Since May, I have been receiving so many well wishes and congratulations from family and friends, when they hear that I am finally considered in remission after 5 years of clean scans. But, I am quick to remind them to also thank my parents and husband, as they were my caregivers during my 6 months of cancer treatment back in 2008, and then helping with post treatment care. People are quick to forget caregivers, who I feel after undergoing something so scary and life changing as cancer, the strong ones. If it wasn't for my parents' and husband's constant support when I needed it most, I think my cancer journey would have been harder and less manageable.
And, during the month of November, which is also National Family Caregiver Month, caregivers, including my family members, are being shown how much they are appreciated, thanks in part by Hallmark Cards, Inc. and CaringBridge, a non-profit caring social network. From October 28th through Nov. 17th, Hallmark and CaringBridge are partnering on the "Caring Messages" card contest, which encourages participants to draw on personal experience as a caregiver, or someone like me, who received the love and support from a caregiver, to help me through a difficult time, such as cancer, by creating and sharing a message of love, hope and support.
To enter the "Caring Messages" card contest, participants can submit one card idea in any or all of the following categories to www.hallmarkcontests.com:
1) Support and encouragement
What can you say to lift someone up or help them get through the day? Let them know you’re thinking of them, send happy thoughts, and cheer them on.
2) Compliments and appreciation
Let someone know how much you admire them: What they do and how they do it. Their strength and dedication. Their inspiring attitude or great sense of humor.
3) Words from the wise
If you’ve experienced something yourself—maybe survived breast cancer or cared for an aging parent—you understand what it’s really like. Create a supportive card based on what you’ve learned or what you needed to hear. Be careful to not come across as too preachy, or make the message more about you than the recipient. Don’t be afraid to use humor—you have permission to say things others don’t!
*Please create cards that work for more than one specific illness or condition. For example, we’re not looking for a card that only works for cancer or a car accident. Instead, create cards that might work for a range of situations and recipients.
Funny or inspirational? Whatever card idea you come up with, just make sure it comes from the heart. For all that caregivers do, they should be honored, not just during the month of November, but year round. And, with your "Caring Messages," you can help create a line of greeting cards that can be shared with a caregiver, as a thank you, or just because.
So, what are you waiting for? Think about a time when you acted as a caregiver, or had help from a caregiver. Put your feelings into words, and come up with "Caring Messages" and share them as part of the "Caring Messages" Greeting Card Contest. Even if you don't enter the contest, please take time, especially during National Family Caregiver Month to thank those caregivers providing support to you, a family member, etc. Or, if you are caregiver, just know that the love and support you provide those in need is truly appreciated...more than words could ever express. Thank you!
To enter the "Caring Messages" Card contest or to find more inspiration and tips on creating the perfect greeting card for this competition, visit the Hallmark Cards Greeting Card Competition tips page and for more inspiration at Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/HallmarkCardCompetition).
*Winners announced in February will receive a cash prize, and their entry will be sold at Hallmark.com with in-store sale to be determined."
Disclosure: I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting (#MC) for CaringBridge. I received a promotional item as a thank you for participating.