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Giving is Good For the Soul: Support a Charity

Give, Donate, CharityHelping others is essential to being a well-adjusted human being.  Some of us do it in our every day life, with simple acts of kindness, helping at the local food pantry, volunteering at our church, or participating in youth organizations.  There is something about helping others that adds to our own feeling of personal self-worth and connection to our community and the world around us.  Connection to others is not only an emotional experience, but a spiritual one, and we all need this kind of interaction, just like we need a hug and physical affection.

Those who only engage in “taking” and “one-upmanship” cannot be truly happy, as any relationship is a two-way street, and you cannot experience closeness and development of trust without reciprocal actions and feelings.  Although we all have times in life where we may have to focus on ourselves for one reason or another, it is healthy to practice being “others-focused”.  This doesn’t just benefit other people, but it benefits you as you feel like you are part of something bigger than yourself, and experience feelings of community and making a difference in other people’s lives.  If you haven’t previously participated in volunteerism or charitable efforts, this may be foreign ground to you, and you may not know where to start.  The key word here is PRACTICE.

First of all, I must agree that being more personally interactive will yield the most benefits, as this causes growth within yourself, and the effects are in real-time.  Serving others directly allows you to see how your participation is affecting people and your community.  If you can get out of your comfort zone and find somewhere locally to volunteer, it won’t take long before you question why you’ve never done something like this before, and make some new friends in the process!

Supporting charitable organizations financially can also be another way to practice giving of yourself.  Perhaps you’ve thought about doing this, but didn’t know where to start, or are wary of which organizations you can trust to be fiscally responsible.  Donating locally can be more personally rewarding, as you can see how your donations are improving your own community, and you may feel “safer” giving money to an organization where you can actually see results and believe there is more accountability.  At the same time, there are many regional, national and international organizations that greatly need and deserve our support!

If you would like to venture into supporting one of these, I have found a website that offers some essential information to assist you in determining which charity (or charities) you would like to give to.  Charity Navigator uses objective ratings to find charities you can trust and support.  Their listings offer organizational, financial, and contact information for each charity, rate each one by accountability and transparency, and even provide “expert advisories” for organizations that may have raised some red flags.  You can see the programs each organization offers and compare them to see which ones are more suitable regarding what efforts you would like to support.

Regardless of how you choose to start giving, I hope that you find it greatly rewarding, and experience personal growth as a result. It only takes one person to make a difference.

Kathy

MAKE MONEY WRITING GREETING CARDS FROM HOME

Make Money From Home Writing Greeting Cards

If you enjoy writing, what about checking out the greeting card market? Having your work published on a greeting card is a huge delight! It can be quite rewarding and does not require an extensive amount of time.

Writing greeting cards is different from other types of freelance opportunities. You don’t have to spend hours researching a topic. Nor do you have to have to worry about such things as SEO (search engine optimization) or finding the perfect keywords. You simply need to be able to write short, catchy text that is marketable and memorable. So what’s next . . .

Go Shopping

Every greeting card company has its own unique mission. Go shopping and spend time at different kinds of places that sell greeting cards: book stores, grocery stores, specialty shops, museums, florists, pet shops, etc . . . wherever you can get your hands on greeting cards. View a large variety. Be sure to turn the card over to check out the different publishers.

What’s Your Style?

Think about which voice suits you best? What is your style? Are you a person who would be good at writing inspiring types of messages? Are you great at writing about love and happiness? Do you have a sarcastic side? Do you enjoy making people laugh? Would you like to write humorous messages with a twist? One liners? Or maybe you would be great at writing sincere cards expressing sympathy and such? Or cards specifically for birthdays or holiday occasions? Think about your ideas also being printed on items such as magnets and bumper stickers. Get a feel for what interests you most and take notes.
Important Books All Writers Should Keep On Hand

Simply browsing through these books, not necessarily for their intended purpose, can generate a flood of new ideas!

1) a dictionary

2) a thesaurus

3) a rhyming dictionary

Generating Ideas

Ideas are EVERYWHERE! Greeting cards are a way to communicate. Listen to verbal and non-verbal communications around you. You may get an idea when you go for a walk in your neighborhood. Or maybe when you are sitting at a doctor’s office reading a magazine. What feelings and thoughts come up when you are around loved ones? Did something funny happen today that could be turned into an idea? Did you give someone a compliment today? Put your feelings into words for a greeting card.

Brainstorm! Let your mind wander. And write, write, write your ideas down!
Common Greeting Card Themes

  • Thank you
  • Congratulations
  • Affection
  • Happy Birthday
  • Love
  • Encouragement
  • Apology
  • Advice
  • Sympathy
  • Bon Voyage
  • Get well
  • Thinking of you
  • Admiration
  • Missing you
  • Motivation
  • Appreciation

Greeting Card Markets and Guidelines

As with any writing market, each has a specific set of guidelines to follow. To get you started, I’ve compiled a list of some greeting card companies that are currently accepting submissions. Keep in mind that there are hundreds of avenues for writers in the greeting card industry. Each company that I chose to list includes a link to their specific guidelines. If information regarding payment was obtainable, it has been listed below. I’ve also included whether or not the company accepts email and/or online submissions.

Carefully following the company’s guidelines will increase your chances for success.

>>>BLUE MOUNTAIN ARTS GREETING CARDS

Pays $300 per poem for worldwide, exclusive rights and $50 per poem for one-time use in a book.

Click HERE for submission guidelines.

Email submissions accepted.

>>>COMSTOCK MARKETPLACE

Pays $50 per idea for exclusive rights.

Publishes (outrageous and sexual) adult humor.

Click HERE for submission guidelines.

Email submissions accepted.

>>>DESIGNER GREETINGS

Produce of greeting cards, gift bags, etc.

Click HERE for submission guidelines.

No online submissions.

>>>EPHEMERA-Inc.

Pay $50 per slogan for exclusive rights.

Producer of novelty buttons, magnets, bumper stickers and more.

Click HERE for submission guidelines.

Online submissions accepted.

>>>J.Q. GREETINGS

Producer of beautiful outdoor related cards.

Click HERE for submission guidelines.

Email submissions accepted.

>>>KALAN (SubmitFunnyStuff)

Pays $75-$150 for exclusive rights.

Producer of wholesale novelty products, mainly distributed at Spencer Gift Stores.

Click HERE for submission guidelines.

Online submissions accepted.

>>>MOONLIGHTING CARDS

Pays $25 for non-exclusive rights.

Click HERE for submission guidelines.

Online submissions accepted.

>>>OATMEAL STUDIOS

Producer of greeting cards and note pads.

Click HERE for submission guidelines.

No online submissions.

>>>RECYCLED PAPER GREETINGS (An American Greetings Company)

Looking for artwork AND written words together. Will not accept one without the other.

Click HERE for submission guidelines.

No online submissions.
Keep In Mind

The average person will decide in just seconds if they want to buy a particular card. It must instantly catch their attention.

Did You Know?

  • The custom of sending greeting cards dates back over 500 years ago and is traced to the early Egyptians who conveyed greetings on papyrus scrolls and to the ancient Chinese who celebrated the New Year with messages of good will.
  • The oldest known greeting card still in existence today is a Valentine card from the 1400’s. It is on display at the British Museum.
  • This new wave of social expression caught on with Europeans during the 1400’s. Of course, all greeting cards were hand-delivered at that time.
  • In 1840, greeting cards became popular with the invention of the postage stamp. A greeting card could be sent for one penny. In addition, enhanced printing methods were coming about. Click HERE to learn about the Penny Black ~ the first postage stamp.
  • Louis Prang is known as the father of the American Christmas card. He opened a lithographic shop with $250 in 1875 and published the first line of U.S. Christmas cards.
  • Vintage greetings cards are highly collectible.
  • American Greetings Corporation was founded in 1906 and is the largest producer of greeting cards in the United States.

Acceptance and Rejection

If your ideas are accepted, this is certainly time to be proud and celebrate!

If your ideas are rejected, do NOT give up. Do NOT take it personally as there are many reasons a submission may be rejected.

Of course, rejection doesn’t feel good. But it is part of the wonderful business of writing.

Best wishes!

This is Sharyn’s Slant

Source:  http://hubpages.com/literature/MAKE-MONEY-FROM-HOME-WRITING-GREETING-CARDS-MORE