By: Karla Hovde
Bonnie Humke will tell you, “It only takes a minute to send uplifting words to let someone know they are not alone.” She is passionate about making it easy for people to share messages of hope and comfort with those who may need support.
Humke is a member of Little Prairie UMC in the town of Dundas, about 45 miles south of the Twin Cities. She is also an artist and photographer. In 2015, at age 70, she started an e-greeting card company called KomfortKardz. The cards can be used for any occasion, but they are especially intended for individuals who are facing life’s most difficult challenges.
Humke said the e-cards represent a gesture that “might be just the lifeline a friend or loved one needed to make it through another day.”
Each e-card consists of an image—either one of Humke’s own photos or drawings, or one the sender uploads—and a short message from the sender. The card is then emailed to the recipient. Sending a card costs $1, and all proceeds go to local charities.
The process of creating and sharing KomfortKardz with the world has helped Humke grow in her faith and put her faith into action. She believes God has been nudging her to use her artistic talents to benefit others and said bringing hope and comfort to others is her calling.
“I could not escape God’s promptings,” she said. “[The words of] Matthew 5:15-16 kept repeating themselves over and over and over in my mind: ‘Don't hide your light under a bushel.’”
An experience dating back to her teen years provided the inspiration for Humke to create KomfortKardz. At 18, she was diagnosed with a serious illness that sent her to a hospital’s intensive care unit. This experience made her feel lost and confused, and she didn’t feel supported by the church she attended at the time. But she did feel God's presence throughout her journey. Humke remembers hearing doctors and nurses walking in and out of her hospital room, checking vitals and medications. Late one night, a set of footsteps came to her bedside.
“Very lovingly and very gently, this person began to stroke my arm, letting me know everything would be all right,” Humke said. “I have no idea who this person was, but I have never forgotten this compassionate, humane gesture of kindness.” She vowed that she would try to be a beacon of light to others, like that person was for her.
KomfortKardz can be sent for any reason, but Humke believes they are especially meaningful to those acting as caregivers, dealing with a mental or physical illness, preparing or recovering from surgery, grieving a loved one or pet, or navigating other difficult times.
“Sometimes it feels awkward or intrusive to speak to a person face-to-face,” said Humke. “A KomfortKard allows people a platform to reach out quickly and instantly across emotional, personal, and geographic boundaries. Any minute, any hour, when someone needs you the most—you can send encouraging messages of support.”
Ultimately, Humke hopes that her cards help bring hope and compassion to a hurting world.
“I envision people sending little e-cards of encouragement and virtual hugs throughout the day,” said Humke. “We can be the catalyst to help heal a broken world.”
You can give KomfortKardz a try by clicking here.
Karla Hovde is the communications specialist for the Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church.
Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church