It’s that time of year, where you have taken down your Christmas cards, but you haven’t actually thrown them away. They’re so pretty, but you’ve watched Marie Kondo. You don’t need clutter. They don’t “spark joy” so you don’t need them. But don’t thank them and throw them in the trash, though. Give them new life by finding out where to donate old cards (and other things to do with used greeting cards).
Where To Donate Old Cards
The most popular thing to do is to donate used greeting cards to the recycled cards program run by St. Jude’s Ranch for Children.
What is St. Jude’s Ranch For Children?
Okay. Let’s talk for a minute. This post is in reference to St. Jude’s Ranch for Children. That’s a residential facility for abused and neglected children in Nevada.
The ranch was instituted in 1966 and had its first resident a year later. Since then, thousands have been helped by the program, which you can read all about here.
Although the names are similar, St. Jude’s Ranch for Children and St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital are not affiliated with each other.
Both are named after St. Jude, the patron saint of desperate cases and lost causes in the Roman Catholic Church. But again, no affiliation with each other.
St. Jude’s Ranch for Children is the program that runs the recycled card program, not St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.
Okay, now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s chat about the recycled card program.
How To Donate Your Old Cards To St. Jude’s: Frequently Asked Questions
The St. Jude’s Recycled Card Program is a way for St. Jude’s to raise money. Although, the program is not currently selling any cards (as of January 2021), but the sale of cards is how this acts as a fundraiser.
People donate cards, then the residents and volunteers at St. Jude’s remove the back and affix a new one. This is a just one of the ways St. Jude’s provides teens with life and work skills.
These cards are then bundled together in packs of ten and sold (although, as I mentioned, there aren’t any currently for sale), and the money raised is used to support St Jude’s programs and services, “which help children and youth break the cycle of abuse, abandonment and neglect,” according to the website.
Check out more details about St. Jude’s Ranch for Children’s Recycled Card Program here.
You can send all cards, including:
All-Occasion Blank Greeting
Cards that are 5×7 or smaller are preferred.
Due to copyright laws, St. Jude’s is unable to accept any Disney, Hallmark, or American Greeting cards.
St. Jude’s also cannot accept cards from other charitable organizations.
If you have Christmas cards, birthday cards, etc. that you’ve been sent, you can definitely donate those. But St. Jude’s will also accept new cards.
If you do have new, never used, cards to donate, you can send those with or without envelopes.
If you’re sending used cards, those cards must be blank on the backside of the front. So be sure to check them before you send them.
St Jude’s Ranch for Children
100 St. Jude’s St
Boulder City, NV 89005
Cards are accepted year-round, and that includes Christmas and holiday cards.
Personally, I usually bundle mine and send them just after Christmas, since I have the most cards then. I usually collect our birthday cards and Christmas cards during the year. I save a couple for myself every year and the rest go in a pile.
Once a year, I’ll cut off the front and toss out the back (because I feel like this helps them a little, although that’s not required. Then, I put all the fronts in a large envelope to send via USPS. You can also send them in a flat rate box in case you have a bunch of cards to donate.
Can you buy St. Jude Christmas Cards?
So this St. Jude’s (the Ranch for Children) is currently not selling any card packs from its recycled card program, but the other St. Jude’s (the Children’s Research Hospital) is selling cards.
Prior to Christmas, you’re able to buy St. Jude’s Christmas cards or holiday cards. You can purchase a boxed set to mail out as your holiday or Christmas cards that year.
Via that same link, you can also make a donation in someone’s name. If you do so, St. Jude’s will send either an eCard or a physical card to that person, letting them know you’ve made a donation in their honor.
Holiday and Christmas cards are available for $10 a pack and you get free shipping on orders of $100 or more (this is updated for November 2021!).
Currently, you can still purchase card inserts from the St. Jude Gift Shop. These inserts go in your Christmas cards and tell your recipient that you have made a donation to St. Jude in their honor.
Things To Do With Used Greeting Cards:
Since St. Jude’s only takes certain cards, you may still have a few other cards that you’re looking to do things with.
Throw them away
This is the most obvious. If you’re done with the cards, you can either throw them away or recycle them, depending on the card. Don’t let them become clutter in your home.
Turn them into gift tags
If you have leftover cards with cute images on the front, you can follow our tutorial and learn how to make gift tags from old Christmas cards.
If you have cards that you absolutely love, buy a frame that will fit the card. Put the card securely inside, then display it on your mantle (or anywhere else in your home) next Christmas.
Purchase recycled greeting cards:
If you want, you can purchase recycled Christmas cards or greeting cards online at shops rather than purchasing at St. Jude’s. You can purchase recycled greeting cards, like the boxed note cards from Tree-Free Greetings above, at:
Have you donated your cards to St. Jude’s Ranch for Children or a similar program? Let us know about it in the comments.
Friday 17th of February 2023
Can you accept unused 5x7 envelopes only?
drugstore diva lisa
Friday 17th of February 2023
We have no affiliation with St. Jude's Ranch, so we can't answer your question. However, you can call them at 702-294-7100.
Wednesday 26th of January 2022
Will you accept cards of charitable organizations? I have tons of cards sent to me for donations and I hate to toss them in the trash just because I can't use this many.
drugstore diva lisa
Thursday 27th of January 2022
On the St. Jude's Ranch for Children website, it says: Please do not send cards promoting other charitable organizations.
So unfortunately, it doesn't seem like you can send those. You can call the organization at 702-294-7100 to double check, though.
Tuesday 26th of October 2021
Thank you for the information above for cards
Monday 31st of May 2021
I would like to send the cards I have collected. Is this program still available? (It's My 31, 2021.) If so, I would like to send mine and also tell about your program to my friends. Please let me know. Thank you.
Jo Ann Trezza
Friday 29th of January 2021
Do you also collect cancelled stamps, if not do you know who does. God bless you.