About seven years ago, several case managers in Overland Park reported something troubling: disabled individuals languishing in day service programs, watching television or doing nothing. It was making their days long and their mental and physical health fragile.
So the case managers formed an advisory committee of parents, business owners and licensed care providers to discuss the issue. From those meetings, The Green Express Studio in Overland Park was born.
Its programs are designed to promote environmental education and creative expression for its clients, who are asked to sort recyclable materials and turn them into greeting cards.
Today, the studio serves 30 people with disabilities who create cards from handcrafted papers and other recycled goods. You can order the cards, $2 each, by calling 913-381-0607. Proceeds from the cards help pay for the program, which also provides continuing education in science and math to its clients.
Unbound, a Christian charity in Kansas City, Kan., has created a set of Christmas cards featuring photos of sponsored friends from around the world. The group works in impoverished communities to help kids stay in school, provide micro loans for small businesses and pay for medical care and housing for older residents.
Established in 1981 as Christian Foundation for Children, the group has matched sponsors with more than 800,000 children, students and aging adults in need. Unbound is currently working with more than 300,000 people who are supported by 260,000 sponsors.
In 2006, Hallmark partnered with UNICEF to create individual and boxed greeting cards that are available in Hallmark Gold Crown stores, participating Hallmark retailers and at Hallmark.com.
Several of the designs can be used year-round and 15 percent of the purchase price goes to UNICEF, which has received more than $18 million from the sale of Hallmark UNICEF products.
Buy a box of the Indian Textures Cards and it will help UNICEF provide four doses of polio vaccine for a child. Buy a box of the Colorful Friends Cards and it will help the group provide six boxes of crayons for a classroom.