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Thanks a Million!

Christine Yount Jones

Well, maybe not quite a million, but here are oodles of quick ideas that will help you celebrate your volunteers.

  1. Give a gift certificate from a local restaurant.
  2. Have children use a permanent marker to sign a thank-you T-shirt.
  3. Give 2 movie tickets.
  4. Give a small plant.
  5. Personalize a tote bag.
  6. Clean a teacher's classroom.
  7. Fill a coffee mug with a bag of ground flavored coffee.
  8. Create a bulletin board that features volunteers serving children.
  9. Have Psalm 71:18 printed in calligraphy and framed for a volunteer: "Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come."
  10. Give Whoppers candies with this note: "Thanks for your whopper ideas!"
  11. Give a relaxing bath experience with a gift of bubble bath or scented, floating candles.
  12. Give a prayer journal with a personalized note written in the inside jacket.
  13. Give a cookie cutter with a note that says, "Thank you for molding kids' lives."
  14. Give a seed packet with a note that says, "Wow! You're planting God's Word in young children's hearts!"
  15. Give plastic visors with "Top Volunteer" painted on them.
  16. Give a Mounds candy bar with this note: "You're making a mound of difference!"
  17. Call a different team member each day just to see how the person is doing.
  18. Ask for reports on past prayer requests.
  19. Go to lunch with a volunteer -- a different person each week.
  20. Invite a volunteer over for dinner.
  21. Send an encouraging note with a Scripture verse.
  22. Share a valuable children's ministry resource.
  23. Offer to help a volunteer move -- better yet, plan a moving party for a team member.
  24. Take your volunteer on a retreat.
  25. Send a thank-you card with a personalized note.
  26. Plan a team fun day where the church picks up the tab.
  27. Establish convenient parking places for "volunteers only."
  28. Create a comfortable coffee area for volunteers only. Provide fresh pastries and fruit.
  29. Give a Bar None candy bar with this note: "Bar none, you're the best!"
  30. Greet each volunteer by name.
  31. Smile.
  32. Personalize greetings with statements such as "Hey, friend!"
  33. Mention a person's contribution in your church bulletin or newsletter.
  34. Provide child care for volunteer training times.
  35. Use chalk to write volunteer affirmations on the sidewalk leading to your church so everyone can celebrate the good things you volunteers do.
  36. For a volunteer who coordinates a big event or program, send a bouquet of roses to that volunteer at church.
  37. Write a personalized letter from Jesus to the volunteer.
  38. Believe in people. Say "I know you can do it!"
  39. Rent a horse-drawn carriage to parade your volunteers around your church.
  40. Give a volunteer his or her favorite dessert.
  41. Give Life Saver candies with this note: "You're a real lifesaver."
  42. Frame a favorite photo for a volunteer.
  43. Clip and send a funny cartoon or joke that a volunteer will appreciate.
  44. Give a journal for a volunteer to keep track of the paths of god in their ministry.
  45. Hug a volunteer.
  46. Give your volunteers children's ministry "business" cards.
  47. Plaster a thank-you note on a marquee.
  48. Give a book of stamps with this note: "You're a special delivery from God!"
  49. Give a container of wild berries that you picked yourself. Attach this note: "You're berry special!"
  50. Give a certificate for 18 holes of golf to a golfer with this note: "You're a hole-in-one for our children's ministry!"
  51. Give a new fishing lure to someone who loves fishing with this note: "Our children's ministry is hooked on you!"
  52. Volunteer to baby-sit while a couple goes out for a date.
  53. Wash a volunteer's car -- and clean the inside.
  54. Offer to do one task for a volunteer that'll reduce her stress, such as running errands.
  55. Give a bag of peanuts with this note: "We're nuts about you! Thanks for bringing your kids out of their shell."
  56. Mow a volunteer's yard -- or in the fall you can rake leaves.
  57. Hold a thank-you card shower for a special volunteer.
  58. "Kidnap" a volunteer for breakfast.
  59. Take kids over to week a volunteer's garden.
  60. Give the gift of a back massage from a professional massage therapist.
  61. Give a coupon for a latte and scone at a trendy coffee shop.
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