Never Underestimate the Power of a Postcard

IMG_3154Two weeks ago I gathered as many leaders as I could after our Wednesday evening gathering. I had compiled a list of the students who have been absent from the programs we offer for at least two weeks. I had each leader pick 4 or 5 names and we all wrote a quick note to each student on a postcard and we mailed them out the next morning. I try to do this regularly with students in our ministry (though it has been a while) and it always yields some interesting results. Here are some of the results from this attempt:

  • I discovered that the Post Office claims to be strict on size regulations (postcards have to be at least 3.5 inches high), but they are not. While most of the cards came back to us (our postcards were 3.25 inches high), a few made it out to students. We stuck the returned cards into envelopes, addressed them and re-mailed them.
  • Get full addresses from students. Several only provided house number and street name, ad we were left to guess on the City and zip code. (Most were accurate, but I did receive one back that was apparently incorrect – even though that student gave us her full address).
  • Use pictures of your own group. I have not done so in the past and it has yielded some mixed results. This time around I did and we seem to have connected with more teens.
  • One student I wrote a card to was a first-time guest at our Fall Outreach event. The friend who invited her to Fall Fest told me that she was surprised and excited to receive a postcard from us.
  • One student we have not seen since he was old enough to be involved in our ministry (2 years now!) showed up the Sunday after we sent postcards out. He has received postcards from us before, but this time he responded (well, grandma did). I found out the next day that he rides the bus one of our volunteer leaders drives for the school district and 2 days before he dropped in, that volunteer had to write him up. Fun story.

These are just a couple of things I discovered this time around. Sending postcards is a quick and easy way to create contact with students in your ministry and I highly encourage you to consider adding it into your own routine if you do not already do so.

Do you send postcards out already? What fun stories do you have to share?