When I receive a handwritten note or thank you card from someone I've helped or even talked to, it ratchets them up a notch in my eyes and keeps them in my memory. If it's a personalized note card that has their name embossed (and the person isn't an executive who gets personalized cards as part of his/her job), it ratchets that person up several notches in my eyes.
Email may be the means of communication today, but it's still too casual in my opinion. Take the time and make the effort to write out a personal note to people you meet, speak with, work/volunteer for, etc. I may glance over an email from someone just because I'm rushing through my day, but if I receive a handwritten note, I ALWAYS read it, usually a couple of times. A handwritten note conveys a message to me that the person sat down and took the time to try to make a personal connection. They weren't just blasting off another email in a 200 email day.
I know there are other stationery stores out there, but an easy one, and one I've used for years, is www.americanstationery.com. It's easy and relatively inexpensive. If you can't afford professionally made cards, there are alternatives. With today's easy to use graphic design add-ons and programs, many people can even make their own professional looking cards with supplies from Staples.
Handwritten notes are a small thing, but they're a big deal to me and others that I know in the industry. In talking with colleagues, it's amazing how few (almost none) of the people interviewing for entry level and next level jobs don't send handwritten thank you notes after an interview. In an email generation, handwritten notes are another way to distinguish yourself from others, especially if you're just starting in the sports industry.