Least 5 Handmade Cards?

I hope you enjoyed learning about the great work the Nursing Home Project is doing to enhance the lives of seniors across the United States and beyond.

To support their mission, why not join me and commit to making and donating at least five handmade cards to a nursing home near you?

When you do, please snap a photo and tag #createtodonate on your favorite social media platform.

I always like to share the contributions of my growing community of makers who give back.

Share ideas for good deeds!