It's as iconic as the Downtown Kaufmann's clock -- the six-story Christmas tree that Joseph Horne Co. placed on the Penn Avenue and Stanwix Street corner of its flagship department store each holiday season.
The building -- the first department store in Pittsburgh -- has gone through several ownerships and businesses since Horne's closed there in 1994, but the new owners have continued the Christmas tree tradition.
Local artist Linda Barnicott has captured the charm of the Horne's tree of years ago, when streetcars passed by with people marveling at the illuminated tree and the store's festive windows. She painted the scene for this year's holiday card offered by the American Cancer Society's Greater Pittsburgh Unit.
The society is one of several local charities selling special cards this season to raise money for good causes. Like the cancer society, some commission local artists to depict Pittsburgh scenes or draw upon children or others to design the cards.
This is Ms. Barnicott's 15th painting for the cancer society's annual cards. "A Holiday Tradition" is available for a donation of $24 a box for one to three boxes; $22 a box for four to nine boxes; and $20 a box for 10 or more boxes. Each box contains 25 cards.
To purchase, call the cancer society at 1-888-227-5445 or 412-919-1100. Cards may also be purchased by visiting the American Cancer Society office at 320 Bilmar Drive, Pittsburgh (Kennedy), PA 15205. The office is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Here's a sampling of other local organizations offering holiday cards. Full details are on most of their websites:
• Facilitating Opportunities for Refugee Growth and Empowerment (FORGE): This student organization at Carnegie Mellon University that works with Nepali refugees relocated to Pittsburgh offers handmade cards featuring laser-cut designs. Multiple designs can be purchased individually or in mixed packs of 12 cards for $10 (plus shipping and handling). To view designs and order, fill out the form at bit.ly/forgecards. Orders due by Dec. 1. Questions: email@example.com or 412-608-6903.
• Pediatric Palliative Care Coalition: Local artist Carol Whitehead has created red amaryllis notecards sold in packages of 10 for $10. Available at www.ppcc-pa.org or at Fox Chapel Presbyterian Church, 384 Fox Chapel Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15238, 412-963-8243. The mission of the Pediatric Palliative Care Coalition is to provide resources to families, volunteers and medical professionals caring for children with life-limiting illnesses.
• Make-A-Wish Greater Pennsylvania and Southern West Virginia: This year's five cards have been designed by Make-A-Wish kids. On the back is the child's name, hometown, age, medical condition and wish. $15 for a package of 15 cards (plus shipping and handling charges). Cards can be shipped or picked up at the local Make-A-Wish office on the 37th Floor of the Gulf Tower, Downtown, after Thanksgiving. To order, fill out the order form on the Make-A-Wish website, www.wishgreaterpa.org, or call 412-471-9474.
The artists include Marissa, 15, of Beaver Falls, who recently wished to go to Hawaii; Alivia, 15, of Stroudsburg, who visited Orlando, Fla., theme parks in 2011; Danielle, 13, of Richwood, W.Va., who traveled to Yosemite National Park in 2011; and 10-year-old Jaren, of Turbotville,, designer of two cards, who visited Orlando theme parks in 2007.
• Leukemia & Lymphoma Society: The 2012 holiday card of children at play in Point State Park features watercolorist Mary Lois Verrilla's 15th card for the organization. Cards are available in boxes of 20 for $20. To order, contact the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia Chapter at 1-800-726-CURE. Mail orders will include a $5 charge for delivery.
• The Lupus Foundation of Pennsylvania: Watercolor artist Jess Hager was tapped again to offer two nostalgic winter scenes -- one of Downtown Pittsburgh and one with a view from the Monongahela River. Cost is $15 per box of 20. Personalized imprinting is available. Place orders online at www.lupuspa.org or contact the Lupus Foundation of Pennsylvania at 412-261-5886.
• Little Sisters of the Poor: As in past holiday seasons, this year's card depicts the Blessed Mother with baby Jesus. The pencil sketch is on a blue background. Cards are seven for $10 (plus $1.50 shipping), 12 for $15 (plus $2 shipping), 30 for $25 (plus $5 shipping). Purchase by calling the Little Sisters at 412-307-1100.
• Seraphic Mass Association: Those who receive the association's cards are remembered in a Novena of Masses that will begin on Christmas Eve. The offerings received for the cards are used to support the Capuchin Franciscan missionaries and the poor people they serve throughout the world. To order, write to: Seraphic Mass Association, Capuchin Mission Office, 3600 Butler St., Pittsburgh, Pa. 15201; call 412-683-4700; or visit www.SeraphicMass.org.
• The Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank: This organization has several holiday eCard designs in which purchasers can make a donation in any denomination to the Food Bank in honor of a friend or loved one. Send them as your gift or use them as a gift tag for any present. It also has eCards that can be emailed directly from the organization's website, www.pittsburghfoodbank.org/store. For details, call 412-460-3663, ext. 291.
• Historic Harmony: This year's card on parchment-style paper offers an image of Beaver County's Harmony Museum in a winter long ago. A horse-drawn sleigh is passing by, possibly making its way to Grandma's house. $6 for pack of 10 cards. Buy at the Harmony Museum Shop, 222 Mercer St. Harmony, or order online at www.harmonymuseumshop.com or call 724-452-5509.
• Polish Hill Civic Association: Local artist Myra Falisz has created three holiday illustrations featuring her pierogi characters, known as P-Rogues. All cards include "Sto Lat," wishing you 100 years of great joy and good cheer. Six cards for $15 (plus $2.50 shipping); choose all six of one design, or a mixed set with two of each. Details: email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 412-681-1950 or check the blog: http://blogski.phcapgh.org/phcastore/. Cards can be purchased at the association office, 3060 Brereton St., Pittsburgh (Polish Hill), 15219, Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
• The Ruffed Grouse Society: Based in Coraopolis, this 50-year-old international wildlife conservation organization that promotes conditions suitable for ruffed grouse and related wildlife to sustain sport hunting and outdoor heritage, offers two boxed sets of 12. One box features ruffed grouse (four designs, three of each per set) and the other features American woodcock (two designs, six of each per set) Cards are designed by wildlife artist Chris Smith. Cost is $12.95 per set, plus shipping and handling. Order by calling 1-888-564-6747 or visit www.ruffedgrousesociety.org .
• Bread for the World: Holiday cards are available at www.bread.org/store or by calling 1-800-822-7323. $15 for 10 cards and envelopes (includes shipping); proceeds support its effort to end hunger worldwide. While this Washington D.C.-based charity does not have an official Pittsburgh chapter, it has a Pittsburgh affiliate team made up of volunteers from the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank and local churches.
Organizations not featured here can add information to this story online by calling or emailing Virginia Linn: email@example.com; 412-263-1662.