Holiday cards benefit a variety of local charities
The holiday season is all about sharing warm sentiments with family and friends.
There’s still something special about sending holiday wishes “the old-fashioned way” — with a paper card and a handwritten note delivered to loved ones’ mailboxes rather than an email message sent to their inboxes.
Even more special is choosing cards that benefit the good work of nonprofit organizations in Western Pennsylvania that are dedicated to helping others.
This year’s selection of local nonprofit holiday cards offers a wide range of designs and messages.
Taylor Voloch, 13, of West Sunbury, Butler County, created one of five winning cards selected this year from artwork submitted by young people who have had wishes granted by the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
The 8th grader at Moniteau Junior/Senior High School, now recovered from a brain tumor, was given her wish to visit a dude ranch to ride horses, which she and her family did in 2017 at Malibu Dude Ranch in Bucks County. She is the daughter of Joe and Angie Voloch.
Taylor expressed her love of horses in her winning card design, which includes the message, “Giddy Up for the Holidays.” She said the drawing resembles her own horse, “Bo,” that she got last summer.
Other Make-a-Wish winners include Dahlyn, 8, of Great Cacapon, W.Va., and Lillia, 13, of Erie, who both wished to go to Florida theme parks; Mali, 11, of Weirton, W.Va., who wanted an outdoor play area; and Michaelah, 22, of Birdsboro, who wished to meet her favorite cartoon animators.
Proceeds from sales of the foundation’s cards will help Make-A-Wish Greater Pennsylvania and West Virginia make wishes come true for more children with critical illnesses.
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 in downtown Pittsburgh.
Details: 800-676-9474 or greaterpawv.wish.org
First Presbyterian Church of Greensburg
The beautiful Nativity window in the sanctuary of First Presbyterian Church of Greensburg is once again featured in its Christmas cards this holiday season.
The window, designed by Howard G. Wilbert of Pittsburgh Stained Glass Studio, was installed in 1942 and fully restored in 2018. It was given as a gift by Mr. and Mrs. John Barclay Jr. in memory of John’s mother, Rebecca Coulter Barclay. The Nativity window illustrates the birth and early life of Jesus, depicted in eight central medallions.
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
Little Sisters of the Poor
The Little Sisters of the Poor Christmas cards sketched by Sister Martha are a Pittsburgh tradition. This year’s card is beige with a red sketch of Mary holding baby Jesus. The previous year’s cards also are available for purchase.
All proceeds from the sale of the cards help to support the elderly poor residents in the Little Sisters care.
The cards are 7 for $10 (plus $2 shipping), 12 for $15 ($3 shipping) or 30 for $25 ($6 shipping). Cards can be viewed and ordered online at littlesistersofthepoorpittsburgh.org, by calling 412-307-1100, sending a check made payable to Little Sisters of the Poor at 1028 Benton Ave., Pittsburgh, Pa, 15212, or stopping at the main entrance of the Home.
Westmoreland Historical Society
A photograph gifted to Westmoreland Historical Society by Bob DeJesus is the basis for the organization’s 2019 holiday card, according to Joan DeRose, museum shop coordinator.
DeJesus is a member of the Westmoreland Photographers Society, whose display of Westmoreland County images gave the historical society its first exhibit for its new History Education Center at Historic Hanna’s Town.
“We inserted the word ‘peace’ and turned his lovely photo of the Hanna’s Town Fort/Stockade at night into a beautiful holiday card,” said DeRose. “The card is blank inside providing the sender the opportunity to include a personal message or note.”
Lisa C. Hays, executive director of Westmoreland Historical Society, said the cards are being sold in boxes of 10 for $10 and are available at the Westmoreland History Education Center Museum Shop, 809 Forbes Trail Road, Hempfield, from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 1 to 4:30 p.m. Sunday. There is no admission charge to visit the shop.
Kindness Card Project
A Pittsburgh area law firm, Meyer, Unkovic and Scott, is conducting its second annual Kindness Card Project, an initiative developed by the firm’s Wellness and Diversity Committees to encourage the spread of kindness and appreciation during the season of giving and throughout the year.
Attorney Beth Slagle of Ross Township led the project, which began last year by offering watercolor painting classes during lunch hours to the staff as a method of having fun and reducing stress.
“There was such enthusiasm and engagement in the painting classes that jumping to the next step, painting for a cause, was embraced wholeheartedly by staff, attorneys and the firm’s management committee,” said Slagle.
More than 50 staff members and attorneys volunteered to create unique, hand-painted Christmas and Hanukkah cards that are available for purchase, with 100% of donations collected for the cards benefiting 412 Food Rescue and its food distribution and food waste mitigation initiatives in the Pittsburgh region.
Last year more than 1,400 cards were sold, raising $3,800 for 412 Food Rescue and exceeding the firm’s goal to sell 800 cards, according to Slagle.
“The compliments that we received about the cards last year, starting with clients, family and friends, were nothing short of amazing,” she said. “They were inspired by what our artists created. What we’re hearing lately is that they are even more impressed by this year’s creations.”
Holiday cards are being sold in sets of 5 cards for $10 or 10 cards for $20. An order form is available on the Meyer, Unkovic and Scott website at muslaw.com.
Yinzer Christmas Cards
Christmas-themed Yinzer Cards are back this year from the creative team of Pittsburgh-based stand-up comedian Jim Krenn, radio personality Larry Richert and cartoonist Rob Rogers.
The four cards offer unique Pittsburgh takes for a “very, merry Pittsburgh Christmas,” according to Krenn, including the city’s iconic symbol of a chair on the roof next to the chimney “saving a spot for Santa,” Pittsburgh’s love for the black and gold shown in a Christmas tree decorated with sports ornaments and more. Proceeds from card sales benefit Animal Friends.
The Yinzer greetings also are available this year on milk chocolate candy bars with special wrappers created for Sarris Candies of Canonsburg, featuring the cartoons of Rogers.
“Everyone was so enthusiastic about the launch of Yinzer Bars in October we said ‘let’s give Pittsburghers something to enjoy and share during the holidays,’” said Krenn. “The best part is the Yinzer Bars will continue to benefit Spenser’s Voice Fund, a nonprofit organization working to curb the drug epidemic in young adults.
“We chose Spenser’s Voice Fund because of the overdose epidemic that has afflicted so many young people and families in our region.”
The greeting cards and chocolate bars are available at Pittsburgh-area Giant Eagle, Market District and Laurie’s Hallmark stores, the Heinz History Center and Visit Pittsburgh gift shops. The greeting cards also are sold online at YinzerCards.com. Yinzer Cards retail for $4.99. The Sarris milk chocolate candy bars cost $2.99 for a single bar and $9.95 for a 3-pack gift box.
Candy Williams is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.