Sunday, December 7, 2008

Winter, postcards, the blues and 'Something for nothing'

Something out of nothing, a free postcard? What's the deal, and who really cares about people they have never met. Sounds dodgy right? Well, I am sane (I have a certificate! .....well......No, I don't actually). I have a terminal illness and instead of doing hang gliding or jumping out of planes with a chute, I do this instead.
Caring is my addiction and it needs an outlet, postcards is good. Good for me, good for the person getting it.

The plain simple truth is this: We all know people who could use a postcard, or a visit. We have a relative we have been meaning to write, or a friend or co-worker who lost their job. We hear at church, we hear at work about a person being ill and having to stay at home. We hear from a friend they are lonely. We hear people are bored. There is no limit to the people who COULD receive a postcard.

Did you know that not even the QUEEN will send you a telegram anymore on your 100th birthday. Yet I will send you a postcard. Yup, free of charge and selected for just that person (you or someone else, if you send me the details, all of which are confidential). A postcard which is then stickered and rubber and wood stamped to as great an expression of “I care!” as I can make it. PLUS I will keep on sending postcards to that person, as long as I live. For free.

Just to let you know, winter sucks, particularly for people who have disabilities and chronic conditions. When it is cold outside, and icy, wheelchairs don’t go very well or at all. People are at risk for infections, and get laid up in bed. People want to know they are cared about. More than just an amusing photoshopped picture email. December and Xmas are the loneliest time of the year for many people, it also has the highest rate of suicides. More elderly die over the winter and people with disabilities than any other season. Highest rate of depression. We all know it, we all quote it every year. I cannot make a person have a great Xmas when they are alone and the rest of society is going off to events and parties. But I can send them a postcard, one tthat is made just for them, picked for them, covered with stickers they would like. Be that a postcard of Fairies or Ninjas; from goth and spiders to hot guys kissing each other (or girls kissing each other, whatever will make a person happy). Hey, we do couples postcards, family postcards, individual postcards, postcards of solitude, of ‘freedom’, postcards completely blue, or green, whatever you want, or need. You ask and I will try to get the RIGHT postcard to you or the person who needs it.

I have no church to go to, I have no family gathering to go to, no Xmas or Hanukah for me. And yet I will be making friends and building relationships all over the world. I can’t change being people feeling alone, but I can let you know that I think about you, and prove it with something you can hold in your hand. You don’t have to be 100 years old. You don’t have to be nominated for bravery or the order of Canada or for being dame or sir, or any other award. If you know of a person who could use a postcard, who would WANT a postcard, send me an email (it is right on my profile), just email me with the title Postcard to mpshiel at and a postcard WILL go out within a week (except in rare cases of medical emergencies). A few details of what the person or you likes helps too. Look, if you are bored, surfing the net or just curious, send me an email and you WILL get a postcard. You want a postcard, you like postcards, ask for a postcard and it will appear!

I know that people are busy at Xmas, and I know that people’s feeling of caring is up. GOOD! So send me an email for someone you are thinking about in need! Know why? Because people still like getting mail in January (see, I just keep posting to them!). You don’t have to be lonely, you don’t have to be disabled, or depressed, you can be the Dean of a University or the President of a Company (don't those people want some nice mail too?), all you have to do is want a postcard.

Every week the people I send postcards to are a SACRED trust to me. The ages may range from 3 to over 90 but I am like the postal service, once I took your postal request on board, come what may, I will be matching you to your postcard. Yes, I went to bed at 6:00 am this morning after finishing (Us Three Musketeers!) the stickers and other final parts of the postcards. Then I was up again a few hours later to write each one of them so every single one of the 40 postcards for this week went out.

Are you sick of winter? I will send you a scene of summer. Are you in Australia, New Zealand, Africa or other climates that are summery, I can send you scenes of winter, or cool rainforests. When Xmas is over, and the feeling of, “Oh my, I still have to go to work!”, or the feeling of , “When will spring come?” or “I’m bored!” hits you, and leaves you blue. My postcards will still be coming. So please, take the chance, ask for a postcard. A few hundred people have and so far, everyone seems pretty happy with the postcards. And if you don’t get yours, let me know and I will send another, okay. Give yourself or someone you care about a gift, the gift of Elizabeth McClung and her army of people from around the world who send presents of cool postcards, cool stickers, cool stamps (which I turn and give to those who request postcards). I am the gift that keeps on giving.

And yes, this is the place in the world where you really do get something for nothing; pass the word.


Emma said...

I've heard through my voluntary work that The Queen does still send something out on 100th Birthdays (and 60th Wedding anniversaries too I believe) but it's not a telegram and you (or someone) have to call her and ask for it. Rumour has it it's quite a faff and a long process. Requiring forms and proof I believe. Not like the postcard project!

Love all these pictures, Beth! I have a card to go in the post to you later xx

Neil said...

I would dare to say that it's not quite something for nothing. Once the postcard arrives, I'd bet most people would want to know more about the person who sent it, and find out who asked for it to be sent (assuming someone else requested it for them); then, unless they're supremely bigots, they would get to know EFFM, and they'd fall under your spell. They'd be helpless under your magical spell of love and beauty, and appreciation for art, nature, and their fellow humans beings.

C'mon,Beth, admit it: this is your plan to take over the world, isn't it? :)

Or maybe it's the squirrels forcing ou to do their bidding and THEY are the ones controlling the world next.

With much love, many hugs and thanks for such a wonderful person as Beth McClung,

Bells said...

i love getting your postcards. It's just fabulous. What a gorgeous person you are!

catsmum said...

Dear Elizabeth
I've just gotten back from Town with David's card and will give it to him this afternoon when he gets home from his day placement.
Thankyou so much for your care and the love that so obviously goes into these.
Some stickers will be heading your way shortly
hugz from OZ

Elizabeth McClung said...

Emma: yes, I heard that you can get some e-thing from the Queen but apparently the 100 year olds need a lot of stamina for it and I don't think the Queen stickers it up for you!

Thanks, I think I have one for you.

Neil: Actually, the amount of people I hear from are about 4-5%. The majority of people I send postcards to I may never hear from, sometimes a little something after several cards but no, there isn't an ulterior motive. And there isn't really any point in taking over this world. I think I am at a net loss of a couple thousand dollars. But up several dozen people who did acts of deliberate helping to make the postcard project continue from postcards to stickers, to stamps. Personally I am at a net gain of caring for a several hundred people.

Bells: I am glad you got some, I often don't know who I am sending to exactly so I am can't match faces, but I am glad you liked the end result!

Catsmum: I am glad it arrived and I hope it will be enjoyed. I appreciate and use all the stickers that come to us, sometimes the use isn't immediately obvious, but there is such diversity that eventually they all get used. Thanks.

Marc Levack said...

These Pictures will be a good.They'd be helpless under your magical spell of love and beauty, and appreciation for art, nature, and their fellow humans beings.

Raccoon said...

In the third picture down, there is a fairy with green wings and ivy. It's by Nene Thomas. I have a framed print of it -- it's a great surprise to see it as a postcard!

The word has gone out, and will as many times as you want.

Elizabeth McClung said...

MArc: Er..I hope so

Raccoon: Yes, are you a fan of Nene Thomas? Usually it is difficult to get the postcards, as you have to buy like an art piece to get one but I managed to get some (I can be very persistent). I like him, and that particular one, but also the wood ones (they are one my Amazon list!)

Raccoon said...

She has some very nice pieces. I've got one of her witch prints, as well.

I haven't actually seen her woods ones, but I had seen some of her dragon lady ones.

I've been to her site a couple of times, but I've never seen postcards listed. Mini lithographs, and prints, but no postcards. So you must've been really persistent!

Lisa Moon said...

Elizabeth, you are truly amazing. Thank you over and over for reaching out so that people know that someone actually cares.

Every time I look at the two gorgeous cards you have sent me, I feel so proud and also, a little emotional, that you took the time to personalise something just for me, someone you've never met. It brings tears to my eyes even now to say this.

For all those who cannot, do not or will not reply, know that your kindness has reached so many and a card from you may be the one thing that helps keep someone going in their darkest moments.

With love.

rachelcreative said...

Thank you doing this and for brightening my day many times with your beautiful cards. Your choice of card is always perfect and I love the stamps and stickers too.

I love my postcards from you!

Karen Strunks Photography. said...

Hello Elizabeth,

My beautiful card arrived today!

I didn't look at it straight away. I picked it up from the hallway and took it into the living room. I switched off the tv, got comfy on the settee, closed my eyes, THEN looked at it. I wanted to treasure the moment and take in every detail, knowing how much thought and care you have taken over it.

Thank you. I love it! It is now a treasured possession.

I am spreading the word! :-)

catsmum said...

Today I blogged about the card you sent to David
and this morning I posted you a small token of my appreciation - some supplies to help you keep doing this.
It will probably take about ten days to 2 weeks to get to you.

rachelcreative said...

I got a postcard from you this week of a beautiful Haiwaan sunset. Yes thank you for the sunshine!

I have the card where I can see it from my usual spot on the sofa and it's a welcome ray of warmth (the picture and the sentiment) especially on this frosty, slightly grumpy day!

Claire G said...

Ive had three postcards (we are trying to shame my postman...for a real reason I assure you) and everytime one comes it never fails to make me giggle. If one small action can make someone on the other side of the world smile then I say its all worth it :)

I still need to return a postcard (what can I say....Im able yet lazy)