Holiday Cards Fund Good Cause

The History of Christmas and Chanukah Cards, Our Geezers and NAVH in San Francisco.
It all began with a little boy who was born with a pigment defi­ciency called Albinism. His mother, Lorraine Marchi, discov­ered that although partial vision was far from rare, chil­dren and adults had a strong tendency to hide it and there were no large print books avail­able for them to read. She formed a committee to print large print books for chil­dren and later for adults. Lorraine learned the printing game and began to print on an offset press at a local San Fran­cisco hospital. Then she persuaded an orga­ni­za­tion to buy her a two color press which she installed in the base­ment of her home in Laurel Heights. Lorraine attracted many volun­teers to expand the book printing oper­a­tion and then went on to form National Aid to Visu­ally Hand­i­capped or NAVH — later known as the National Asso­ci­a­tion for Visu­ally Handicapped.
Harriet Hunter was one of the early volun­teers and she knew that funds for the strug­gling orga­ni­za­tion were needed to continue printing the books and offering guides and visual aids to millions of “low-vision” people. So, ener­getic Lorraine solicited OUR Harriet, Alice Harth and Jane Kris­tiansen to find artists who would contribute their talent in designing Christmas and Chanukah cards.

A few of our Geezer contrib­u­tors were: Fred Meinke, Dick Moore, Annie Thompson, Jane Oka, Bill Hyde, Lowell Herrero, Char­lotte Stevenson, Mike Dattel, Alice Harth, Harriet Hunter and Jane Kris­tiansen. Many of these artists and volun­teers would work on week­ends to help Lorraine print and fold the cards in the Summer and Fall to be ready for the holiday sales. There were full color cata­logs sent out prior to that time which were also printed in the base­ment. Several years later the cards were printed profes­sion­ally and for many years were collected by supporters of NAVH.

Click on the image for a larger view

Click on the image for a larger view

The money brought from sales of cards helped the orga­ni­za­tion stay afloat. Lorraine passed away in 2011 but her vision to help “Hard of Seeing” people continues here in San Fran­cisco and New York.






This NAVH history and collec­tion of cards is shared by Jane Kristiansen.

Note: Only a few cards were avail­able for 1963. The collec­tions for years 1964 to 1966 are mostly complete. The only example for 1967, is my card which luckily we sold at great quan­tity to Thomas C. Lynch, the 25th Attorney General of Cali­fornia, appointed Attorney General by Governor Pat Brown in August of 1964.

Next December, I plan to show addi­tional collec­tions of NAVH cards.

Ann Thompson