Inspiring Crystal Cards

Bobbie Reed

Nancy Sisler of Elgin, IL, is the inspiration for The Crystal Card Project. She began recycling greeting cards some 20 years ago. As a newly-retired teacher, she set up a workspace in her basement. From there, she has refashioned used greeting cards into new ones and sold them in the Elgin community. She has raised over $150,000 for the Elgin Crisis Center.

When several recipients of the 2016 Sun Lakes Crystal Award (an award recognizing volunteerism) decided to launch a new community volunteer project, they followed in her footsteps.

The Crystal Card Project began in mid-2016 with a goal of recycling donated greeting cards and selling them to raise money for a local shelter. Now almost four years old, The Crystal Card Project has raised over $40,000. The monies are donated to My Sister’s Place, a Chandler shelter for those escaping domestic violence.

During a recent visit to Sun Lakes, Nancy joined the Crystal Card volunteers at a workshop. Creating new cards made her feel right at home.

We’re still a long way from Nancy’s accomplishments, but we have an admirable goal to strive for. One difference is that, amazingly, Nancy works pretty much alone on her project—making and selling the cards herself. In Sun Lakes, we are blessed to have nearly 100 volunteers to help make and sell cards.

Crystal Cards are on sale in April at the following locations:

April 1 (Wednesday) from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in the Cottonwood ballroom

April 13 (Monday) from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the Renaissance lobby

April 29 (Wednesday) from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Oakwood clubhouse

April 30 (Thursday) from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Oakwood clubhouse

Check out our website at or our Facebook page for a full calendar of events, donation options, and other ways you can help.