How This Started

Russ Haan
My name is Russ Haan.

Like many other Americans, I am a small business owner facing tough times. I’ve depleted my savings, retirement plan and credit lines so I can keep my employees. I’ve cut my own wages so they are the lowest of any employee in my company. I’m trying to support family members. And I’m barely keeping my head above water.

One day, I felt especially overwhelmed. The news reports job losses, lay-offs and the bad economy were terrible. It was followed by more news about bailouts, stimulus plans and government rescues, but none of those would help people like me. None of them would help my employees or my business. I felt forgotten, ignored and that all my work for the last 20 years was for nothing.

And then I reflected. I still had a roof over my head. I was not cold. I was not hungry. In fact, I was blessed. Even if I lost everything I had, I was still healthy. I had family I could count on. I could do physical work, somewhere else, doing something. In fact, I was one of the lucky ones.

So instead of feeling sorry for myself, I wondered if there was a way I could lift up someone around me. In fact, maybe not just someone, but everyone. The entire Nation even! And that’s when it seemed to me as if everything I’d ever done, actually led me to this very point in time.

That was the instant HOPE IS IN THE CARDS was born.

The premise is so simple:

What if every American sent just one letter or card of support to another American. What would happen? What would it do to our collective national spirit if the word HOPE was written on the back of every envelope?

You’d go to your mailbox and it would be filled with something besides bills and collections notices. It would contain HOPE. And better yet, you might even have a personal card or letter from someone saying THANK YOU or I BELIEVE IN YOU.

Those kinds of messages can do more than just make someone’s day brighter for a moment — they can change people’s lives.

So, I’ve decided to give this idea a try. You’re invited to join me. After all, we’ve absolutely nothing to lose, and absolutely everything to gain.

Please, spread the HOPE.

Thanks so much,


P.S. If you donate products, services or make a contribution to Hope Is In The Cards, please know that everything we receive goes right back into the effort to spread HOPE.