As New Year begins, Ms. Cheap empties her mailbag

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Holiday Cards(Photo: Mary Hance / The Tennessean)Buy Photo

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Every year about this time, I get oodles of calls and emails from people who want to know where they can send those pretty greeting cards they received during the holidays.

Thankfully, lots of us hate to just throw these treasures out and there are several places that would love to have our stacks of Christmas cards as well as Valentine‘s Day, Easter and all-occasion cards for recycling.

St. Jude‘s Ranch for Children in Nevada, which provides foster care for children, welcomes donated cards, which they use to create new holiday and other cards that they sell to support their mission. They only want the card fronts and cannot accept Hallmark, Disney or American Greeting cards.

The address is St. Jude‘s Ranch for Children, Recycled Card Program, 100 St. Jude St., Boulder City, NV, 89005. If you want to purchase their cards, call, ext 117, or see stjudesranch.org.

Locally, teachers often want the cards so check with area schools.

And SMART, the nonprofit recycled arts and crafts store in Berry Hill,  welcomes pretty cards to add to their inventory of used art and craft supplies. The SMART shop, at 4 Buchi Court, supports Progress Inc., which works with adults with intellectual disabilities. Details: or see smartsupplies.org.

Another similar place is the Turnip Green Creative Re-Use, which accepts donations of art and craft supplies and then has a “pay what you can” payment system for its art oriented shoppers. The shop, and gallery,  has recently relocated to 945 Woodland St.  Details: or see turnipgreencreativereuse.org or facebook/TurnipGreenCreativeReuse.

I love these non profit stores because they keep lots of still usable items out of the landfill, raise money for good causes, and offer artists and other creative types some great affordable resources.

Both of these shops also love to get donated gift bags, wrapping paper, bows, decorations, and other holiday related items, as well as absolutely anything that artists and crafters could use in an art project.

•Another question I get frequently (year round): What is the name of the place that takes donated medical equipment such as walkers and shower chairs and crutches, wheelchairs, medical supplies and adult diapers and gives them to people who need them?

It is the United Cerebral Palsy Equipment Exchange,  at 1200 Ninth Ave. N. This is a wonderful service if you need medical equipment or if you have some things  that you no longer need.

If you have items to donate or items that you need, it is best to make an appointment. For details, call, ext. 105, or go to ucpnashville.org.

•Here is some good news from Cheekwood about a half-price deal taking place through February: Cheekwood is offering half-price admission to its visitors during its “Winter Days Discount” promotion, happening now through Feb. 28. It means that adult admission is $8, children (ages 3-17) admission is $4, and senior (ages 65+) admission is $7. Be forewarned that the Cheekwood mansion is closed for its renovation but you can enjoy several indoor and outdoor activities during the winter months, including the Scholastic Arts competition, and the Carell Woodland Sculpture Trail, a one-mile walking trail featuring 15 sculptures. Parking is $5. www.cheekwood.org.

•And I have received so many calls from people who want to know more about the Ms. Cheap Penny Drive for Second Harvest Food Bank.

The drive continues through the end of this month. If you have cans with money to turn in, take them to any branch of Wilson Bank & Trust or Pinnacle Financial Partners, or Second Harvest Food Bank.

And there is still time to collect some cash for the drive. Please know that every single penny really does count. Second Harvest is able to make four meals out of every dollar donated, so there is a lot of bang for your buck if you want to help feed hungry people. Thanks to all of you who are participating. Details: secondharvestmidtn.org/pennydrive.

Reach Ms. Cheap at. Follow her on Facebook at facebook/mscheap, and at Tennessean/mscheap, and on Twitter , and catch her every Thursday at 11 a.m. on WTVF-Channel 5’s “Talk of the Town.”

Get ready for next holiday season:

The best advice I have heard for making next year‘s holidays the best ever is to evaluate the 2016 season now while it is still fresh in your mind. Think about what you and your family really enjoyed and what was stressful or what you wish you had skipped. 

This is also a good time to add up how much money you spent this holiday so that you will have something to compare your spending to next year. And make a list of things you wish you had made time for during this season and make it a point to work them in next time around. This kind of assessment is definitely a worthwhile exercise for many of us who want our holidays to be the best they can be. 

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