Life Skills in a Minute: Sending a Card

Today, there are millions of people not “stuck at home” but instead, #SafeAtHome. Many of these people thrive on those moments that they get to spend with others, lighting up their life until the next time they see you. And, most families have tons of note cards or even just paper and envelopes sitting around their homes. Here’s your chance to start sending cards to help those struggling with being #SafeAtHome.

Most of us have received a greeting card at some point in our lives. Receiving a card in the mail is an experience: pulling it out of the mailbox, reading the outside of the envelope, breaking the seal, pulling out the card, reading the note from the sender, and then placing it somewhere special. Admit it, you know you’ll smile when you go to grandma’s and she still has your card on her fridge 3 years later.

Mailing a card is like buttoning a shirt, there is a certain way to do it. Here’s some help to get those cards in the mail:

Know the Person

Like, really know them! This is important because not all our personalities or sense of humors are the same. For example, you must know in advance if you might offend this person with the card you send. Never write something that can be taken in the wrong way. Simply put, the recipient needs to get a smile from something they truly find funny, the heartfelt sincerity, or even the way you just know what they’d like to hear.

Choose the Best

No, we can’t run down to the store right now to pick the best card for every person we wish to send one to. However, we can go through the cards we might have sitting around at home and find the best ones for the best people. Typically, we would NEVER send a birthday card unless it really was someone’s birthday. Right now, it might just be the smile that person needs (don’t forget, “Know the Person”). And another thing to remember is not sending a crumpled card or envelope. You want it to look as nice as possible. Etiquette says you would NEVER send a creased or wrinkled card or envelope.


Regardless of the card or state of the card or envelope, this is the MOST important part. The card will likely already have something printed on the interior, but that’s not enough. Only adding your signature is not enough. Most importantly, compose a message to include inside. No essay needed. Simply include something to make them know you thought of them. Don’t use slang or bad grammar. Further, spend the time writing it out on a sheet of notebook paper first. Not everyone has the best handwriting or the best grammar. However, when you write it first, it will look nice rewritten in the card. Your personal message will be one of a kind and will add the touch needed to make the recipient smile. This will be the hug, the in-person greeting that your recipient is missing.

Addressing the Envelope

Just as handwriting inside the card is important, the address on the outside is too. In addition, one that’s written clearly, will help USPS to deliver it to the correct address. Wouldn’t you hate to know you spent the time and effort and the card never arrives? All of that is to say, there is a correct format to the address. Your return address (where you would accept mail) should be written on the upper left-hand side of the envelope or on the back flap. The recipient’s address should be on the front center. It would start below your return address if the envelope design requires it to be on the front. The stamp would be placed in the top right corner of the envelope. Don’t forget the stamp! Simply go online and purchase your stamps. As a result, your postal carrier will drop them in your mailbox.


This is the simple part! Place your card in one of the postal boxes at the post office or place it in your mailbox outside. Next, lift the flag so your postal carrier knows that there’s something inside to pick up. Depending on your skills and the postal service, it should only take a few days to a week for you to hear the smiles over the phone or see them on the next video chat with your recipient.

Visit YouTube to see this all in motion. The Sending a Card Fact Sheet is available for use. Just think of the warm feelings that you’ll get, but, of course, that you’ll never admit to. Have fun staying #SafeAtHome.


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Posted: April 1, 2020

Category: 4-H & Youth, Relationships & Family, , Work & Life
Tags: 4-H, Cards, Envelope, Letter, Life Skill, Mail A Card, Youth

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