When we were brand new, we felt pretty overwhelmed by “nonprofit world”. SO MANY THINGS TO DO, so many people to connect with, so many options – it was just really overwhelming, in a good way, but still a challenge on top of all of the other life and work things I had to do simultaneously.

Jordie DiFernando of Compassion Cards reached out to me so warmly and introduced her nonprofit to me and I felt instantly welcome in this world. What she does and who she is speaks volumes and undoubtedly changes lives. You may have seen her on the local news in Hampton Roads or read about her Facebook already, but if you haven’t let us introduce you to her and her organization in this blog interview today!


Organization Name: Compassion Cards

Where is your company located? We call Norfolk, VA, home, but we work with people all over Hampton Roads, the East Coast, and the U.S. at large!

How long has your nonprofit been around? Since February 2014 – we are celebrating five years in 2019!!

What is the mission of your company/nonprofit? We’re a diverse group of people who exist to embrace and empower humanity through the art of written words. We believe that people matter, and that they need to know. We want people to know that it’s gonna be okay, that they are loved, and also that it’s okay to not be okay. We do this by sending thousands of handwritten cards to people in all walks of life.

Who do you serve/who can you help? We serve lots of different people! Our cards go/have gone to school students, teachers, orphans, widows, the homeless community, human-trafficking victims, youth mentor programs, the LGBTQ+ community, first responders, immigrant and refugee children, and program staff and volunteers at various organizations. We partner with several different organizations to ensure that as many as possible can receive a kind word!

Anyone can help! We want our tables to be full of the diversity that makes up humanity, and we invite anyone to be a part of what we do! Volunteering with Compassion Cards can look like many different things! We can set up shop anywhere, and love to go where we’re needed. Throughout the year, we take on lots of different bookings! We do hands-on workshops with schools, churches, workplaces, social clubs, etc., school programming, house parties, and more! We also host community events, which are open to the public!

We’re booking fast! Summer is pretty much filled up, and we’re booking October 2019-February 2020 now! All public event info can be found on our website/Facebook!


What is your favorite story/experience from running your company/nonprofit you’d like to share? Picking one favorite is HARD! Over the last five years, there have been many moments that have taken my breath away! It isn’t hard to get me crying, and I spend a lot of time in happy tears, truly humbled by all that we’re able to do through Compassion Cards. I think one of my favorite experiences has been seeing the community we’ve formed out of Compassion Cards. Our organization has been run by people with different stories, like diseased/dying parents, sexual identity, spiritual crises, college drop-outs, care-giving, depression, thoughts of suicide, anxiety, body-image, and so much more. In each of our respective struggles, we’ve so often felt alone, but Compassion Cards changed that. In a space where many of us have felt isolation and loneliness in our different journeys, we’ve found a family. Compassion Cards united me with so many beautiful people; all of us just looking for a place to call home.

What is the biggest challenge you face or the hardest part about what you do? One of the biggest challenges for me has been creating boundaries for myself. I am a dreamer and a visionary, and I want to say yes to EVERYTHING Compassion Cards, but sometimes that’s not good for me, or for my team. I’ve worked with intention this year to make sure I’m not taking on too much for myself, and also that I’m not taking away from what my team gets to do. Delegating hasn’t always been my greatest strength, but I’ve worked very hard to do this in the best way for everyone involved in our work!

What do you want people to know? So much of work is just letting people know they matter. We want people to know that we need them to stay, and to share their stories with the world. If you’re reading this, and you’re feeling like what you bring to the table doesn’t matter, I want you to know that’s a big lie! Your life is important. Who you are matters. You belong. We want people to find the space they need to process whatever they’re walking through, knowing that we’re here to cheer them on! Compassion Cards feels like home, and you’re welcome to come inside.


Twitter: @compassioncards
Instagram: @compassioncards

If you have any questions, you can contact us at!


The H.E.R. SHELTER is doing GOOD WORK! | Partners

A couple of months ago, I hopped on my video software and created a video to send to a shelter telling them who I am and asking if they would allow us to help them. Our nonprofit Homeless Looks Like is actually created to fundraise for other nonprofits who help the homeless and we are working toward a structure of focusing on one nonprofit per quarter to HELP!

When I asked – SO MANY PEOPLE SAID H.E.R. Shelter – and what’s ironic is that they just recently re-opened a shelter for the homeless versus what they are notoriously known for which was domestic violence and abuse survivors. In Portsmouth, Virginia in December – we walked into a sweet and cozy shelter created to help the homeless get back on their feet and back on their own. A place to sleep, take care of themselves and eat. A safe place.

There is a lot more to what this environment is offering than just shelter. Hope and motivation are key factors in the mood that fills the air in this space. The room we did interviews in, a cool and coastal space with calming music, blue walls and comfortable seats is called the Empowerment Room and we loved that! We felt VERY welcome and we felt called to be there. It was incredible.

Here are a couple of important links below and also a LIST of EXACTLY what they need! Do you know anyone who could help with this? They would immensely appreciate!!!!

If anyone desires to donate time/treasure:
They can call Chris directly 252-202-4858 OR email: ; office 757-392-2167

Any monetary donations: H.E.R. Shelter Inc

Anyone desiring to come out and give a space a “face-lift”(Remodel) or Amazon something OR just donate clothing items, etc: 1900 Columbus Ave Portsmouth, Va 23704
They will happily provide a Donation Receipt that can be used during tax time as a charitable donation.

Donate link here:
Contact link here:
Home page: 

Major Needs:
 Kitchen Cabinet Hardware Replaced
 Kitchen Remodel (Paint kitchen, Flooring, Blinds)
 Refrigerators – Replace (2 Each)
 Living Room Remodel – Sofa, Love Seat, Blinds, Lighting lamp(s), Flooring, functional
computer desk that complements the space)
 Minor Window Repairs (all 9 rooms)
 Blinds (all 9 rooms)
 Gaps in Window / Ceiling (allows air and insect intrusion) All 9 rooms
 Functional Room Furniture (Chest-of-Drawers / 2-Drawer Armor w/ 2-Drawers) – 9
Rooms total
 Shelving Installed – (All Storage Closets, 5)
 Lighting throughout the building needs to be Serviced (Check the fuse / balance) some
bulbs will not light up – Light unit could be bad?? – Electrical /Lighting Technician
 Security Cameras – 8 additional cameras needed to close-loop to “non-covered” vital

The items listed below are used daily, weekly, and monthly and often have a high rate of

Cleaning supplies:
 Paper items (Paper Towels, Toilet Tissue)
 Garbage bags, large (55 gal & 35 gal )
 Floor cleaner (Fabuloso)
 Dusters
 3 Push Brooms
 Laundry detergent – PODS
 Bounce Dryer Sheets
 Clorox Wipes (4 pack)
 Dish Detergent
 Air Freshener
 Bleach
 Cleaning pads
 Bathroom and disinfectant cleaner
 Toilet bowl cleaner

RESTORE Homeless Shelter Needs:
(1900 Columbus Ave. Portsmouth, Va. 23702)

Personal hygiene
 Hand sanitizers
 Toothpaste and toothbrushes (adult and child)
 Men and Women deodorant and lotion
 Body Wash (for men and women)
 Hand soaps and bar soaps
 Shaving gel and razors
 Feminine sanitary supplies
 Underwear (for men and women) – New please..
 Towels and washcloths
 Bus Passes (HRT)
 Baby Pampers and wipes
 Socks (men and women) – New please
 Zip-lock bags (Quart and Gallon size)

List of things we need to purchase before clients can move in
• Bed Bug Covers – (50 Each)
• Sheets (Twin size) 18 Set
• Pillow cases – 36 Each
• Pillows – 10 Each
• Plates – 5 Set
• Silverware (Forks, Spoons, butter knives) – 4 Set

THANK YOU FOR HELPING OUR FRIENDS! Thank you for making a difference. Thank you for insisting that their stories matter 🙂

THANK YOU for showing up for Homeless Looks Like.

Warmly, Amanda, Amanda, Mike + Joe