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Blog > Postcrossing Spotlight: MichelleW from Texas, USA

Michelle (aka MichelleW) hails from Dallas in the state of Texas. She’s an advocate for children’s cancer research, and describes herself as the proverbial “cat lady” in her neighbourhood – with 4 cats and a cat-themed mailbox to prove it! :)

Here is what she had to say to our interview questions:

How did you come across Postcrossing? What got you hooked?

In 2010, I was recovering from cancer treatments and my good friend, Aurora, showed me this “new thing” she was doing. She explained the process and showed me how to set up a profile. She kept saying, “just be patient, ” when it seemed like forever for the first card to arrive. And then it come and when I got the first card and then the second…I was hooked – completely! It was only the start of what has been an unbelievable experience.

Do you have any other interesting hobbies?

Besides Postcrossing I enjoy some arts and crafts and like to find other members who like handmade cards. If I’m not writing cards, I’m reading a book, watering the plants or at the movies. I also try to support children’s cancer research hospitals by participating in walks or sending cards to kids in the hospital. I met far too many children during my time in treatment. I also have a small blog that I write mainly to show off the cards I send and receive every month!

Show us your mailbox, your mailman/mailwoman, your postoffice or the place where you post or keep your postcards!
MichelleW's postcards MichelleW's postcards MichelleW's postcards

I’m embarrassed to show you where I keep my cards-to-send! I have enough cards to send to the entire Northern Hemisphere. I started storing received cards in albums, but realized that was going to get too expensive – so I ended up with attractive boxes that are categorized by cards I get from the official Postcrossing site and those I get in Round Robins – my passion! The mailman was too shy for a picture.

MichelleW postbox and mailbox

I had fun finding different styles of letter drops during a trip to Canada this summer. And I was very happy to find my cat mailbox since I am without doubt, the cat lady of our neighborhood. My youngest cat loves to paw through the cards.

Show and tell us about your favorite received postcard to date, and what makes it special.

I have received literally thousands of cards through Postcrossing, but there is one that I will always remember and not for the front, but for the message, which said,

"Saturday, March 12, 2011
Hello from Yokohama, Japan! You probably heard about the big earthquake we had here yesterday. My husband I weren’t hurt but it was very scary and we were without power for 8 hours. I hope things go back to normal soon.

Have a great day!,
Lauren

Now Lauren is a Postcrosser. I’m not sure I’d be writing cards after a day after such a major catastrophe!

Have you inspired anyone else to join Postcrossing or start collections of their own?

I hope so – but I can’t prove it! I’ve found that you raise eyebrows in stores when you buy 30 cards or so in one transaction. I’ve had several people ask me what I do with them and many have written down the site’s address. I hope they joined. It’s amusing to have people ask, “You actually mail them…like with a stamp??”

What is it your favorite part of the Postcrossing process?

At first it was receiving, but now I love the process of reading profiles and trying to choose a card that really fits the addressee. I also print my labels with graphics for that person – whether it is their avatar or country’s flag. When it is registered, I get a truly warm feeling in my heart when someone replies, “It’s exactly what I love and that’s my picture!” I also have to admit that I get a certain twinge of satisfaction when my cards are marked as “favorite.”

Is there anything that you are passionate about?

I am passionate about children’s cancer and cancer research for “orphan” cancers. My experience with a rare form of the Big C made me realize how much is left to learn. To see a five-year-old with a shaved head, big scar and waiting for radiation will break your heart but also amaze you when you observe their determination and laughter through their pain. I still keep up with one young man who beat a very deadly brain tumor. They fight so hard and I try to give whatever I can to help researchers with their work.

This year, politics and environmental issues have been uppermost in my life. I’m a liberal tree-hugger, which is not common in a conservative state like Texas! My efforts are geared primarily in reduction of fossil fuel usage and saving native animals such as the grey wolf from total extinction in the US and Mexico by big-business ranchers and petroleum interests who destroy their habitats. I can get rather heated on the subject of conservation.

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61 comments so far

Vagabond_Trader, United States of America
Yay how exciting to read your spotlight Michelle :) you were actually the first person to ever receive my postcard and you are a fellow Texan :) I think that is so neat
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maleko, United States of America
Michelle sounds absolutely awesome, and maybe one day I'll have the pleasure of sending her a postcard. It takes a special strength to be the liberal tree-hugging cat lady in a red red state, not to mention to wage war against cancer meanwhile!
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zasa, Switzerland
so nice to see and read about michelle!
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florencen, Australia
Nice to see that I am not alone , getting strange looks for buying so many postcards.It is always nice to read about fellow postcrossers
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soumya1, India
Nice to read about Michelle. I wish her good luck.
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AllSerene, United Kingdom
It's lovely to read more about you Michelle! I've had a few lovely cards from you, both from round robins and a recent official card.
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MissMaple, Netherlands
Wonderful interview Michelle!! :-) :-)
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sildiko, Canada
Glad that God brought you through cancer. Keep healthy and well.
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Nordbaer, Germany
happy to see you here, dearest MoM!
:-)))
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Roos, Germany
Nice to see you Michelle!
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Lagmar, Ukraine
Good luck to Micelle and her cats! :) This interview is very warm and nice!
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if0815, Germany
Great interview Michelle!
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Elina_M, Russia
Wonderful interview, Michelle! So great that you've shared with all of us :))). Thank you!
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Goyesca, Germany
Michelle! Great to see you here :))) There is a cat card travelling to you from Germany, my dear friend! Hugs!
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ebreah, Malaysia
Michelle you are going to be sorely missed in the RR.
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starkodama, Japan
Dear Michelle, I'm floored and flattered that you'd choose my little card as your most memorable one!

We folks here in Yokohama actually had it really easy compared to the people in the harder-hit areas, and things ARE in fact back to normal. But when I wrote that card, there were blackouts and food shortages and radiation fears and all kinds of unpleasant things.

Miraculously, though, the Japanese postal service did not back down! PostCrossing really helped me get through those times, both by sending cards and by receiving nice messages from other PostCrossers asking if we were alright. :-D

(The card is here, if anyone is curious to see it: http://www.postcrossing.com/postcards/JP-156937 Thank you, Michelle, for scanning it for me!)
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MaryGio, Italy
Nice to read about you Michelle! I wish you all the best!
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bandia, United States of America
I have received many wonderful cards from Michelle through forum trades/RRs - your personalised touch to everything you send makes them so special - thank you again!
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AlexandraSPb, Russia
What a nice interview!!! Hi, Michelle, happy to hear from you!
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Gogge1, Denmark
Great interview. And it's so great to know that I'm not the only one who have enough "cards to send" for the entire Northern Hemisphere.
I'm one of those, who get strange looks in the shops when I buy postcards too. And the people in the shops often asks me questions like: Are you going to write and send all these cards? Well theese cards will keeps you busy writing for a while eeh? etc.
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isagv, Germany
Lovely interview. All the best for you and keep on with what you are doing for the kids! :)
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Sophie54, Netherlands
How cool to read about my card friend from across the big pond. So nice to get a little peek into your postcrossing life.
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islander61, Bahamas
Very nice. Do wish we could have seen the kitty-cat mailbox though :)
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JetteLise, Netherlands
Reading this interview, I do get a truly warm feeling in my heart Michelle! This is YOU! Your work as an advocate for children's cancer research is grateful !! HUGS **
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ARod26, United States of America
Great interview Michelle! I'm so glad you've enjoyed postcrossing through the years. You are a wonderful and thoughtful person and i am honored to be called your friend. You are the only friend who understands and shares my excitement and enthusiasm upon finding or receiving postcards, mail and learning of other cultures. :) luv ya!
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Pstcrdldy, United States of America
Such a great story. Like you, Michelle, I think I have enough postcards to send to the entire Northern Hemisphere and then some! And I also get strange looks when I go into a souvenir/gift shop and come out with 100 cards or more! Best wishes to you in your continuing survivor's journey and your ongoing dedication to cancer research.
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emotis, United States of America
I'm so happy to see Michelle featured in the spotlight!! :) Awesome friend with incredible taste in football players. :) You are wonderful dear Michelle!
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pucky, Netherlands
So good Michelle, to read and see your part of the postcrossing-fun! Keep well, my dear!
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honeybee, Austria
Thank you, Michelle, for your nice and interesting interview. I wish you good luck.
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rosenbusch, Germany
An interesting interview, dear Michelle...
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wwwera, Israel
thank you for this interview! very touching.
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phuleshouse, Canada
My friend MzTex, wonderful interview, many hugs and will be exchanging cards again on forum. Take care of yourself. Your friend from the praires of Canada.
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sandee86, United States of America
Michelle, I enjoyed your interview. You sound like a very positive, beautiful woman. What is a round robin?
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Bluma, United States of America
Michelle- What a great interview my friend. It was nice to learn more about you. I covet your cat mailbox!
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YiliLoh, Malaysia
All the best Michelle! Thanx for sharing the interview!
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moonlessnite, Canada
I smiled as I read your name...and instantly recongised whom it would be...i have always appreciated your upbeat style and personal touch on the postcards and u2us over the year(s).
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Luziaceleste, Brazil
Michelle, thaere is so much we really can do in this world, and many times we just see all the damage being done... Thanks for your example of determination and faith!
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idus, Germany
Great and interesting interview and photos!
*Michelle, keep going!*
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marthae, Mexico
Nice to read about you Michelle. All the best yo you!!
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lucymonty, United Kingdom
Great interview with a fellow cat-loving 'liberal tree-hugger'!! That postcard from Japan is amazing :-) love the cat postbox too!
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Robin67, Austria
Best wishes to you Michelle! :-) I am another one of those people who have enough cards to send out to the entire Northern Hemisphere, hahaha! Last week I've been away for 2 nights and have bought 200+ cards! :-D

You left a - much appreciated - comment on a card of one of my sweet tiger friends. I'll never forget that! :-)
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silviavm, Netherlands
Wow Michelle, I love your story here!!!
Nice to know a bit more of you!
We will meet again soon in your Black and White RR :)
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volvomom, United States of America
So awesome to see one of my favorite Postcrossers here! You are one of the best! Loves ya! ^..^
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bornokyo, Philippines
Cool story! *tears*
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nisnoopy3, Malaysia
Nice to meet you here, Michelle! XD I'm glad to received a postcard from you. :) :)
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Tripeira, Portugal
Great interview! It was a delight to read it...
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dtmack, United States of America
Hi Michelle! I am also from Big D but live in Wales, MA siince 1987. I absolutely enjoy postcrossing and have been using up all of my post cards for this endeavor. My piles of cards are building up, those leaving and those that have arrive. I also sent a card day after Hurricane Sandy and received a swap card also same day. Seems like I was on the same wavelength as people I send to.....finally, I also have 4 cats! Take good care of yourself and keep on postcrossing, your story is inspirational. Diana Mackiewicz
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Stasele, Netherlands
Very interesting interview. What a rich personality. I'd love to send you a card some day. Keep up your good work!
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KaiKitten, United States of America
Thanks for the great interview, Michelle. I have two cats and a son with special needs so I understand the struggles with fighting a terrible disease and related issues. I hope we have an official or unofficial exchange someday. - Kai
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ReginaC, Brazil
You are so dedicate and have a good heart,Michelle! God bless
you!
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nugget, United States of America
Enjoyed the inverview. Thanks for sharing with us!
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canbcpost, Canada
Michelle nice to see you here and learn more about you :) The special touches that you add to your cards always make me smile, hugs to you
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chrissybaby, Ireland
Great to see you here Michelle :)
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fisherman, Ireland
Lovely to see you here Michelle and thanks for telling us more about yourself
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nediam_nori, Finland
Michelle, your interview was really interesting. Here we see a true postcrosser :)
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DiannaMacau, Macao
Greetings from Macau. Thank you for sharing. Happy Postcrossing.
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DiannaMacau, Macao
Can I send you a card ?
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greatgma, United States of America
I really love the interview sections and yours was particularly enjoyable. I'm glad to hear that the Big C is not keeping you down and love your work for the children. I too am a liberal from a red state(Arkansas)and know how frustrating that can be.
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riledup, United States of America
Having exchanged many cards in RR's with you (I'm "LetsGoPens" there) it was great to learn more about you, I'm so glad they chose you for a spotlight! Keep up the great work with everything you do!!
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PilotOne, Portugal
Hi Michelle, it was a great pleasure to read your Spotlight Interview about our hobby! I also would wish to say you are a BIG example of a very friendly person!
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reader22, United Kingdom
Just found this. I have swapped lots of cards with Michelle, she is an amazing and inspiring person, love the pictures, you are very deseving of your spotlight. :-)
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