Extending Gratitude One Card At A Time

Crafters making cards

Friendship UMC crafters share God’s love with military personnel through homemade cards

As Veterans Day approaches on Nov. 11, it’s a good time to reflect on the dedication of our servicemembers. One small church in Sherman is making a big impact in the lives of deployed military personnel by making homemade cards and sending them in care packages through Operation Gratitude.

Friendship UMC member Karen Spore was familiar with Operation Gratitude because she has made scarves for their care packages for years. In February she and expert card maker Janie Epperly helped start their card-making ministry at Friendship. 

Spore recalls, “We had a group of women in the church that did crafts for the church bazaar. The bazaar went by the wayside, but everyone still was coming every other Wednesday with whatever crafts they were working on. I was familiar with the organization, so I brought up the idea of making greeting cards. They jumped on it and have gone guns blazing ever since!”

The group has grown to 10 people, and they meet every other week for two hours. Together they make 50 to 75 cards per week and have lovingly created more than 1,300 cards this year.

Operation Gratitude includes three to five cards in every care package, and each card is left blank inside so that the servicemember can use it to write to their loved ones. 

“We get letters from personnel who receive the care packages and they’re just so grateful for it,” Spore said. “For some it’s the only mail they get. And it’s addressed to them personally with his or her own name on it. That really means a lot to them.”

For the crafters from Friendship UMC, the joy of creating together is infectious.

“When we first started doing this I didn’t know if they would want to keep doing it,” Spore said. “Part of the joy in doing this is being together. We sit around the table and talk and laugh. We’re a tiny little church. If we have 40 in worship on Sunday, it’s a big day. If we can do this, any church can!”

The group welcomes anyone to join them, and no experience is necessary. Contact Karen Spore to get involved, or visit Operation Gratitude to learn more about starting a similar card-making ministry.

Published: Wednesday, November 1, 2023