Greeting cards crafted by student club promote kindness

A stack of cards made by Li’s team of card creators waits to be sent to various hospitals, nursing homes, and schools.

Isabelle Paley | The Chronicle

A traditional birthday or holiday card has taken on a new meaning.

Cards for a Cause (CFAC), is a student lead group started in 2019 by senior Jessica Li. CFAC combines service and creativity to craft uplifting messages for nursing homes, hospitals or students and staff in need by utilizing paper cards as a means to convey feelings of support. Li had the idea to start the club from personal experiences in her own life and said she turned it into something that could affect others.

“I started this club [because] I enjoy giving and receiving cards for peoples birthdays,” Li said. “I thought it would be nice to get a couple of people together to make cards and it just grew from there.”

Li’s initial vision for the group was small, with it consisting of only a few members who could come together to do something good for the community. However, according to Li, the club’s membership has grown exponentially since its creation. She said that there were only twelve people in the group at the end of the 2019-20 school year, but as of November of 2021, the group had 210 members, with new members joining “every day.”

Schoolwide, students and staff are feeling the impact of the club. Chemistry teacher Aimee Hansen has observed the increase in positivity shown throughout the halls.

“It’s really easy to feel alone here, even though there are so many students, I think [this club] just helps us feel more connected,” Hansen said. “I am sure the students making the cards get as much joy out of giving as [we] do receiving them.”

Many students join the club because of the happiness the cards bring people. Sophomore Riya Koul became the club’s social media manager after a year of attending meetings because she said enjoyed the true impact the club had on the citizens of Mason.

“CFAC is all about giving back to the community and uplifting those in need,” Koul said. “We do just that by asking our members to send messages of goodwill through a more aesthetic form of communication: cards.”

Cards portray enlightening messages with words such as, ‘you are loved,’ or, ‘thank you for helping us grow.’ Li said that members put an extraordinary amount of time and thought into the cards being sent. One of the most intricate cards Li had seen was someone who embroidered images into the paper.

The uptake in membership allowed for the club to increase the number of cards they sent out into the community. During the 2020-21 school year, the members made a total of 2,673 cards and delivered them to nine outside locations, as well as supporting many students and staff inside MHS with positive messages.

At the beginning of 2020, Hansen had lost both her mother and father in a short amount of time. The club reacted by sending her words of support and condolences, leaving Hansen feeling positively overwhelmed with the support of a group of people, some of whom she had never met.

“Coming back after all this stress, the cards just made me smile,” Hansen said. “It made me feel like people were thinking about me and I didn’t quite feel that the weight of the world was on my shoulders [anymore]”

Besides giving cards to teachers going through a rocky path, CFAC has put a smile on a lot of other people’s faces. They have donated to organizations like Artis Senior Living, an assisted living facility in Mason, and sent encouraging messages for nurses fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. By giving cards to people outside of Mason High School, Li hopes to bring together the community in a more positive light. This club aims to show that a kind word or simple gesture can truly impact someone’s day. Koul said she believes that the club has a larger meaning than just handing out pieces of paper.

“Words have meaning and kind ones, especially. can change lives and perspectives,” Koul said. “Giving to one another is what pushes the world forward and our club commits to that by looking out for those in need and lending out a helping hand.”

Photo contributed by Isabelle Paley