October 9, 2009


I HAD SEVERAL INSPIRATIONS come to mind for articles today. My head was thinking, “TGIF! How about a weekly Happy Hour post featuring seasonal cocktail recipes?” I was getting all toasty just thinking about my favorite Fall beverage: The Hot Apple Pie. But my heart was thinking something entirely different. And I felt pretty warm and toasty thinking about it too…

…Despite a genuine desire to get involved and be an agent of change, we’re sometimes discouraged by the magnitude of the worlds’ problems. Personally, I often get so wrapped up in my little world and mini-dramas that I forget the power of the butterfly effect ~ that often a small, good gesture can have potent results.

I was delighted yesterday, when my dear friend Sara forwarded me some information about a cause called “CARDS FOR KIDS”. The goal of “CARDS FOR KIDS” is to make and deliver cards, goodies, etc. to children who are in the hospital or living in shelters at holiday time. Their latest drive is for Halloween cheer, to be distributed all over Southern California on October 30th (along with Halloween candy of course!).

The good people at “CARDS FOR KIDS” WOULD LOVE YOUR HELP, so they can bring a little something to as many kids as possible. Here’s how to help:

1. Make a few Halloween cards or masks
2. Mail them, before October 30th, to:
Jodie Kocur, Assistant Professor, Psychology Department
California Lutheran University
60 W Olsen Road
Thousand Oaks, CA 91360
3. Share this information with your child’s teacher at school. Perhaps they’d be interested in participating as a class project.

What a wonderful project to do with your children, and an excellent opportunity to talk to them about reaching out to others in need and the spirit of giving.

Eager to learn more, I contacted Jodie Kocur, the driving force behind “CARDS FOR KIDS” and enjoyed the following interview:

ROOK NO. 17: Jodie, what was the inspiration for the creation of "Cards for Kids"?

JODIE: The inspiration was an experience I had when my daughter was first born. When she was born her doctor was worried she might have a very serious infection and so we lived in the hospital for 2 1/2 weeks while they tested her and gave her antibiotics through an IV. Easter happened to fall during that time and it made it even harder to be in this scary situation over a holiday when we would usually be celebrating and surrounded by family and friends in our home. It also made me so sad for the other children and families who were in the hospital with us, who were also missing their Easter egg hunts, Easter baskets, and family celebrations. . After that experience, I wanted to do something for the families and children who are experiencing a very difficult time and on top of that have to be away from home for a holiday and may be feeling very alone.

ROOK NO. 17: So, how did “Cards for Kids” get started?

JODIE: Although my personal experience started me thinking about doing something, the true catalyst for the program was when a student in one of my classes (I am a professor of psychology at California Lutheran University and I teach Child Development, Child Psychopathology, etc.) approached me and shared that she had the same desire I did to do something for these children. Our common desire started the program. Last year, it started with just her and I sitting out in a common area on campus at a folding table and asking students to stop and write Easter cards for the children. We delivered over 80 hand-made cards along with candy and Easter eggs to the children and families at the Ventura County Medical Center, where I had been with my daughter. The day I brought the cards was the first time I'd been back since we were released with a clean bill of health for our newborn and I couldn't help but break down and cry. I know that these cards are not a huge thing, but if they help these children and families get through just one more day in their journey and fight for health, then I will feel we've made a difference.

ROOK NO. 17: What has been the response to “Cards for Kids” from your campus? The community at large?

JODIE: After the first event, many students approached us with the desire to help and we realized that with their help, and the help of others, we could grow the program and reach many more children and hospitals. In addition to our goal of reaching more hospitals this year, one of our team members came up with the idea to also try to deliver to shelters. And that brings us to today! This is our first event since the event for Easter last Spring.

ROOK NO. 17: Where can people go if they want to find out more about “Cards for Kids”, or find a link to pass the information on to others?

My students encouraged me to share the event on Facebook. I am already so excited about the way that Facebook has helped spread the message to others that may want to help, just like you, Jenn!

To show your support for “CARDS FOR KIDS” or to find out more, visit their event page on Facebook



  1. I work at the local hospital. I will tell you that the patients absolutely love it when they receive cards, made by local children, wishing them to "get well soon". Especially the older folks. It's all very sweet.

  2. This is so amazing. I can't wait to spread the word and get some crafty mom friends together and participate!

    Oh, and I'm also stopping in to say Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest!!

    I'm so glad you were the blog before me.. I'm always looking for crafty ideas and projects to read about and get ideas from. I am now following you. Thanks for all the work you're doing here!

  3. This is a great idea...Karen and I are going to do it with the Cub Scouts!


    PS-applesauce cake...YUMMY!

  4. there are 2 things for you on my blog!

  5. Great cause! I'm off to check out the Facebook page.


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