Readers say keep those cards and letters coming

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Hardin County responds to Joanna Sherrard

By Becca Owsley

Joanna Sherrard sends cards, lots of cards, and Hardin County residents have shown they appreciate her efforts.
Over the past three years Sherrard has sent more than 2,000 sympathy, get well, encouragement and birthday cards. After The News-Enterprise featured her in the Dec. 1 edition of Wednesday's Woman, readers answered with supplies to keep the the cards going.
She received more than 500 postage stamps, five dozen cards and a Lifeway gift certificate she used to buy 11 more boxes of cards. One of her sisters also gave her cash to buy even more cards and stamps.
“I have been overwhelmed by the response I’ve received from the article and blessed beyond measure,” Sherrard said. “I don’t guess I should have been surprised, though.”
While somewhat surprised by the gifts in response to her story, she has always known the Hardin County community has a “generous spirit.”
“They tend to jump in and help whenever they see a need,” she said.
Even without the support she said she would have continued sending cards, but the supplies have helped.
“Some women have a passion for shoes, purses, clothes — my passion is cards,” Sherrard said. “I’ve never worried about the cost, I’ve always felt that God blessed me with this ministry and as long as he wanted me to do it he would provide”
She believes God used the gifts from others to bless her ministry.
Above the cards and stamps, she believes the most important thing that’s come from her story is others telling her they will try harder to be more mindful of others. And some have begun sending cards themselves.
“A few words on a card can mean more than we will ever know,” Sherrard said.
She also received something a bit more personal after the story.
Her daughter’s friend went to a Karen Kingsbury conference. After reading that Sherrard liked the writer’s work, the woman bought Kingsbury’s latest book, “Unlocked,” at the conference as a gift for Sherrard. The author signed and included a personal message to Sherrard inside.
“How neat is that?” Sherrard said.
She also received a card with a book of stamps inside from a woman who lost her husband in September. In the card the woman said she hoped Sherrard would continue to send cards as long as possible.
“Her card really touched me,” Sherrard said. “She will be hearing from me once a month until September, and I plan on going to meet her one day.”
She’s also felt a strange sense of fame.
“Even now, when I go out somewhere, someone will comment on the article and they call me a celebrity,” Sherrard said. “I just let them know that God is the celebrity, I am just his worker.”
Becca Owsley can be reached at (270) 505-1741 or bowsley@thenewsenterprise.com.