Words of Encouragement
You can encourage your volunteers with nothing but heartfelt
words. These "gifts" may be the easiest on your budget and yet
leave the deepest impression.
Good: Ask your pastor to write a short note of
thanks and encouragement on simple note cards to your
Better: Write a personal note pointing out
things that you've noticed about each volunteer and how much he or
she loves kids.
Best: Buy simple photo albums with pockets you
can slip photos and cards into. Hand out index cards to parents and
families and ask them to write personal notes to their children's
teachers and assistants. Slip the notes into the albums and include
a photo of the volunteer in the front.
Best Yet: Another option is to set up a
dedicated line where people can call in and record a message for
the volunteer, then you download the messages onto iTunes and burn
CDs of the messages. This service is available through
lifeonrecord.com. Imagine a volunteer being able to hear little
voices say, "Thank you for teaching me about Jesus!" for years to
come. You could even design a CD label with a picture of the kids
How you give the gift is often as appreciated as what you give.
Here are simple ways to package gifts that'll add pizazz to
whatever it is you're giving.
- COLOR-Adding colored paper to gifts makes them look more
Wrap things in tissue paper with a curly ribbon, or grab your paper
and run a few fun colors through it to create cushion for your
- CREATIVITY-Get creative with your packaging. Take-out
(try MrTakeOutBags.com), vellum bags, flowerpots,
and metal or sand buckets are inexpensive ways to make things
Decoupage quart-sized paint cans, and your volunteers can use
later as pencil cans. Watch major discount stores for sales at the
end of each
season, and buy the bright plastic cups that are left over. These
containers to package gifts in.
Learn origami; better yet, buy a book for youth group members and
them to help you fold boxes out of interesting papers.
- THEME-Use your theme and think outside of the box. For example,
you have a Summit theme, take simple brown paper bags, dip the
of an old hiking boot in tempera paint, and use it to walk all over
to make prints!
- KIDS' TOUCH-Let kids color on white paper bags and use them
package your appreciation gifts.