Friday, November 21, 2014

Newspaper Article

There was an article about myself and my work with Operation Write Home in our local newspaper today.  You can also read the article online at, November 21 edition pages 3 & 5.  What a great way to try and get more awareness for Operation Write Home. 

Here is the text of the article:

Imagine being half a

world away from a

husband, a mother,

or brother, and having

nothing more than

a few post-it notes

and maybe an envelope

and a half-inch

length of pencil to

write with that you

sharpened with your

pocket knife. Diane

Loughrey, a Warren

woman, has

not known this

type of trial but

she knows that it

exists because she works tirelessly to make a difference

for those living this reality.

“The soldiers that receive the cards I make are

the most grateful people,” she said. “Sometimes they

write back to me and tell me how they have had no

way to get cards or even paper to write letters on and

how much they appreciate the program.”

The program that Loughrey is referring to is Operation

Write Home, a non-profit organization that

was founded in 2007 by Sandy Allnock in Federal

Way, Washington. The group of crafters is nationwide,

with hand-crafted cards being created on a

revolving basis and care packages of cards being

sent to contacts every month or so who see that deployed

soldiers have a way to write home. The cards,

Loughrey said, are varied in theme ranging from

birthday and anniversary cards to holiday cards and

“just because.”

“This last year alone I have made 238 cards,”

Loughrey said. “Combined with last year, I have

made nearly 400 and Operation Write Home has

passed the two and a one-half million mark. I also

write Hero Letters, and think that those are as important,

if not more, than the write home cards

we send.” Hero Letters are letters that are mailed

to deployed soldiers that simply say hello to a hero.

Loughrey said that the parameters for writing are

wide, with the only real rules being that the tone is

upbeat and positive and cannot have a political undercurrent.

“People write about their families and their pets,”

she said. “Nothing negative. No one living in war

wants to talk about war so the point is to tell them

about positive things and give them a person to correspond


Interestingly, as committed to the cause as

Loughrey is she has no direct experience with deployment.

She said that she originally became involved

after seeing an advertisement for the organization

on a blog that she frequented and she felt that

it was a calling to use her crafting talents as a way

to help others.

“I consider this my job, even though it’s not

paid,” she said. “I have had people who have wanted

to support me and sent me materials to use and that

sort of thing. My family threw me a party for my

birthday back in August and as part of my gift they

had people write letters to the troops that I could


Loughrey said that she has been crafting since she

was a little girl and her love, and talent, has gradually

grown to its current level. Most recently, she was

awarded a presidential citation by President Barack

Obama for her efforts and dedication to Operation

Write Home.\
“I wrote to the president and the objective was to
get him to honor the woman who started this whole
program,” she said. “A short time later I received a
presidential citation thanking me for my dedication.
It was pretty exciting.” Loughrey said that what she
would really like is to see more people become involved
in the project.
“Every time even one more person becomes involved,
it makes a huge difference,” she said. Loughrey
said that people who are interested can find out more
about the organization at or
on her own blog, which can be found at allfromtheheartcrafts.

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