I know that it may seem premature talking about Christmas in September before the central heating has gone on and the winter coats have come out of hiding, but the festive wrapping paper, mince pies and Christmas cards are already on the supermarket shelves. Forgive me for pointing out that there are less than 100 days to go before the big day, we just want to make sure that the #onemorecard Christmas campaign that we launched last year gets off to the best possible start in 2018.
When you post a card to someone, it’s not just a card it’s a smile in an envelope. That’s what we found when we started the campaign in December last year; Harry Winters, a 96 year-old veteran from Streatham, South London, was inundated with Christmas cards from strangers across the globe wishing him well after he admitted to a friend that he felt lonely and isolated. That friend, Jules Walker a former Royal Marine and a Home Helper with Close to Hand, put a call out on social media asking for people to lift his spirits and send Harry a Christmas card as an act of gratitude for his service during the war.
Did you see Harry on TV?
Harry, who received over 300 cards last year as a result of Jules’ call out, said at the time that he felt ‘humbled as each new card that arrived brought such joy’. One school sent him a whole exercise book of messages from children and as he turned the pages he said he was ‘overwhelmed by their thoughtfulness’. He and his wife were interviewed on Good Morning Britain about their amazing story.
The #onemorecard campaign aims to encourage you to drop a Christmas card into a neighbour who you know will be alone in December, so when you buy your cards this year please consider throwing another pack in the basket.
We want the joy that Harry felt to have received so many well wishes to be replicated thousands of times over this year. Imagine how many more spirits can be lifted if we each add another name or two to our Christmas card list. After all cards are a physical reminder that people do care and it’s often when the cards start arriving that we begin to feel festive and connected to friends and family.
Close to Hand has lots of ideas to make the campaign as big and successful as possible and we’ll be sharing these with you in the coming months. Until then if you’d like to get involved in sending cards or if you’d like to be a recipient then please do get in touch.