Viewpoint: A sense of belonging

As highlighted by last week’s Mental Health Awareness Week campaign, for all the methods of communication open to us, loneliness is at an epidemic level in the UK, with isolation leading to anxiety, depression and upset. At the opposite end of the spectrum is the sense of belonging. PG Buzz shines the light on a great example from the greeting card industry where joining forces with others is delivering collective benefits in great abundance.

5C post palsKate Malt, founder of Love Kate’s online card and gift shop, talks about her involvement in the Post Pals charity – sending greeting cards out to sick children – which several publishers have also got involved with.

“Two years ago I was approached by the charity Post Pals, asking if they could buy 50 pop-up cards from us to send out to poorly children and were looking for a little discount.” In partnership, Love Kate’s and Second Nature donated the 50 pop-up designs for the children. But this was just the start…

Kate Malt of Love Kate’s is a firm believer in the kindred spirit.
Kate Malt of Love Kate’s is a firm believer in the kindred spirit.

“Since then we have been overwhelmed by support from so many in the industry. We have been donating approximately 50 cards a month to Post Pals ever since, so that’s well over 1,000 cards. We’ve had donations from Second Nature, Nigel Quiney, Holy Mackerel, UKG, CardMix, Blue Eyed Sun, Woodmansterne, Carte Blanche, Ling, Paper Rose/The Art Group, The Art File and Pigment, and we have donated a few times from our own stocks of cards. We are now looking to line up more donations for the coming months.

For the past two years Love Kate’s has been putting smiles on the faces of sick children by donating cards to Post Pals.
For the past two years Love Kate’s has been putting smiles on the faces of sick children by donating cards to Post Pals.

I believe it is very important to feel that you belong in all areas of life, at work the greetings industry is a very strong community. Being able to help the work of Post Pals by tapping into the industry through my connections has brought me lots of satisfaction, and seeing photos of children with their cards is truly heart-warming.

As an online retailer I suppose we miss out to a certain extent on the ‘togetherness’ that a bricks and mortar retailer has with its customers (it would be nice to hear customers’ giggles in our humour section for instance), but the online community around our shop can provide some of that togetherness.

A recent batch of cards that Love Kates was sent to donate to Post Pals from Nigel Quiney Publications.
A recent batch of cards that Love Kates was sent to donate to Post Pals from Nigel Quiney Publications.

In this day and age of multiple communication mediums, it’s upsetting that we are in the midst of a loneliness epidemic, but greeting cards are very powerful. I’ve taken part in Thinking of You Week for the last few years and have really enjoyed sending cards. A hand-picked card, and a carefully worded personal message, really can make people smile. And that’s what it’s all about.”

 

 

 

 

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