CHERRYVILLE, NC (WBTV) - The National Greeting Card Association estimates Americans purchase 6.5 billion greeting cards a year.
By the time you're done with this story you'll be convinced, Thomas Lail is half of that statistic.
"This is my Christmas card collection, it's low right now," Thomas said referring to a stack of cards that would make a Hallmark store green with envy.
It's a habit most people only wish they could pick up. Not a day goes by, that Thomas doesn't send somebody a card for something.
For Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentines Day, St. Patrick's Day, Birthdays, graduations, anniversaries, if he's met you at least once, doesn't matter where you are Thomas will send you a card. "I got three people that's in prison I send them a card."
At Christmas, he sends out 700 cards. That's almost 350 dollars in postage. As for the cost of the cards, he loses track of that. Besides, it's not about the money he says.
"You get something that you can touch and read and it's from someone that cares for you," Thomas said.
It's the most genuine kind of sentiment, from a most genuine man.
Talking about her brother's card-giving actually brings his sister Janet to tears, "He's such a sweet person and nobody really knows just how much he does. Nobody really knows how much love he has in his heart. For everybody. Not just some people but he sends everybody a card that he knows."
In March, by an unfortunate chance, Thomas found out just how much his caring meant to others. Doctors told him he had cancer. The word spread. Thomas's mailbox almost couldn't handle the news.
Surgery got rid of that cancer, but not before reminding Thomas just why he does what he does.
You might say this world could use more greeting cards, But maybe we'd be better of with more Thomases.
By the way, this Thursday June 5th, Thomas turns 49. If you'd like to send him a birthday greeting, you can mail it to:
Home Folks Cafe c/o Thomas Lail
209 E Main St, Cherryville, NC 28021