Gurram makes handmade cards to support COVID-19 relief, create connections


Sydney Alper, Editor-in-Chief

Using a calligraphy pen, Sanjana Gurram (11) adds the final touches to one of her homemade cards. To purchase a card, customers give a donation to the WHO.

Picking up one of her calligraphy pens, Sanjana Gurram (11) carefully begins to draw out the word superhero. Around each letter, she pens the words, “Strong, Undefeatable, Persistent, gEnerous, Reliable, Helpful, sElfless, couRageous, idOl.”

This calligraphy is one of the final in creating handmade cards sent out to healthcare professionals and the people still working even with the threat of COVID-19. Customers can also choose to send cards to family or friends as a way of reaching out.

Gurram said that making cards, whether for clubs or for her friends’ birthdays, was always something people seemed to appreciate. Now, however, she wanted to do something to help with the COVID-19 relief effort. So, four weeks ago, Gurram started her non-profit business, Wellness Creations Company.

“We have the ability to do something with our time [like making cards], so I think it’s really important to attempt to help,” she said.

She said that especially because contact with loved ones is limited during this time, it was even more important for her to make these cards.

“Cards also provide two purposes: one, it’s a nonprofit, so all proceeds go to COVID relief,” Gurram said. “But also they’re a good way of connecting to people in a meaningful way, especially because we’re quarantined.”

Each card is custom-ordered from the three different design options Gurram has created, and the purchasers choose a message to have written in the card. According to Gurram, the process for creating each design format took almost three days, with thought going into everything from the color scheme to spacing to the purpose of the card.

“It’s really all about spacing, and how colors work together and things like that,” she said. “What I’ve been doing to make formats is just thinking about the purpose that each card could essentially fulfill because the first card was a general wellness card that could be sent to family. After that, I started thinking more and more about who these cards should go out to. That’s how I devised my second format, which was our superhero card, which is essentially for anyone who’s still working right now.”

To pay for these cards, she only requires proof from the customer that they have made a donation of at least $5 to the World Health Organization (WHO).

After researching an organization where donations would have the most impact, Gurram said she chose the WHO because it is making efforts on a global scale to administer medical resources and fight the virus. As for having her customers donate directly to the WHO, Gurram said she chose this in the hopes that it would be a more fulfilling experience for both parties.

“I don’t want to be the middleman in terms of that donation,” she said. “I want them to actually donate themselves because not only does that take any sketchiness out of the payment process, it also introduces this feeling of fulfillment and gratitude that you’re actually donating.”

So far, Gurram has raised $100 for the WHO through her organization, but plans to increase that amount up to $1,000 before the end of the quarantine period. While she promotes her business through Instagram, she still said that her favorite card so far was one not ordered by a customer. This card was a sample, created for her parents.

“Yes, you FaceTime people, and yes, you call them, but it shows a whole different level of thought when you actually send them something that’s very appreciative and very custom.”

-Sanjana Gurram (11)

“That was really cool because I got to thank them on a public platform, but also just essentially dedicate the cards to them,” Gurram said.

One of the people who ordered a card was Daniel Shaw (11), who sent it to his older brother Robbie.

“I wanted to send a card to someone because it seemed like a good different way to communicate in a world dominated by online meetings, as well as a good way to pitch in to the WHO,” he said.

Although his brother has yet to receive the card ordered, Shaw said he really appreciated the work Gurram had put into the card.

“It was really cool,” he said. “I haven’t seen a hand crafted card like that for some time, and it was really awesome to see the one that Sanjana made for me.”

At the end of the day, Gurram said that her goal is to create a connection between people who are struggling to do so in a time of social-distancing.

“[The business] is a really good way of sending meaningful cards to anyone you’re thinking about,” Gurram said. “Yes, you FaceTime people, and yes, you call them, but it shows a whole different level of thought when you actually send them something that’s very appreciative and very custom.”