Project Give Thanks

My now cancer free and very brave Sister, Sonja is asking for our Stamping Community’s Help.    Please read her letter below and thank you for helping if you are able.

Good Morning Sista,

I’m thinking about you and your wonderful community of creative card artists.  I’m also thinking about my equally wonderful breast cancer community.  My third thought (I’m really on a roll here;-) is how nice it would be to connect the two communities in a project called “Give Thanks.”  In a nutshell that would involve card artists supplying breast cancer fighters with beautiful hand made cards – Thank You cards, Birthday cards and blank cards.  Here’s a story, which will explain the need for cards and how project “Give Thanks” will work.  (There’s a tidbit about you, Michelle waiting at the end of this letter for anyone who makes it there.  No peeking.)
As you know Michelle, I was diagnosed with stage-3 breast cancer on May 15th 2010 and now I’m almost finished with a long list of treatments and surgeries.  By the end of the summer I’ll be finished with the build a boob program and that will be the last of the ordeal (I hope!).  While everyone knows how difficult it is for cancer fighters they may not know what a tremendous time of thankfulness it is!  Think of all the people it takes to save a cancer patient – radiologists, oncologists, surgeons, chemo technicians, radiation oncologists, physical therapists, massage therapists, nurse advocates, financial consultants, therapists, pharmacist, and each of these has a wonderful staff that do much of the hands on work.  Also, consider all of the family, friends, neighbors, church members and community members that supply comfort, love, food, house cleaning, rides, and gifts (lots of head covers).  Wow!  Can you imagine how thankful you would be to have all of these concerned people by your side during such a life altering event?
Michelle, I know how thankful you are that those people were at my side while you were far away from me.  
Believe me, Cancer Fighters Give Thanks!  I’ve already sent out upwards of 100 thank you cards.  It is so therapeutic to remember and appreciate all of the love and care that I received.  But, most of this year I was also very tired, sick or recovering from surgeries.  It was difficult to gather up all of those cards. Also, because I have a Sister who makes outrageously beautiful cards and she shares with me, I didn’t have to spend $3-$4.00 for one special card let alone dozens of cards!  This is why I’m asking the card artist community to join me in project “Give Thanks.”  
As is the nature of giving thanks, project “Give Thanks” will benefit everyone!  I’ve already explained how Cancer Fighters will benefit from free Thank You, Birthday and blank cards.  The card artist will benefit from their generosity, support of cancer patients, people enjoying their work and appreciating their own thankfulness that cancer is not one of their battles to fight.  That last benefit may sound a little heavy handed but isn’t it true?
Don’t we all give thanks after a clean mammogram or prostate exam?  I did!  And I’m especially thankful that you, Michelle, got your mammogram last week!  Atta-girl!  I hope that everyone in your community will also have regular mammograms and monthly self-exams.
Please ask the card artist community to help with project “Give Thanks”.  Here’s how:
Send me SIGNED hand crafted cards with envelopes (or cards w/o envelopes or even card fronts which I will put together).  Please only send quarter cards, 4.25″ x 5.5″.    Did you know that prostrate cancer is now more prevalent than breast cancer?  That means there are men who want to Give Thanks too.  I’ll thankfully use any form or style of art that is sent to me.  The artist’s email on the back of a card could facilitate a chain of giving thanks but is not necessary. 
I will slip each lovingly made card/envelope into a cello envelope to protect it.
I will deliver the cards to the Rocky Mountain Cancer Center in Boulder Colorado.  They will be displayed in the Infusion Room, where chemotherapy is administered, and Cancer Fighters will be able to take as many as they need to “GIVE THANKS”.  Did you know that it often takes 4 hours to receive chemo?  Did you also know that mostly it doesn’t hurt?  So, often Fighters need something to do and Giving Thanks in a card is the perfect productive distraction!    Don’t worry that one person will take all of the cards for themselves or to sell.  This is a proven system of distribution.  There are already baskets of beautiful hand made hats, scarves, neck rests, teddy bears, books and food available and everyone takes just what they need.
If this project is supported, as I suspect it will be, I’ll supply cards to the infusion rooms in Denver as well.  If someone wants to make cards and a commitment to their own community of Cancer Fighters I would celebrate that too!  Giving thanks does not have geographic borders.  
SONJA KNAISCH (better known as “Michelle Zindorf’s sister)
Michelle thanks so much for embracing this idea and allowing me to communicate with your friends.
I Love You,
Tidbit:  Michelle’s family name is Mickey.  She’s my little sister and as kids she was a pesky follow about.  So… I would go to the spooky, cricket-ridden basement and hide under the stairs and when she followed me down there I would grab her ankles through the steps and scream something scary.  What fun!    Oh, my bad.  That’s something about me too… and look who’s following who now!    
Note from Michelle:
Thank you Sis and to everyone that can help out with this wonderful cause.
May your life be one without Cancer and filled with much joy.
Until my next post. . . . . . . .
Huge Hugs,

38 responses to “Project Give Thanks

  1. What a great cause for us cardmakers to embrace! I’m totally in on this one, Mickey! Sonja, you are a brave soul and I admire your spunk…dunno if I like the scary steps sister thing, but it makes me think of a card theme, hehehehehe!

  2. What a wonderful way to help others. I plan to send some cards. Best of health to Sonja and Mickey.

  3. What an awesome idea, my mum is a survior of which I thank God every day, let me see what I can do, I am good at copying although no where near as professional as Michelle.

  4. Count me in! You two are wonderful sisters. I can tell there is much love. The wonderful sense of humor must run in the family *grin*. Hugs to all….

  5. What a nice thing to do. I’ll get right on this as soon as I can. If Sonja needs any help let me know since I live in Denver. I’ll be sending her my cards soon. This is a wonderful idea and a way to get involved Sonja – thank you.

    I am also a member of Chemo Angels which is another wonderful way to help chemo patients and I love being a card angel for them. God bless chemo patients everywhere.

  6. Linda Peterson

    What an absolutely wonderful project! I will be getting a bunch of cards ready to send to your sister. I got tears just reading her request!! What an awesome sister you have!

  7. Regina Davis

    Count me in! I plan on doing this in memory of my Mom who lost her battle to breast cancer 17 years ago. I love Sonja’s spunk and dedication!

  8. Sonja Knaisch

    Wow! This is a wonderful response! I’ve also received email and calls.

    Breast Cancer has given me 110 times more to be thankful for than to be sorry for.

    Now, I give thanks for YOU! Your various forms of support honor all cancer fighters.



    PS Signing the card refers to signing the back so that the recipient knows there is a real caring artist thinking about them. However, it is not necessary. There was some question about this earlier.

  9. linda patti

    i have some cards ready to go in the mail tomorrow! I am happy to be a part of the Give Thanks Project, and best wishes to Sonja for continued good health reports.

  10. I don’t comment often but LOVE all your cards. I just had to say this is such a great card. I love the idea and the card turned out awesome. : )

  11. What a wonderful idea! My mom is a 3 year breast cancer survivor. I went thru all of her treatments with her….it is certainly a time to think, reflect, and many times a “heart-change” takes place.

    I will be truely honored to make cards and send out to you all….I live in Indiana….I will start on this soon!

    Love and Blessings to you!

  12. Diane Cooper

    Michelle and Sonja,

    What a wonderful idea!!! I hope I can send some your way! Congrats on your fight so far Sonja- stay strong!!!

    Diane (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)

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  14. paula nersesian

    Count me in… best friends husband is battling cancer as we speak……I plan to give cards at an infusion room here in Victoria , Texas, too. Peace be with you. I’m an older sister and I did something similar with my three younger brothers…..HMMMM….


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  16. Oh what a FABULOUS and beautiful idea!!! And a huge CONGRATS for being cancer free!!! I’m not that far from you fellow Coloradan!! 😉 I will be honored to send some cards your way!!

    Lee (Rye, CO)

  17. What a fabulous gesture to give back and a great idea to help use those stacks of cards being made! Congrats on being cancer-free too!!

  18. Sonja Knaisch

    My heart is so full with your encouragement and mention of loved one’s who are fighting or surviving cancer. Thank YOU!

    Please visit my first ever Blog. When you see it, think of the first card you ever made. The card improves as the artist improves, this is true of bloggers too.

    Today PGT is expecting cards in the mail. YEAH!!! Soon some will arrive from Germany and all over this country. I Give Thanks!

    This project and your support are exactly what I need to bridge the gap between fighting cancer and SURVIVING IT! (tears of gratitude).

    Big Colorado Style Bear Hugs from me, Sonja

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  23. What a wonderful thing you are doing! Please be expecting some cards from OK soon!

  24. Great cause and I am happy to support this. Cards will be coming from NC.

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  26. Sonja Knaisch

    Oh Boy! I just had a great time opening large envelopes full of BEAUTIFUL cards! Man, it was fun! Wonderful how different they all are. Human personalities come shining through and that’s what’s so special about this project and the art community I’ve come to for help. THANK YOU for responding so generously!

    Tuesday morning the first basket full of lovingly designed and crafted cards will be passed around the Rocky Mountain Cancer Center’s infusion room. Brave Cancer fighters will look at these joyous pieces of art and select the cards they want to use. This will warm hearts and lifts spirits – yours and mine included.

    I appreciate all of you. Thank you for sharing your unique and touching stories as well as your art.

    Sending a Big Colorado Bear Hug to all,

    Michelle’s Sista, Sonja

  27. Sonja Knaisch


    Michelle’s Sista again… Please check out to confirm that I received your package. Look under “Thank You” > Contributor names.

    Some photos will be posted soon too.

    I thank you in advance for sending the Project Give Thanks website to all of your friends AND for sending your cards.

    More Hugs,
    Michelle’s Sista, Sonja

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  32. Thanks Kristy and Cam, I’ll be watching for your packages. The cards have been a real hit at the Rocky Mountain Cancer Center.

    Everyone Gives Thanks!

    Hugs, Sonja

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  35. Project Give Thanks received three boxes of cards in the mail today!!!

    Thanks to Jean Cross, Cam Cao and Jenny Fulton. Can’t wait to open them and then share the cards with the good folks at Rocky Mountain Cancer Center. The ladies and men in the chemo room are truly enjoying their free handmade cards!

    Everyone Gives Thanks!


    PS Check out the blog to see who all has sent gorgeous cards!

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