Pittsburgh-themed holiday cards aid charities and causes

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The Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank serves an average of 110,000 hungry people every month in 11 southwestern Pennsylvania counties, but it gets even busier during the holidays, says CEO Lisa Scales.

One of the ways people can help the Food Bank raise money is to purchase its holiday items -- an effort that many local charities pursue during the holidays to support their causes.

"We have a number of items we sell," Ms. Scales said. They include Christmas postcards, glass plates, city dining cards and mugs. New this year is a giving globe -- a glass ornament crafted by a local glass artisan. These will be available in early December.

Last year, the Food Bank sold $8,500 worth of gifts.

Its postcards are designed to look like presents -- white postcards with red package ribbon and gift tags, and a message that a donation has been made to the Food Bank. Cost is $10 for one postcard or $100 for 10. To purchase these, go to the Food Bank at 1 N. Linden St., Duquesne, PA 15110, or order online at www.pittsburghfoodbank.org and hit Donate. Questions: 412-460-3663, ext. 291.

Among other local charities selling special holiday cards:

■ American Cancer Society: This year's card, "Sharing the Season at Market Square," was designed by local artist Linda Barnicott. Boxes contain 25 cards. One to three boxes are $24 each; four to nine boxes, $22 per box; 10 or more boxes, $20 per box. To order call 412-919-1100 or visit the regional office at 320 Bilmar Road, Kennedy. Also available at the American Cancer Society Westmoreland County office, 510 Pellis Road, Suite 203, Greensburg.

Blind & Vision Rehabilitation Services of Pittsburgh: Individuals in the organization's Community Transitions Adult Training Day Program designed the covers of its holiday cards. Cost: $2 per card or $7 per set of five different cards Cards are blank inside. To order, email laura at lstuart-smith@pghvis.org or call 412-368-4400, ext. 2251.

Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America: Its holiday cards are ordered through MoreThanCards.com. On the website click on the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation logo and select the card you want. Prices start at $16 for 15 cards. CCFA receives 30 percent of the card sale proceeds.

Friends of Forbes Hospice: Artist Fran Marze donated images of colorful butterflies for the cover of the volunteer auxiliary's note cards, whose sales benefit Forbes Hospice Respite Care. A four-card pack is $5; blank inside. To order: Val Kish at 412-821-9477.

Friends of Hopital Albert Schweitzer Haiti: An image of a snowman looking over a busy, festive skating rink by the late Haitian artist Jacques Valmidor was used for the cover of the organization's card. Packs of 10 cards, $12. To buy, call Friends of Hopital at 412-361-4884 or visit the gallery and office at 6739 Reynolds St. (Point Breeze), Pittsburgh 15206.

JDRF: This organization, formerly called Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, also sells holiday cards through MoreThanCards.com. Click on its logo. Prices vary by design.

Little Sisters of the Poor: Once again, this organization's Christmas cards are sketched by Sister Martha Lieb, showing Mary holding baby Jesus while three lambs and a bird watch. The sketch and message inside include Christmas scripture. Cards are sold in groups of seven for $10, plus $1.50 shipping; 12 for $15 plus $2 shipping; or 30 for $25 plus $5 shipping. Order online at www.littlesistersofthepoorpittsburgh.org or call 412-307-1100 or mail check made payable to Little Sisters of the Poor to 1028 Benton Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15212.

Lupus Foundation of Pennsylvania: Watercolor artist Jess Hager has designed "Memories -- Market Square" for the card cover. Available with or without an inside verse. Cost is $15 per box of 20. Order online at www.lupuspa.org or call 412-261-5886.

Make-A-Wish Greater Pennsylvania and West Virginia: Four winning holiday cards have been chosen from dozens of designs submitted by wish kids and teens. The four are Kayla, 13, of Drums, Pa., who fulfilled her shopping spree wish in 2008; Joseph, 7, of Stroudsburg, Pa., who will soon go to Hawaii; Alivia, 16, also of Stroudsburg, who visited Orlando, Fla., theme parks in 2011; and Danielle, 14, of Richwood, W.Va., who traveled to Yosemite National Park in 2011.

The cards come in packs of 15 at $15, plus shipping and handling fees. Cards can be mailed or you can pick them up at the Make-A-Wish office on the 37th Floor of the Gulf Tower, Downtown. To order, fill out the order form at greaterpawv.wish.org, or call 412-471-9474 or 1-800-676-WISH (9474).

Pittsburgh Center for the Arts: Artist Susan Castriota has created "The Rink at PPG Place" for the Center for the Arts. Cards can be purchased in The Shop at the Center for the Arts for $12 per pack of 12 cards. Or call The Shop at 412-361-0873, ext. 308, or mail a purchase request to the Center at 6300 Fifth Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15232. Proceeds benefit a scholarship program for art students.

Polish Hill Civic Association: This nonprofit organization is selling six cards for $15, plus $2.50 shipping. The cards show a picture of two pierogi characters, known as P-Rogues, riding in a sleigh. Order by mail with a check to the PHCA office, 3060 Brereton St., Pittsburgh, 15219, or in person at its Brereton Street office or order online at http://phcapgh.org/store/. Proceeds go toward community events.

Seraphic Mass Association: Seraphic Mass is making its 2013 Christmas cards available for a free-will offering, whatever you are comfortable in giving. The cards are covered by a beautiful scene of Mary with baby Jesus over the title "Christmas Peace." People can order a pack of five cards for the free-will donation with credit card or check made out to the Seraphic Mass Association. Write to Seraphic Mass Association, Capuchin Mission Office, 3600 Butler St., Pittsburgh, PA 15201; call 412-683-4700; or visit www.SeraphicMass.org.

The Day School at The Children's Institute of Pittsburgh: The organization is selling holiday and all-occasion cards designed by students in the Day School to benefit their yearbook committee, which provides each child a free yearbook. Each assorted 10-card bundle is $10. Call Dianne at 412-420-2560 to arrange to pick up your cards at The Day Schools entrance at 1405 Shady Ave., or at Littles Shoes, Forbes Avenue, Squirrel Hill.

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society: Well-known watercolor artist Mary Lois Verrilla painted a sentimental winter scene to show the essence of Pittsburgh in the society's 2013 holiday card. The 16th image she has painted for the society shows a snowman dressed in typical Pittsburgh black and gold watching skaters on the lake in the North Side's West Park on a snowy day. Available in boxes of 20 for $20. Order by contacting The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia Chapter at 1-800-726-CURE (2873).

Vincentian Charitable Foundation: Mary is sitting sideways in rectangles of colors while holding baby Jesus in this year's card, which was designed by Sister Marie Becker, Sisters of Charity of Nazareth. Email Laura Ristau at lristau@vcs.org or call 412-548-4056. Cards are sold in packs of 10 for $10, three packs are $25; mailing cost is $2 per pack. Proceeds provide care at Marian Manor, Vincentian de Marillac and Vincentian Home.

Waverly Presbyterian Church: The Regent Square church has many magnificent stained glass windows crafted by R. Toland Wright of Cleveland in 1930. Photos of 12 of the windows are offered on 12-card packs for $15. Order by calling 412-242-0643 or by email at admin@waverlychurch.org. Proceeds go to the church's mission and ministry.

Pohla Smith: psmith@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1228.

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