Images of pigs are cut from calendars to be used in making greeting cards for military servicemembers. (Photo courtesy Toni Loop)

Images of pigs are cut from calendars to be used in making greeting cards for military servicemembers. (Photo courtesy Toni Loop)

Recycling for ‘a better day’

Nikiski resident turns used calendars into homemade greeting cards

There’s not much to do with a calendar from last year. Calendars come with fun art and space to chronicle the events of a year, but they have a sharp expiration date. Toni Loop, of Nikiski, wants those used calendars — she cuts out their “beautiful” artwork to create greeting cards which are sent to military servicemembers as part of Operation Gratitude.

Calendars are something that most people don’t hang on to, she said, but which feature high-quality prints of art and images.

“I recycle (that art) to help someone else have a better day,” Loop said.

In Nikiski, a donation box is at M&M Market, and Loop said Thursday that there will soon be another in Kenai at Ferguson Financial Solutions in Kenai. Those boxes will stick around until the end of February, but Loop says she collects calendars, creates cards and ships out the donations year-round.

She said that she started donating to Operation Gratitude three years ago. She had learned to make cards from household items like calendars from her sister — an avid scrapbooker — and she had been looking for a charitable cause to share that work with.

She makes the cards from cardstock, with the artwork cut from the calendars and affixed to the front. She said one calendar can make up to 30 cards, depending on what art is inside. Around 50 calendars were collected last year, and as of Thursday — only Jan. 4, Loop said she estimated she had picked up 30 from M&M.

Loop said she likes to support Operation Gratitude because they support the military.

“They’re sacrificing for this country, I like helping them — and their loved ones,” she said.

The organization, according to provided information, delivers “care packages” to “troops and first responders.” Those packages are filled with handmade items and “warm reminders of home.” Among those items are handmade greeting cards like those donated by Loop.

Loop said she encourages anyone with questions to reach out by text at 907-740-1476 or email at tonisumner@hotmail.com.

More information about Operation Gratitude can be found by searching for “Operation Gratitude” on Facebook or visiting operationgratitude.com.

Reach reporter Jake Dye at jacob.dye@peninsulaclarion.com.

An array of homemade greeting cards await donation to military servicemembers. (Photo courtesy Toni Loop)

An array of homemade greeting cards await donation to military servicemembers. (Photo courtesy Toni Loop)

Toni Loop holds a homemade greeting cards intended for donation to military servicemembers. (Photo courtesy Toni Loop)

Toni Loop holds a homemade greeting cards intended for donation to military servicemembers. (Photo courtesy Toni Loop)

Toni Loop holds a homemade greeting cards intended for donation to military servicemembers.

Toni Loop holds a homemade greeting cards intended for donation to military servicemembers.

Photos courtesy Toni Loop
An array of homemade greeting cards await donation to military servicemembers.

Photos courtesy Toni Loop An array of homemade greeting cards await donation to military servicemembers.

Images of pigs are cut from calendars to be used in making greeting cards for military servicemembers.

Images of pigs are cut from calendars to be used in making greeting cards for military servicemembers.

A donation box for used calendars is displayed at M&M Market in Nikiski on Wednesday.

A donation box for used calendars is displayed at M&M Market in Nikiski on Wednesday.

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