Jerri Hanus has been involved at the pantry since the Spring/Summer of 2010. Jerri has worked as the corresponding secretary and also donates beautiful cards to the pantry to use for thank you notes.
Jerri’s love for crafting started at just four years old and she learned from her grandmother. Jerri has a multitude of talents including stamping, card making, sewing, and crocheting. Her grandmother, who was influential in beginning her journey in crafting, passed away from Alzheimer’s in 1996. Right after her passing she started doing craft shows as a way to give back in memory of her grandmother.
Currently, her mom is suffering the advanced stages of Alzheimer’s with her dad as her caretaker. “I consider making the cards my therapy as well as my means of giving back,” said Jerri.
In 2014, she was approached by a small business owner who asked if she would be interested in making 250 cards for his business that he could send out to his clients for Thanksgiving. This was the start of her mission, CardzforAlz.
Jerri does not retain any money for time or materials; every penny that she earns is donated to the Alzheimer’s Association. Her first year was very successful and she ended up selling 600 cards that year – mostly per special order. Last year, it was over 1100 cards and this year is on track for even more.
Jerri has about half dozen clients who order in large quantities (100+) throughout the year. When someone places orders like this, she designs some options that she offers to them. Once they select their preferred option, she goes into “production mode”. Each card is made individually by hand, all being of the identical design. Smaller orders can also be filled and people are also able to order by actual card design. For orders like these, people select their card choices by looking at her Facebook page or by contacting her for an electronic catalog.
Clients order cards for a variety of occasions including Christmas, birthdays, Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day. Jerri states, “Things are constantly evolving based on what my customers are looking for.”
Jerri gets most of her business by word of mouth or through the Alzheimer’s Association downtown. The Alzheimer’s Association posts about her cards periodically on their website and also has cards available in their office downtown on Linn Street. They also carry the 10-card variety pack of Christmas cards at their office.
Jerri also keeps cards available for purchase on hand because she is sometimes asked to bring her card inventory with her places such as church. More information, including prices and how to order, can be found on her Facebook page “CardzforAlz”.