The Angel Card Project sends more than 100,000 Christmas cards out each season.

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For many, the holidays are a time of pure joy and excitement. But if you don't have a family gathering or a Christmas dinner to look forward to, or if you're living in a facility that restricts visitors during flu season, the holidays can feel lonely and isolating. That's where the Angel Card Project steps in: For the last 20 years, they've been sending Christmas cards to those who could use some extra holiday cheer during the winter months. 

The project started in 2001 with just 20 volunteers and has grown into a network of volunteers from all over the world. Last year they had more volunteers than ever before and sent more than 100,000 cards of encouragement. Their motto is "Sending love, one Christmas card at a time." 

woman addressing Christmas cards at home in front of Christmas tree
Credit: nortonrsx / Getty Images

If you're interested in getting involved, it's easy. I signed up as a volunteer last year and once I was approved, I received an email list that included thousands of names, addresses, and a short explanation about why that person was on the list and a few of their interests, which made it easy to write them personalized notes. I picked several ladies who reminded me of my grandma.

I decided to send 20 cards, so I went to Target and grabbed a big box of cards and ordered holiday stamps to match—then I started writing. Once I had written, addressed, and mailed all of the cards, I just logged back on to the Angel Card Project website and reported the number of cards I had mailed. Individual reporting is the only way to keep track of how many cards are sent, so don't forget to check back in when the season is over. 

They are currently accepting volunteers (the master list of names and addresses will be sent out in late November), and while the online portal to submit a person for the list has closed, the organization has an active Facebook group where you're able to request for cards to be sent to a person you know. 

Once you've signed up, don't forget to grab a few supplies while you wait to receive the list. Here's what you'll need. 

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christmas card set green and gold
Credit: Courtesy of Target

Bulk Christmas Cards

$15, Target

I found that buying a large bulk set of cards made the project relatively inexpensive (I spent less than $20 to send 20 cards), and I tried to find cards that would appeal to most people. This set comes with 40 cards for just $15, and although the project is centered around sending Christmas cards, you could use the 'tis the season' for someone who celebrates other winter holidays. 

holiday stamps
Credit: Courtesy of USPS

Santa Stamps

$12, USPS

Make your holiday cards extra merry with these new Santa-inspired stamps from USPS. They're forever stamps, which means if you don't use them up this year, you can use them again next season (even if stamp prices go up in the meantime). 

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