What you need to know.
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The real question is why wouldn’t you want to send cards to people who will be incredibly grateful for them? Who wouldn't want to offer solidarity and love to those whose lives may be lacking in those things at times? And it isn’t just about the recipients - we believe that senders benefit from this project too. Writing can be very therapeutic, often even more so when you take away the pressure of writing to someone who knows you where you may be worrying about seeming too cheesy or not funny enough. When you send cards via us there is no pressure to write a certain kind of way and you will most likely never meet the recipient so you don’t have to worry about sounding a little silly or soppy! It always feels good to spread kindness, and this is a very simple and accessible way to do just that.
WRITE AS MANY CARDS AS YOU WANT, AS OFTEN AS YOU WANT
At The Rainbow Cards Project, we will gratefully receive however many cards or letters you are able to send! You can send one and then never do so again, or write once every few months, or send ten cards together and do that once a year: however many cards you want to write and however often you are able to write we will be incredibly thankful, as will the recipients. We aim for this project to bring a sense of fulfilment, hope and visceral human connection to both the sender and the recipient, and we hope you find that to be true!
PLEDGE TO WRITE MONTHLY OR ANNUALLY
If you would like to be more of a long-term volunteer for us, you can pledge to meet a goal number of cards sent monthly or annually. The goal is set by you: you determine how long you want your pledge to last, what your goal number will be and whether that goal will be a monthly or annual one. We completely understand that sometimes pledges cannot be fulfilled and we will never be frustrated if you cannot meet your goal - the pledge system is more for the sender to set themselves a goal rather than for us to demand a certain amount of cards from you.
HOW TO SEND CARDS WITH US
Write your card(s). Please see our writing guide for suggestions and things to avoid.
*After placing your card inside its envelope, leave the envelope unsealed and blank. Put the card & unsealed envelope inside a second envelope. (We suggest using a large and/or padded envelope if you are sending multiple cards)
The only things that are acceptable to include except cards/postcards are things that lie flat and don't add significantly to the depth/weight of the card (e.g. stickers or a drawing)
Seal the outer envelope and address it to our PO Box -
The Rainbow Cards Project
PO Box 62
*If you cannot get a second envelope, please don’t let that stop you sending a card! We will simply remove the card from the original envelope and place it in a fresh one in order to forward the card on to the recipient.
Bonus things you can do to make my life a little easier:
Include a note saying whether your cards are for general or named recipients, or both
If your cards are for named recipients, put sticky notes with the name of the person the card is for on the envelopes and/or pack your cards in the order their names are listed on this page
Decorate the envelope with washi tapes/stickers/calligraphy/art (if you don't do this, please leave the envelope blank rather than writing their name in a dull fashion as I like to make envelopes pretty and interesting looking!)
These are all 100% optional, just things anyone who wants to do & has the time to do can do to make things a bit easier on my end.
CAN'T I JUST SEND CARDS DIRECTLY TO THE RECIPIENT?
At The Rainbow Cards Project, our top priority is the safety and wellbeing of our recipients, and it is vital that we don’t allow anything that could compromise that. Therefore, we cannot give out the addresses, or other personal details, of our recipients as this could put them at risk. By sending all cards and letters via our PO Box, we mitigate the need for addresses to be shared. We hope you understand this necessary safety precaution and that it doesn’t stop you writing to our recipients.
The ‘General Recipient’ option simply means that you won’t address the card to a specific name, and instead will begin it with something like ‘Hi!’ This means we can send the card on to anyone who needs one, rather than it being predetermined that it has to go to a specific person. We know that for some people this feels too impersonal, which is why we offer the named recipient option, but the general recipient option does give us much more flexibility to make sure everyone who needs one gets a card.
The ‘Named Recipient’ option allows you to pick the person your card will be sent to. Each month there will be a list of names of people who you can write to - people who have a birthday coming up - allowing you to write in time for us to forward the card to them for their birthday. This option can give the exchange a more personal feel, but it does give us more limitations. Both options have their merits, and we will always make sure that every recipient gets a card, no matter what!
YOU CAN WRITE TO THIS MONTH
Esther - she/her, they/them - likes the labour party & dogs (birthday in late February)
Kaz - they/them - favourite colours are green & purple; loves anime, frogs, puns & silly jokes (birthday in late February)
Elijah - he/him - favourite colour is blue; is an artist obsessed with Vincent Van Gogh & dad to 3 guinea pigs (birthday in late February)
Immy - she/her - loves Star Wars, music, art & rainbows (birthday in late February)
Georgia - she/her - likes cats & Harry Potter; recovering from mental health issues (birthday in late February)
DJ - he/him, they/them - likes gaming, EDM & Netflix (birthday in late February)
Juls - she/her - favourite colours are purple & green; is studying physics & loves things that are related to the universe; loves animals & has two cats - don't mention anything lgbtq+ related (birthday in late February)
Jenna - she/her - favourite colour is teal; loves running, photography, cooking, travelling, dogs & her pet guinea pig (birthday in late February)
Karina - she/her - favourite colour is green; loves music (especially 80s rock) & halloween, hates math - don't mention anything lgbtq+ related (birthday in late February)
Oluwadamilare - he/him (birthday in late February)
Ryan - he/him (birthday in late February)
Vivienne - she/her - loves bright/neon colours like pink/cyan but also black & white,; loves music (especially electronic) & reading (birthday in late February)
[Birthday dates are roughly indicated so you can decide if your card should arrive in time. Check with your postal service to see how long mailing it to the UK will take. We ask that you make sure your card will arrive with roughly a week to spare so we can forward it on in time. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.]
WHAT KIND OF CARDS AM I SUPPOSED TO SEND?
From December to September we ask that you only send birthday cards (and letters). These can be sent to a named or general recipient, and you can send as many as you like. The card does not have to have a birthday-related design, we just ask that you wish the recipient a happy birthday somewhere inside. Wherever possible, please avoid cards that say ‘birthday girl’ or ‘birthday boy’ unless you are writing to a named recipient whose pronouns are listed as corresponding with the card, as those kinds of cards obviously limit the people we can forward them to. Handmade cards are fully accepted, so don't feel like you have to spend your money!
From the beginning of October to the start of December you can also send holiday cards. During those times more information will be available.
You can send letters at any time of year as they don’t have to be for an occasion!
If you decide to make a pledge, the control will always be in your hands. You decide how many cards you want to pledge to send per month or year, and you decide if and when that pledge will end. If you’re finding your goal too difficult to achieve, you can lower it. If something comes up and suddenly fulfilling your pledge is not possible, you can revoke it at any time by simply emailing us.
To help you meet your goal, when you make your pledge you can choose to receive email reminders - a gentle nudge to prompt you regarding your goal!
If you have made a pledge and are involved in anything that requires volunteer time, such as the Duke Of Edinburgh Award, or would like a reference for your volunteer work, contact us and we would be very happy to provide that!
SEND A LETTER
Besides writing cards, we also offer the option of writing letters. You are, of course, welcome to include a letter in any cards you send too, but any letter submitted on its own will be sent as a lovely random surprise instead of being sent on a birthday or holiday. We believe that spontaneous letters will really add to that feeling of family and help combat the isolation that many people feel year-round. Letters can be as short or as long as you like, and you can talk about anything in them. You could tell them about your life or ask about theirs, share a story, tell them about the people you love or simply offer a message of hope. As with cards, you can choose to send them to a general or named recipient depending on what you prefer. Feel free to include contact details in case the person would like to write back, but please don’t expect a response.
It may seem like a small thing, but receiving a letter of support and solidarity can be very uplifting and positive, and your kind words might just make someone's day!
Unable to afford the cost of a card? We can help.
If you cannot afford to buy a card and/or pay for postage but want to join in with this project you can email us and apply for a mini 'grant', where we will send you the money to cover the cost if you are able to provide some kind of receipt or proof of purchase. Please only do this if it is truly necessary as we have very limited funds and this option is only there to make this project accessible to those who otherwise could never spare the money necessary to send a card.
THE RAINBOW CARDS PROJECT IS TAKING A BREAK WHILE IT FINDS A SUITABLE NEW HOME. IN THE MEANTIME, PLEASE DO NOT SEND CARDS. FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE READ THE ANNOUNCEMENT ABOUT THE CHANGE. THANK YOU FOR YOUR ONGOING SUPPORT AND PATIENCE.