Most people think of the British Invasion as occurring in the mid-
’60s — but in the stationery realm, the British have again brought
something wonderful to America: Thinking of You Week! This upcoming
Sept. 24-30 offers a chance for every card retailer to foster meaningful
connections through sending and receiving cards via this initiative. The
challenge for everyone: Send a card a day for a week.
No matter your role in the industry — card publisher, maker, retailer or
a player in an affiliated industry such as paper or printing — the Greeting
Card Association (GCA) urges you to get involved and promote this in your
community. Taking a cue from the British Greeting Card Association, who
has promoted the week since 2013, a free toolkit with materials including
informational flyers, customizable posters and even media templates is
available for anyone who is interested at thinkingofyouweekusa.com
The GCA suggests these ways for publishers and makers to promote
Thinking of You week:
• Send flyers with all orders shipped to retailers over the summer. A
logo can also be downloaded and integrated into invoices.
• Collaborate with a local retailer and/or select retail clients by
providing cards for in-store events.
• Organize an event with a local school, senior home/hospital or other
charitable or community organization.
• Publicize the Week via local media, on your website and your
social media channels. The UK GCA promotes hashtags like
• Send cards from inside your own company, and challenge your
employees to do so as well.
•Use cards that might otherwise be written off to support
The GCA proposes these additional steps for retailers:
• Organize an in-store card-writing event, or collaborate with
a local business such as a bakery or coffee or floral shop.
• Hold a card-making competition and display the winners.
• Make a Thinking of You display using posters from the
toolkit as well as appropriate product.
• Use the banner from the toolkit in social media and
• Reach out to local media for some press coverage!
• Hold a “buy three cards, get one free” promotion.
• Sell stamps in your shop.
• Set up a card-writing station, complete with books of
quotes for inspiration.
Our British counterparts provide plenty of ideas to really
make the week memorable. Lynn Tait, a UK publisher, teamed
up with a local schoolteacher and her class of 10-year-olds,
who each wrote a card to a resident in a senior living center.
The seniors were delighted and wrote back to “their” kid, and
the effort culminated with the kids going to meet their seniors.
Meanwhile, the UK GCA set up a booth in a busy part
of London with donated cards, donated pens and flyers.
Ultimately, the week is only as successful as those promoting it
— so start planning now!
This September, Ben the Rooster is creating a wave of happiness with elementary school students during Thinking of You Week.
Ben’s Letter Club is a free pen pal program for elementary school classrooms, and this September, members of the club will kick off the school year by celebrating Thinking of You Week.
The namesake of the club is Ben the Rooster, a pen pal for kids who uses the excitement of mail to encourage literacy, creativity, and friendship. During the school year, Ben writes postcards to his pen pals throughout the country. He tells a story about a recent adventure and prompts his friends to reply. Ben makes it easy to reply because he provides postcards, envelopes, and postage with each of his mailings. Students engage in conversation by drawing a picture on their postcard and writing a note on the back.
Since the 2016-2017 school year, Ben has written with over 1,500 students. Teachers incorporate Ben’s Letter Club into the language arts curriculum in order to practice reading comprehension, penmanship, and conversation.
This year’s schedule for Ben’s Letter Club begins with Thinking of You Week. In his letter to classrooms, Ben will encourage his friends to design a note for their parents. Ben will introduce Thinking of You Week to his pals and provide stationery for the celebration – postcards with space for unique artwork and loving messages.
To learn more and to register a classroom, please visit the following link: bensletterclub.bentherooster.com
Not sure who to write to every day for one week? There are some wonderful groups already devoted to organizing writing campaigns. Here are a few that we found.
More Love Letters – They stock their website each month with new love letter requests. At the end of each month, letter are bundled and delivered..
Love for the Elderly – Write a letter to an elderly person, and Love for the Elderly will deliver it to a senior in need of a warm thought, expression of caring, and connection.
Sunshine Snail Mail – Send cards to kids (and sometimes adults), who could use a smile. Most are battling life-threatening illness, or have suffered great loss.
From the Heart – This community publishes addresses directly on their Facebook page so you can mail letters directly to those in need.
Braid Mission – Their Cards of Hope program sends cards to local group homes and facilities that house youth separated from loved ones.
Greeting card publishers are an upbeat group – spending all day trying to discover new ways to wish people “Happy Birthday,” and “Thank You” tends to do that to you. During a breakfast at the Greeting Card Association’s recent annual convention, the idea of pooling resources to create waves of happiness was put on the agenda.
Happiness is infectious and can “ripple” through social groups such as family and friends — the British Medical Journal
Inspired by the GCA in the U.K., publishers in the U.S. recognized that encouraging people to send a card or a letter everyday for one week – just because – could create meaningful changes in our country’s mood. There is nothing quite like receiving a card in the mail!
That was the beginning of Thinking of You Week USA.