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Good, Better, Best

Courtney Wilson

Gift2Words 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 volunteers.

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 on it.

 

PRESENTATION TIPS:

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 fun.
    Wrap things in tissue paper with a curly ribbon, or grab your paper shredder
    and run a few fun colors through it to create cushion for your gifts.

  • CREATIVITY-Get creative with your packaging. Take-out containers
    (try MrTakeOutBags.com), vellum bags, flowerpots, popcorn containers,
    and metal or sand buckets are inexpensive ways to make things interesting.
    Decoupage quart-sized paint cans, and your volunteers can use them
    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 make great
    containers to package gifts in.
    Learn origami; better yet, buy a book for youth group members and ask
    them to help you fold boxes out of interesting papers.

  • THEME-Use your theme and think outside of the box. For example, if
    you have a Summit theme, take simple brown paper bags, dip the bottom
    of an old hiking boot in tempera paint, and use it to walk all over the bags
    to make prints!

  • KIDS' TOUCH-Let kids color on white paper bags and use them to
    package your appreciation gifts.

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