Noah Hulse loves making people smile.
So when he found out about a new group focused on making homemade cards, he was excited to have another way to spread joy to others.
Since he started coming to Stamping Club East six months ago, his dad, grandma and neighbors have all benefited from his creativity.
At the club’s most recent meeting — held at the Licking County Board of Developmental Disabilities — he worked on a card for a friend’s brother, who is a veteran, as well as a card for a fellow club member who was in the hospital.
Jordyn Hubert, one of the club’s founding members, sat across from Noah working on a card that said, “Stay close to people who feel like sunshine!”
Stamping Club gives her the opportunity to do the crafts she loves alongside good friends, she said.
Jordyn, and her mother Gail were instrumental in bringing the club to Licking County, said Boo Krucky, Program Coordinator of Teen and Adult Services at the Down Syndrome Association of Central Ohio (DSACO).
The original Stamping Club was started by DSACO as an opportunity for participants to embrace their creativity and learn more about paper crafts. The group began meeting consistently on the northside of Columbus, but then switched to Zoom during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Jordyn began participating in their virtual meetings, using supply kits that DSACO mailed out to create the cards.
When in-person meetings resumed, Jordyn didn’t want to lose her new creative outlet, but driving from Granville to attend meetings was a challenge, Gail said.
Gail met with a fellow parent, Wanda Krupp, and Robin Bussey, a service coordinator with LCBDD, to come up with an alternative that was closer to home.
They reached out to DSACO with a plan to start Stamping Club East, using the LCBDD administrative office as their meeting space.
DSACO agreed to fund the club and provide six months of card kits. Gail, Wanda and Robin now work together to organize the meetings, plan for future cards and gather supplies.
The new club is similar to the original — now called Stamping Club Central. Members RSVP to attend meetings and typically create two cards from pre-made kits, based on different themes or holidays. They also have the chance to make an additional card to express their creativity and try new techniques.
But unlike the original club, Stamping Club East is open to anyone, 16 and older, supported by the Licking County Board of DD.
The club has also added a service component, Boo said. At least once a quarter cards are donated to nursing homes or others in need.
“To me, it’s already cool they are making cards to share well wishes with people they know,” Boo said. “But taking it beyond that to support people they don’t necessarily know, that’s a neat thing!”
As the holidays approach, the club will be working on holiday cards and small paper gifts to give to family and friends.
Boo said she’s excited to see Stamping Club East creating so many strong connections. Not only are club members making friends during meetings but they are expanding their social circles outside the club, using the cards they create.
“In my mind it is a true partnership that benefits everyone,” she said.
The club is always looking for donations of white card stock and other kinds of decorative paper (especially Christmas paper) and craft supplies. Items can be dropped off at LCBDD”s front desk, to Robin Bussey’s attention.
If you enjoy card making and would be interested in volunteering to help out with Stamping Club East, please contact Gail and Wanda for more information. All volunteers will be asked to go through DSACO’s volunteer process.