Cards for a Cause help nonprofits
Kathy Wrobel had made cards for 25 years as personal gifts for friends and family, a creative outlet while she managed a demanding corporate career in sales. When she retired June 30 of last year, she wanted to give back to community and her card making hobby seemed the perfect way.
“Once I kind of put that out there, that I was doing this, everything unfolded for me,” she said. She prayed about the idea for a long time, and things fell into place like it was meant to be.
Kathy and her husband, Conrad, formed Cards for HVL Causes, a nonprofit organization that gives 100 percent of the sales of high-quality, handcrafted cards to six local charities.
“We are not really selling the cards, per se, because we never get any money for them,” she says. “The money goes directly to the nonprofits.” When they buy one of the greeting cards, purchasers choose from among six local organizations where they want their money to go: the Blue Ridge Humane Society, Four Seasons Hospice Foundation, Interfaith Assistance Ministry, Open Arms, Safelight and St. Gerard House.
Because all funds go directly to the charities, Cards for HVL Causes relies on donations from the community to pay for materials and supplies. “Every dollar donated translates to $10 in card sales,” Kathy says. “When somebody donates to Cards for HVL Causes, it multiplies 10-fold in terms of the impact to these six organizations.”
Once the word got out about her organization, “volunteers came out of the woodwork,” she says. Cards for HVL Causes now has a group of over 20 volunteers, including a second designer working alongside Kathy. They always welcome more help.
When Cards for HVL Causes first started, volunteers came to the Wrobel’s house on the third Monday of every month. The entire home was transformed into a production area as the card makers split into teams, each turning out 50-60 of the pre-designed cards a day.
“One thing volunteers do as well, we actually do some of the deliveries with orders over $25,” Conrad says.
Personal delivery became much more important once COVID-19 appeared. Cards for HVL Causes could not sell their cards in stores or make them in person. “COVID kind of forces people to think out of the box,” Kathy says. “So, we were not going to be deterred.”
The Wrobels continued production by putting together pre-made kits full of supplies and leaving them on their doorstep for volunteers to pick up.
“Our front door has become like shipping and receiving,” Kathy says. After joining a Zoom call to learn how to make the cards, the volunteers work from home, then leave the finished product back on the Wrobel’s doorstep.
Cards for HVL Causes launched a website and online store last month. “We thought that everything was going to be hampered by COVID, but actually it has accelerated our program,” Kathy says. She said they can reach more people online than at thrift shops in downtown Hendersonville.
Cards for HVL Causes make two cards specifically for COVID-19. One is a “I miss you” card featuring a masked teddy bear and the other is for expressing thanks to health care workers.
Prior to retiring, Kathy was a national sales director for the commercial side of Staples, selling to other large businesses. Conrad had a varied career, working in IT and management information services in fields such as office supply, furniture and hobby and craft supply.
Cards for HVL Causes welcomes new volunteers and is specifically looking for someone with social media experience. To support the organization, people may donate on their website, she said, or support their work by buying cards at cardsforacausenc.com or at the Four Seasons Hospice, 215 N. Main St., Hendersonville, and 21 Long Shoals Road, Asheville.