Unique Local Charity Donates Trading Cards to Kids

Located here in Lawrenceburg is a very unique charity bringing smiles to kids throughout the regional area.  Commons4kids was started about 4 years ago by Jerry Milburn who has been a Lawrenceburg resident for 12 years.  The idea of the charity started when Jerry was cleaning out a closet and went through his large collection of baseball cards.  Having around 100,000 cards that were mostly just very common cards with little value, he decided to donate them to local children’s charities so kids in need can enjoy them.  But the charities weren’t very willing to accept them without him being a charity first.

So, Jerry started Commons4kids so he could donate his old common cards.  First donating 5,000 cards to Stewart Home School in Frankfort, he then went to Danville and donated over 50,000 to Sunrise Children’s Home.  The Advocate Messenger out of Danville wrote about the donation, and the story was picked up by the Associated Press.  Once that happened, his charity started taking off.

When Jerry’s original cards were gone, he started going around to garage sales and Craigslist and buying whole collections to donate more.  But, that didn’t last very long.  People across the country read about his charity and started sending cards to him.  Boxes and boxes of cards started showing up at his door every week.  He even went around to cities in our region picking up large collections that couldn’t be shipped.  So far, he has received cards from people in 44 different states, Italy, United Kingdom, and Canada.

With 100’s of thousands of cards ending up at his house, Jerry needed to find more ways to donate the cards.  He started branching out and working with other charities and organizations all around the area.  He now works with numerous Boys and Girls Clubs, YMCAs, and little leagues to help distribute the cards.  He even has worked with a number of police departments where cops hand out to kids bags of cards stored in their cruisers.

As the cards kept being delivered at his house, Jerry found that quite a number of the collections were including valuable cards.  Not sure whether the valuable cards were donated by mistake, he made it a routine to always contact the donator and confirm that they wanted to donate that card.  Once he has made sure of the donation, he then sets them aside so he can mix these special cards in for various donations.

Jerry also started receiving cards from different sports, like tennis and wrestling.  He even has gotten cards related to Star Wars and Craftsman tools.  With these non-traditional cards, he wanted to make sure they went to kids who would actually be interested in them.  So, he now goes to different venues related to these unusual cards and hands them out to kids there.

After donating cards for four years, Jerry has found the cards really help kids that are in disadvantaged situations.  He said that it helps bring a semblance of a normal childhood to so many.  Being able to trade the cards and have fun really helps these kids.

Although Jerry accepts donations of more cards, he is currently in need of finding more places to donate the continual flow of cards.  If you know of or work at an organization that helps children and would like to receive a donation of cards to hand out, please contact Jerry at his website, commons4kids.org.

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