Sales of holiday greeting cards benefit area nonprofits |

Sales of holiday greeting cards benefit area nonprofits

According to statistics by researchers at Hallmark Cards, U.S. consumers will send 1.5 billion cards this holiday season — and nearly three-fourths of senders will do so because they know how good it feels when they receive holiday greetings.

In Western Pennsylvania, many families will send Christmas cards that benefit local charities because they know how good it feels to help others.

Area nonprofits hope the sales of holiday cards and gift items will give a boost to their bottom lines at the end of a year that has been financially challenging for many agencies. Several of this year’s cards spotlight the region’s landmarks and familiar scenes.

Artist Mary Verrilla of Penn Hills captures a winter view of the Civic Arena in her holiday card for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia Chapter. The card has special meaning for Verrilla because she says it includes an image of her late sister, Dorothy, who died in April from cancer. Her daughter, Marlo, and “grand-puppy” Jenny also are depicted in the snow scene.

“I try to always put people I know in my paintings,” she says.

The Make-A-Wish Foundation of Greater Pennsylvania and Southern West Virginia offers four drawings by local children on their holiday cards. This year’s young artists and their winning designs are Abby McCormick, 10, of Coraopolis, “Christmas Snowman Family”; Jaren Tilford, 8, of Turbotville, “Cartwheeling Gingerbread”; Madeline Hric, 15, of Coraopolis, “Peace, Love and Happiness”; and Owen Leeper, 9, of Milroy, “Trimming the Tree.”

Here is ordering information for holiday cards and seasonal gift items from participating nonprofit organizations:

American Cancer Society: Pittsburgh artist Linda Barnicott remembers “Wishing under the Horne’s Tree” with her latest holiday card. The card is available in boxes of 25 cards for a donation of $24 per box for one to three boxes, $22 for four to nine boxes; and $20 for 10 or more boxes. Imprinting is available for an extra charge. A limited number of previous years’ cards and a vintage assortment are available for $20 per box for one to three boxes, $18 for four to nine boxes; and $16 for 10 or more boxes. Washington County artist James Sulkowski has designed “Holiday Shoppers — Scenery Hill, PA” for the Washington County unit, for a donation of $25 for a box of 25, or $20 each for three boxes or more. A limited number of previous cards and prints are available at a discounted cost. Details: 888-227-5445.

American Diabetes Association: A wide variety of greeting cards, calendars, cookbooks, ornaments and gift items are available from the association’s online catalog. Card prices range from $8 to $30 per box. Details: 800-232-6455 or .

Greater Pennsylvania Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association: Three holiday gift items are available this year: a scented candle, $20; a handcrafted forget-me-not pin, $15; and forget-me-not plates, $36 to $88. Details: 888-272-3900 or .

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia Chapter: The 2010 card by watercolor artist Mary Lois Verrilla presents a winter view of the Civic Arena. Holiday cards from previous years are available in limited quantities. Boxes of 20 sell for $20. Cards can be ordered by phone or mail: Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, River Walk Corporate Centre, 333 E. Carson St., Suite 441, Pittsburgh, PA 15219. Mail orders will include a $5 charge for delivery. Details: 800-726-2873 or .

Little Sisters of the Poor: This year’s card designed by Sister Martha Lieb features a drawing of a smiling Mary holding Baby Jesus along with Bible verses and the sentiment, “May Love fill your heart this Christmas and bring you joy, happiness and peace throughout the New Year.” Proceeds from the sale of the cards benefit the care of the elderly poor. The cost is $10 for seven cards, $15 for 12 cards and $25 for 30 cards, plus the cost of postage for mail orders. Cards also are sold in the Little Sisters of the Poor Gift Shop, 1028 Benton Ave., Brighton Heights. Details: 412-307-1100 or .

Lupus Foundation of Pennsylvania: Watercolor paintings designed by the late Pittsburgh artist Jess Hager are the inspiration for a series of four cards depicting Pittsburgh scenes. The cards are titled “Holiday Season, Mellon Square,” “A Pittsburgh Winter Hillside,” “Under the Kaufmann’s Clock” and “Holiday at the Grand Concourse.” A box of cards featuring all four designs also is available. The cards cost $12 and $15 for a box of 20, plus $5 shipping. Prints also are available. Details: 800-800-5776 or .

Make-a-Wish Foundation: Cards with four designs created by area children are $10, plus shipping and handling, for a package of 15. Proceeds from these cards will benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Greater Pennsylvania and Southern West Virginia. Each package contains 15 full-color cards of the same design with envelopes. Cards can be mailed or picked up at the Make-a-Wish office, Gulf Tower, 37th floor, Downtown. Details: 800-676-9474 or .

The Multiple Sclerosis Service Society: Familiar Pittsburgh views of the Cathedral of Learning and the city at night, in addition to two snow scenes, are on cards featuring photos by Jan Beiler, Glenn Ribblett and Mike Regan. They are offered on the society’s website. The cards are 20 for $22, plus shipping and handling. Details: 412-539-1090 or .

People Concerned for the Unborn Child in Pittsburgh: A charcoal drawing by Joan Newman showing the Holy Family is featured on this card, sold for $6 for a pack of 10, plus mailing costs. Details: 412-531-9272.

Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy: A card showing trees of lights in Schenley Plaza is available for $2.95 each. The price goes down if you buy 10 or more. Details: .

Planned Parenthood of Western Pennsylvania: Get 10 cards for $10 with the “Choice on Earth” message. Details: .

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