Here at The Rainbow Cards Project we believe that gestures don’t have to be grand to matter, and that every act of kindness, no matter how small, can have a powerful impact on the recipient's life. We understand how lonely it can sometimes feel to be LGBTQ+ and to have to encounter so much prejudice and dehumanisation simply for who we are or who we love, and we want to help combat that and reach out to those who are feeling the impact of this hatefulness and isolation. If you decide to become a recipient we will be so happy to welcome you into this little found-family we are creating and we hope the project will have a positive and uplifting impact, even if only a small one, on your life.
WHAT YOU WILL RECEIVE
What cards you will receive depends on the year. The way the system works is that one year we will just send holiday cards (and special occasion cards), no birthday cards*; and the next year we will just send birthday cards, no holiday or special occasion cards. This will alternate every year.
2019 is a holiday card year so we will be sending Christmas, holiday and special occasion cards.
The exception to this is if you don't celebrate any holiday, in which case you will receive birthday cards every year. This ensures that everyone receives one package of cards per year. People typically receive around 6 cards per package, but sometimes as many as 15 (or even more) depending on how busy our senders have been!
*Please note: due to the fact much of the preparation for sending cards happens the month before, recipients with birthdays in January will receive their cards in years designated as holiday card years.
IMPORTANT OR UNEXPECTED OCCASIONS
Additionally, we offer an ‘important or unexpected occasion’ service. This means that if something major* happens you can contact us - or a loved one can do so on your behalf - and we will send out an appropriate card as soon as possible. This applies every year, regardless of what other cards we are sending. Just email us with your name, what the event is, and confirm the address it should be sent to and we’ll pop one in the post! We wish to offer support and solidarity through any major events in your life so please don't hesitate to contact us about this service.
*For example: exams, graduation, engagement, marriage, pregnancy, hospitalisation, starting college/university, moving house, loss of a loved one.
HOW DO I BECOME A RECIPIENT?
Becoming a recipient is simple - if you are LGBTQ+ and any member(s) of your family have stopped sending you cards on your birthday or during the holidays, or have otherwise left you feeling outcast by them because of your sexuality or gender, you fit the criteria to join. There are no restrictions of age, gender, location or anything else. It's as simple as this: if you say that you fit that loose criteria we will welcome you with open arms! All you have to do is fill in a short form to tell us a little bit about yourself and then you’ll receive an email letting you know you’ve been added to our list of recipients! After that you don’t have to do anything else, but at any time you can request for a change to be made to your info (such as a new address or different pronouns) by sending us a quick email. If you ever decide it’s time for you to leave the project you can easily opt out by emailing us and expressing your wish to leave and we will remove your information from our system, no questions asked.
HOW DOES THE SENDING PROCESS WORK?
There are 2 ways in which cards are written to be received by you! The first is that people from all over the world can submit cards. They write a card, send it to our PO Box, and then we forward it on to you! This prevents your address or any other personal details from needing to be shared with senders. The second is that I, the founder, will also write cards - I typically write special occasion cards and cards for those who have opted out of being named recipients.
Some senders may choose to leave contact info in the card so you have the option of getting in touch with them, but we ask them to not expect a reply so the decision of whether to reach out will always be completely in your hands.
THE 'NAMED RECIPIENT' OPTION
There is a list of named recipients for senders can write to on the website at all times, either on the 'Send a Card' page or 'The Nice List'. This means that senders can specifically write their card to you - called a ‘named recipient’ card - meaning that it will include your first name, rather than keeping the card unnamed and beginning it with something like ‘Hi!’ instead of ‘Dear [name]’. We call that other kind of a card a ‘general recipient’ card which, while they may include less specific personalisation, we believe they don’t contain any less love and are just as heartfelt.
The only information shared in that monthly list will be your first name, pronouns, (if relevant) a rough idea of how soon your birthday is (e.g. late July) and other non-identifying information - such as your favourite colour or hobby - if you have included it in your form, which helps senders personalise the card. Your last name, address and all other personal information will remain private and secure, but if you wish you can still choose to opt out of the ‘named recipient’ option when you sign up, or do so later by emailing us.
SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCE
If you have received a card (or letter) from The Rainbow Cards Project, please consider sharing your experience to help spread the word about this project and to show people that our work matters! Testimonies, whether they’re a sentence or a paragraph, are so valuable to us because if people can hear about the direct impacts on recipients and if it’s been a positive thing for them, then others may begin to understand why this project is important. You can submit a testimony by emailing us and if you have a photo of your card, or even better: you with your card, include that too! We’d love to share them on our website.
Please also share your experiences on social media - just a simple tweet or photo of a card you’ve received can introduce people to our project, and those people might become senders, recipients or donors - helping keep this project alive!
If you have any feedback or suggestions that you think we should hear please don’t be shy about contacting us! This project is for you, so if there are ways in which we can make it better then we want to hear them!