Hallmark and CaringBridge Announce Strategic Agreement

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The two brands known for caring come together to help people support each other when they need it most.

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Compassion for people brings us together and inspires us to help them care for each other in meaningful ways.

CaringBridge, a nonprofit social network that keeps families and loved ones connected during any type of health event, today announced a strategic agreement with Hallmark Cards, Inc., the world’s leading greeting card brand. Through the collaboration, the two organizations will create co-branded content, product and services that will combine the two brands’ insights and expertise to help people.

“CaringBridge is the world’s largest online support network, and Hallmark is known for creative expression,” says Patti Streeper, vice president of corporate innovation in Hallmark’s consumer solutions division. “Compassion for people brings us together and inspires us to help them care for each other in meaningful ways.”

In one of their first projects together, Hallmark will create ways for CaringBridge visitors—family, friends, and caregivers—to leave guestbook messages with Hallmark words and images.

In November, Hallmark and CaringBridge will acknowledge National Family Caregivers Month by inviting people to submit their own ideas for support-themed greeting cards as one of Hallmark’s popular card-creation contests (http://www.hallmarkcontest.com/).

CaringBridge got its start when Sona Mehring agreed to help a close friend who had a premature baby keep friends and family updated. The website has become a primary way families share information during health events and bring a supportive community together.

“Loved ones come together to support each other on CaringBridge, but it can often be hard to know what to say,” says Sona Mehring, founder and CEO of CaringBridge. “Adding Hallmark’s expertise in this area will enhance the experience for our users and help amplify love, hope and compassion.”

In addition to collaborating in their traditional media, the two brands will seek new ways to help people to reach out to each other. “Our companies’ combined expertise and our users’ collective wisdom will come together in new ideas that feel authentic, relevant, hopeful and inspiring,” Streeper says. “We will explore new ventures to address the needs of people and their caring communities when they need it most.”

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About Hallmark Cards, Inc.
Hallmark makes the world a more caring place by helping people express what's in their hearts and spend time together - a privilege few other companies in the world enjoy. Hallmark greeting cards and other products are found in more than 39,000 retail outlets in the United States, including the network of flagship Hallmark Gold Crown® stores. The brand also reaches people online at Hallmark.com and on television through Hallmark Hall of Fame original movies and cable's top-rated Hallmark Channel. Worldwide, Hallmark offers products in more than 30 languages available in 100 countries. This privately held company is based in Kansas City, Mo., and is led by the third generation of the founding Hall family.

About CaringBridge
CaringBridge is a nonprofit organization offering many ways for people to care for each other during any type of health event. Its mission is to amplify the love, hope and compassion in the world, making each health journey easier. CaringBridge, started in 1997, provides protected online spaces with multiple privacy settings. It is available and accessible to anyone, anywhere at no cost. More than 46 million people visited the site in 2012, and more than half a million people connect through CaringBridge every day.

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Melissa Maggio
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