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June 28, 2014

BOXES OF LOVE: Sellersburg woman makes good use of greeting cards

SELLERSBURG — Sellersburg resident Joyce Hall needs a few good cards.

Well, more than that, perhaps, if she hopes to keep up the pace she has been maintaining these past three years.

Since 2011, Hall has converted more than 8,000 used greeting cards into quaint boxes filled with candy. Most of the repurposed boxes go to area nursing homes around the holidays.

Each resident receives his or her own present, normally delivered by the recreational director.  Due to her health, the 75-year-old is no longer able to hand them out personally.

“The older people are the forgotten people. They are so lonely,” she said. “I don’t get to see the people who get them, but the staff in the nursing homes are so nice. They are very grateful and thankful they’re getting something individual.”

Wanting to give back to the community, Hall got the idea from a meeting of the Clark County Homemaker's Club. Always creative, she planned to make the craft herself. Plus, it would help keep her busy at home, something she enjoyed. But how would she find so many used greeting cards?

Actually, this very paper proved to be the answer.

To get started, Hall placed a free ad in the New Albany Tribune asking for old cards that she could recycle. All names would and still continue to be whited out of any donations. Listing her phone number, she anticipated a couple of calls.

What happened next astonished her. More than 34 people phoned Hall’s home after seeing the ad. In all, the community sent 5,000 cards to be used for her project. It would seem people grow a little attached to their old cards. A couple of the submissions even dated back to the 1920s.

After three years, she’s only now beginning to run low.

“I hate to get rid of pretty Christmas cards,” Hall said. “And I think that everybody just puts them back and they just brew in their house. When they saw somebody was going to recycle them, they just said, ‘Well I need to get rid of them anyway.”’

While a few Easter, birthday and all occasion cards do get donated, most of those given have been Christmas cards. Filled with snow-covered landscapes, these greetings came in quite handy this past May when Hall’s boxes found their way halfway across the globe to a very different destination — a small village in the heart of Africa.

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Sierra Proctor, 13, New Albany, looks through a clothing rack at the Clarksville Salvation Army Thrift Store along Little League Boulevard on Wednesday morning. Students enrolled in any level of schooling in Floyd, Clark, Washington, and Scott counties were eligible for the back-to-school clothing giveaway.

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