Guidelines for Donated Cards

We ask that you read and follow these simple guidelines before making and sharing your cards.

-All cards must be handmade
  -
no computer card-making programs please, such as Hallmark, etc. and no store bought cards. 

-Please DO NOT SMOKE while making or packaging cards for our kids. We cannot give sick children cards that smell of smoke.
-All cards should be made specifically for children ages 1-19, or for  those age children to give to parents, medical staff, etc.
-Please use loose glitter sparingly (make sure to shake off excess) - stickles or glimmer mists are a great alternatives to regular shake-on glitter.

-Remember using digital images you have not purchased (especially with watermarks on them) is technically theft and we cannot use them for our kids. Also, we are suggesting you avoid glue sticks and rubber cement on your cards. Cards with these products sometimes stick to adjoining cards and sometimes fall apart. If we can fix the cards we receive we will, but sometimes we cannot.
-Please leave cards completely blank on the inside so the nurses and staff can write messages to the patient and their family.
-Keep the cards upbeat (no "sorry you're sick", "get well soon", etc.), these cards are intended to take the focus off of the hospital and just be a cheery holiday,  or any day greeting. Halloween greetings should be fun not scary. And remember these kids cannot go "trick or treating" so avoid those words or references to Halloween candy.
-Please include envelopes, especially if your cards are not the standard A2 size (4 1/4 x 5 1/2).
-The hospitals ask that we not include religious symbols or themes in the cards. Many families have many different faiths and beliefs and the hospital staff is not always aware of what faith a child is. (Exception to this is the Illinois address where the hospital is a Catholic hospital. )


-Suggested deadlines: Halloween and Fall Cards October 5th;  Christmas December 1st; Valentine's Day January 15th; Easter: 3-4 weeks before the day it falls on this year; Mothers Day (to give to the children to give to their Mom) April 15th; Fathers Day (for Dad from the hospitalized kids) May 15th.

If we receive cards later than when we deliver to the hospitals, we will save for next year or try to get delivered before the holiday. We accept any type of handmade children's card anytime as long as it follows these guidelines. Please remember everyday cheer cards too and think of our teenage patients when designing cards as well, as that is the type of cards we receive the least of. 

-About Donations    Thank you for your support of SAS4Kids!  We do have expenses such as envelopes, shipping and blog costs and if you would consider donating a check (or cash if you prefer) to help with those expenses, it would be greatly appreciated.  You may send a monetary donation with or without a donation of cards. Please make your check out to the name of the volunteer with Send a Smile 4 Kids in the Memo Line (not in the "pay to the order of" line or our banks will not let us cash them.) We thank you!

Please send your donated handmade cards and/or monetary donations to the addresses in the Contact Us page.
-In every box, please include an email address and your name so we can acknowledge your gift of cards or monetary donation.
-If you would like to be a huge help to us, you could contact us and we will email you the SAS4Kids back label that you could print and attach in advance of sending in. It is designed for address labels 30 per page but if you do not have them, you can print on any paper, cut and attach the back of your cards.  And/or if you could label the cards in categories of birthday, holiday or everyday that would be great. You do not need to tuck the envelope or put the cards in plastic envelopes. You do not need to add a back label or label the cards, but it would be a great help to us if you did. And if you know the count of how many cards you are sending, please put that number in every box along with your name, email address and city you are sending the cards from.

**Please know that we appreciate all the cards sent in, but do not have the need for hundreds of cards from any individual card maker. Holiday cards are always in demand, but as for the other categories, please make your cards unique and think "Quality over Quantity." Our volunteers have asked that you check your cards to be sure they are sturdy and clean  of all adhesive marks and all card elements (such as sequins or ribbons) are securely attached. Please line the insides of all darker colored cards. We are working to fulfill as many hospital requests as possible while ensuring the cards are in great shape when given to one of our special kids.**
  
Other than that, let your creativity run wild and put some smiles on those little faces!! You may sign or stamp the back of your cards if you wish, but please no advertising or large back labels. All cards received will be labeled "Send A Smile 4 Kids" on the back.

Thank you again!  We can't wait to see what you send us for our kids!