For Guidance Counselors

for Florida guidance counselors

Written by Chronic Warriors

May 13, 2021

Hello to all our wonderful Counselors!
We’re happy to share more about our Cards2Warriors program and what your students will do with us when they volunteer for this program. Our Cards2Warriors program is NOT a “let’s all make generic cards and drop them at the nearest hospital or nursing home” type of program. It is a clearly defined program with specific recipients that includes accountability factors for your students.

As an organization, we run a global card swap (snail mail and digital) for those living with long-term illnesses, rare diseases, disability, and those who are undiagnosed and seeking diagnoses/treatment. Many of them are homebound or very limited in their ability to get out. (And thanks to the pandemic, we all KNOW how awful that can be!)
Additionally, did you know that there are over 7,000 types of rare diseases?!

Our student volunteers do not participate in the actual card swap – they create extra cards for the patients (we call them Warriors!) who are struggling and in need of additional support. In conjunction with our other card-making volunteers, all the cards are sent in the same month so that a “slew of snail mail love and encouragement” lands in a struggling illness warrior’s mailbox!

These cards have been hope and encouragement to so many living with illness… we have teens and young adults who gain strength to keep fighting because of the tangible proof that someone is thinking of them! (their words, not mine) Time after time we hear that these cards arrived JUST when the warrior needed it most or was about to give up. You can see more info about our programs here: https://chronicwarriors.org/bright-futures-student-volunteers/

Students in the basic Cards2Warriors program send all cards to us. We put them in envelopes and forward them on to the patients. The only personal information is the student’s first name in the signature.

For the students who choose our Cards2Warriors Plus program, they are given a specific warrior to support for 12 months. They send a card each month to this patient to encourage and uplift them. This is a win-win because the patient receives a year of support and the student has the experience of how long and never-ending life with a chronic illness is for the patient. Students in this program will send a card directly to the patient, but use our return address so that the student’s personal information is kept private.

Furthermore, we limit the number of hours that a student can earn making cards- this is to encourage them to stay with us long-term, to join additional programs, or to volunteer with other worthy organizations. (We do not wish to be an “easy fix” for earning community service hours. We are a purposeful organization that is making a difference in the lives of many forgotten or underserved patients!)
Students in the Cards2Warriors program can earn up to 2.5 hours per month (.5 hrs/card made). With the C2W Plus program, they can earn 3 hours per month. And for those who wish to earn more, they can join our Asher’s Assistant’s Program the includes the two C2W programs with the addition of other projects and engagement.
Thanks to our sponsors, beginning in July, we will be providing coloring cards, card stock, postage, and more to the students! We also have a Student of the Month and a Student Volunteer Feature, where we highlight our student volunteers.

All students are required to use the Remind App to check in and out and to upload photos of their completed projects. They have an hours log in our google drive that is signed off on weekly. We have bi-weekly meetings, regular text check ins, facilitated hangouts and more.
We’re happy to answer any other questions you have. We’re honored to have your students and want to do right by them and by you.

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