Paulette Smith helps ladies at her home make special cards for veterans and soldiers - Putnam Sentinel
Paulette Smith helps ladies at her home make special cards for veterans and soldiers.

PANDORA ­— A Lima resident, who continues to fight cancer, knows the importance of receiving hand-made cards from friends.

Barbara Haithcox said last year she found out she had cancer. She said it was the hand-made cards, prayers and her family that got her through the most difficult time.

Haithcox, is one of several area women who meet monthly at the home of Paulette Smith in Pandora to make handmade cards. After she returned to the gatherings, she shared how much the cards meant to her.

“I said if they meant this much to me I’m sure they would mean a lot to veterans in hospital and nursing homes and to soldiers,” she said. The women agreed and last week both groups made special cards to send to Operation Gratitude. After reviewing the guidelines, Smith, assembled the items needed to make the cards. This included folded blank cards, and stamps to put on the cards. The women had a choice of two greetings for the inside of the cards. One greeting said “Thank you for humble and dedicated service.” The other greeting was “Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

“No card turns out alike,” Smith said as she handed out the pieces needed for the cards. She hosted a morning and evening group on Thursday, Aug. 23.

As the women made the cards they shared friendly conversation about what was happening in their life. The women came from numerous towns including Ada, Elida, Lima, Cridersville, Ottawa, Leipsic, and Continental. Smith said women have been meeting at her home for over ten years to make cards. She was excited about the project they were working on. “I know these cards will be appreciated,” Smith said. “We were told not to put glitter or anything shiny on the cards. This could give away a soldier’s location.”

Smith started selling Stampin’ Up! supplies after she retired as a teacher. This is when a few ladies began meeting at her home to do cards. Both the morning and evening group grew by word of mouth.

The reasons the women enjoy making cards are varied. “I do it for therapy,” one woman admitted. “If I don’t feel good or have a headache, I will make some cards. It always makes me feel better.”

Another woman said she was invited to come by her sister after she was widowed. “It’s therapy for me to just get out and talk,” she admitted. Smith said she usually has three cards ready to assemble for each group. “I get my ideas from catalogues and Pinterest,” she said. The women said they make get well, birthday, sympathy and Christmas cards the most.

“My family expects to get a hand-made card from me,” a member of the group said. “It so much more personal.”

The cards will be sent to Operation Gratitude, which then places them in care packages they send out. Each card was hand-signed by the person who created it.