Special holiday greeting cards help nonprofits help others
It’s that time of year again for sending holiday wishes to family and friends.
It’s also the time for the annual decision we face every time busy December rolls around: What type of greetings do we choose for sharing our heartfelt sentiments — email or snail mail?
Social media is so darn convenient, but holiday greeting cards — especially those that help local nonprofit organizations — are a win-win for the seller and the buyer.
Many groups depend on these end-of-year campaigns to provide an extra boost in their fundraising efforts for the year ahead. Here are some local nonprofits and the cards they are offering this year:
Greetings from the ‘Burgh n’at
Hometown proud to the max is the message behind Pittsburgh Yinzer Greetings and their holiday cards that have artwork and verses that only a true Pittsburgher could love — or understand.
Clearly, an out-of-towner would have no clue as to why there’s a chair on the roof of a house with the message, “Don’t Forget to Save a Parking Spot for Santa,” or why one card features a PennDOT worker asking one of Santa’s reindeer, “Rudolph with your nose so bright … won’t Yinz help me close dahn the Liberty Tubes tonight?”
“It’s almost like we Pittsburghers have our own little club,” says Pittsburgh comedian Jim Krenn. “And we’re family; no one can make fun of us but us.”
Krenn, along with radio personality Larry Richert and cartoonist Rob Rogers — all homegrown guys from the ‘Burgh — came up with the idea to created greeting cards that put a twist on tradition that is purely Pittsburgh, along with public relations expert and fourth partner Dick Roberts of Giant Eagle/Market District.
A portion of proceeds from the sale of their holiday cards, which sell for $4.99, will benefit Animal Friends.
Look for their cards in local Giant Eagle and Market District greeting card departments; Valentine’s Day and other holiday cards will follow.
Ivy Jones, 12, of Pittsburgh’s Larimer neighborhood, created one of four winning cards selected this year from artwork submitted by young people who have had wishes granted by the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Their designs are featured in this year’s holiday card collection.
Ivy, a seventh grade student at Maria Goretti Catholic School in Bloomfield, faces challenges with the autoimmune disorder she was diagnosed with three years ago. She drew a design with a “snow globe of wishes” for the holidays after her own wish — to see a Broadway play in New York — was granted by Make-A-Wish in August.
“It was a wonderful experience,” said Ivy’s mom, Renee Clayton-Jones.
She and her husband along with Ivy and her two sisters enjoyed five days in the Big Apple, where the family visited Chinatown, shopped and were pampered at the Elizabeth Arden Salon. The highlight of the trip was attending a performance of “Hamilton” and meeting cast members after the show.
“It makes me so happy that someone would grant my wish,” Ivy said. “We all had a lot of fun.”
Other Make-a-Wish card contest winners were Sophia Tuinstra, 14, of Johnstown; Michaelah, 20, of Birdsboro, and Tommy, 11, of York.
Cards are available at $15 for a package of 15 cards, plus shipping and handling fees, or they can be ordered and picked up at the Make-a-Wish office. Proceeds help Make-A-Wish Greater Pennsylvania and West Virginia to fulfill other children’s wishes.
Details: 800-676-9474 or greaterpawv.wish.org
First Presbyterian Church of Greensburg
Christmas cards featuring the beautiful Nativity Window in the sanctuary of the Greensburg church are available in limited production this holiday season.
The window, designed by Howard G. Wilbert of Pittsburgh Stained Glass Studio, was installed in 1942 and fully restored in 2018. Given as a gift by Mr. and Mrs. John Barclay Jr. in memory of John’s mother, Rebecca Coulter Barclay, the Nativity Window depicts in eight central medallions the birth and early life of Jesus.
A 12-pack set of cards featuring the Annunciation, the Birth, the Visit of the Shepherds and the Visit of the Wise Men is available for $20 through the church office.
Details: 724-832-0150 or firstpresbyteriangreensburg.com
Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill
Christmas cards, note cards, prints, books and other gift items are available from the Seton Hill Sisters of Charity online gift shop. One of the special Christmas card designs, “Virgin Most Powerful,” features an image taken from a painting done by Sister Mary Francis Irvin in 1945.
Sister Mary Francis served as assistant professor and then associate professor of art at Seton Hill College from 1950 to 1971. During that time, she and Sister Mary Estelle Hensler founded theschool’s art department.
A popular note card design, “The Convent Kitchen,” is taken from an oil painting on canvas, also by Sister Mary Francis Irvin, completed in 1944. The cards sell for 45 cents each or 12 cards for $5.
Details: 724-836-0406, ext. 610, or scsh.org
Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank
Holiday cards designed to share hope with families facing hunger are once again being offered by the Duquesne-based food bank. Cards feature “Hope” spelled out in colorful produce and, inside, a quote from Leonard Nimoy, “The miracle is this — the more we share, the more we have,” and the message: “In the true spirit of the season, a gift has been given in your honor to Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. This gift will feed the human spirit by providing healthy meals to our neighbors in need.”
The cards are available for a $50 donation for a pack of 10 cards and envelopes with free shipping.
Details: 412-460-3663 or squareup.com/store/pghfoodbank/item/hope-holiday-cards
Little Sisters of the Poor
The Little Sisters of the Poor are once again offering Christmas Cards sketched by Sister Martha. This year’s card is white with a blue sketch of Mary holding baby Jesus. The previous year’s cards also are available.
Cards are 7 for $10 (plus $2 shipping), 12 for $15 ($3 shipping) or 30 for $25 ($6 shipping).
Kathleen Bowser, development director, Little Sisters of the Poor, said proceeds from card sales help to support the elderly poor residents in the Little Sisters’ care. Cards are available by sending a check payable to Little Sisters of the Poor, 1028 Benton Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15212, or stopping at the main entrance.
Details: 412-307-1100 or
The Lupus Foundation of Pennsylvania and Westmoreland County Historical Society, organizations that have sold greeting cards in the past, will not have them for sale this year, according to their spokespersons.
Candy Williams is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.