Heritage Pointe resident recycles, repurposes greeting cards as part of her mission in life

Heritage Pointe of Huntington resident Doris Kline stands next to the greeting card rack that is displayed outside her apartment door on Thursday, Oct. 3, holding a variety of cards she has made from repurposing previously used cards. The cards are free to Kline’s fellow residents.
Heritage Pointe of Huntington resident Doris Kline stands next to the greeting card rack that is displayed outside her apartment door on Thursday, Oct. 3, holding a variety of cards she has made from repurposing previously used cards. The cards are free to Kline’s fellow residents. Photo by Rebecca Sandlin.

Anyone needing a greeting card can stop by Doris Kline’s rooms at the Heritage Pointe of Huntington and pick one up, no charge.

There’s a rack outside her apartment door, and even more tucked away in the drawers of her workshop area.

Kline says making the cards and giving them away is her mission in life. She started crafting them about 12 years ago. But after her husband, Bill, died on Jan. 25, she began making over the used cards with new purpose, giving them a second life and extending their usefulness.
She began her unique hobby as the result of working in Barnhart’s Book and Gift Shop years ago.
 
“We sold Hallmark Cards and we had Rust Craft, but we didn’t sell a whole lot of Rust Craft – mostly Hallmark,” she recalls. “I worked there about five years, and part of the time I was in charge of filling the card racks. I just really liked greeting cards. I just kind of fell in love with them. They’re just so pretty, and I like the greetings they said. And it was just fun.”

Kline takes the beautiful cards that are sent to her and salvages the artwork from the fronts.

“I cut the front part off, and then on the verse side, if I can get the verse cut out and fixed back so I can use it, I do that. Then I put the front and the verse side on a piece of card stock that makes it the right size of what I need. And then I glue it, using some stick glue, and fix the verse side.”

Kline also has some embellishments at her disposal, including stamps featuring hearts, butterflies and other cut-out punches to add her own special decorative touch.

Working nearly every day, she makes all kinds of greeting cards, from birthday cards to get well cards to sympathy cards. Some come with a greeting or verse she adds, while others are left blank for the sender to fill in. She often pens her own verses to go in cards for children, and also on occasion refers to a handy book of verses she has to complete other types of cards for different occasions. She can produce as many as four cards per day.

And in her “card shop” – a miniature-sized studio-workroom in her apartment at Heritage Pointe – Kline has a whole drawer full of envelopes of every size imaginable to go with her finished creations.

She discovered another use for her greeting cards when her church decided to send Christmas cards to prison inmates via a minister from Bluffton who operated a prison ministry.

“We would meet once a month, and we’d take Christmas cards that people had gotten, and we’d cut them up and put new paper and fix them up, and gave them back to him,” Kline explains. “When he would go at Christmastime, he would hand-deliver these Christmas cards to the prisoners that would take them.”

As people found out about her knack for recycling used cards, they began bringing their cards to her, fueling her passion as well as consolation.

“During the time that Bill was sick, if I could come down here and just get away and go back there into my card shop, it was just very comforting. I could just kind of forget all the problems.”

In Kline’s personal collection, some bring back fond memories of days gone by.

“When I was growing up, I always liked cards, and I have valentines that I got in school,” she adds. “I’ve got a shoebox full of them; it’s just so fun to look through them every once in a while, to remember all the people that were there.”

Outside her apartment door is a card rack full of all sorts of greeting cards Kline has made. She offers them to the Heritage Pointe residents, free of charge.

“That’s my mission,” she says. “And a lot of ladies are so appreciative, because a lot of them can’t get out to the store to buy cards and they do tell me that they appreciate this so much.”