Sisters Debi Bird, Teresa Smart and Carroll resident Beck Tipton handcrafted more than 300 blank cards to send to troops overseas through the Operation Write Home project.
Sisters Debi Bird, Teresa Smart and Carroll resident Beck Tipton handcrafted more than 300 blank cards to send to troops overseas through the Operation Write Home project.
May 23, 2014



Since 2007, more than 2.5 million Americans have received handcrafted cards from the front lines of Afghanistan and Iraq.

These cards can be a particular luxury for the family members whose sacrifices often go unseen - a daughter whose father can't attend her birthday party, or a husband whose wife is not home to celebrate their anniversary.

Thanks to Carroll resident Becky Tipton and her sisters - Teresa Smart and Debi Bird of Cedar Rapids - active duty service members will have 300 more designs available to mail home before the troops return to the U.S. at the end of 2014.

After a decade of honing their scrapbooking skills, the women decided to devote their most recent biannual scrapbooking weekend to crafting more than 300 blank greeting cards on which service members can write home. The blank cards are delivered to the deployed units through the Operation Write Home organization.

The cards are a variety of different colors and styles, featuring generic messages from "Happy Birthday" to "Thinking of You."

Military service runs in the family, said Tipton - her father and husband served in the Air Force, the former during World War II. Her brother-in-law - Debi's husband - also served in the Army and the cavalry; and her nephew - Smart's son - is currently enlisted and was deployed in Afghanistan.

Tipton couldn't recall if Bird learned of the Operation Write Home project through her Daughters of the American Revolution chapter or through her Red Hat Society chapter - but the sisters decided it was "a worthwhile project," she said.

Operation Write Home also sends letters of gratitude and encouragement to the deployed troops. For more information, visit operationwritehome.org.