The Cheapest Volunteer Appreciation We Ever Did…and Also the Most Meaningful

The Cheapest Volunteer Appreciation We Ever Did…and also the Most Meaningful

Volunteers are the lifeblood of Kid’s Ministry.

They enable us to create safe environments, interact with kids and parents on a personal level regardless of size, exponentially multiply our influence, and that’s just scraping the surface.

Something all of us who work in Kids’ Ministry understand is the importance of appreciating our volunteers.

Yet it can also become difficult because the easiest appreciations are often the most expensive, and least expensive appreciations are often hugely time-consuming.

So what if you could get a big win under your belt with your volunteers (up to 100 of them) for under $20 total?

I know that seems like a tall order and an over promise, but at least for the volunteers at our church, it turned out even better than we thought it would.

It all started with one of our volunteers wondering if we could have the kids make thank you videos for their leaders during their Small Group time on Sunday.

We couldn’t really figure out the logistics of that (but if you know an easy and simple way to do this, let me know!), so we thought what if we had kids write thank you cards instead?

Then we thought what if we also included parents?

That’s where we settled, and here’s what we did:

Step 1: Purchase thank you cards.


But here’s a link to 100 cards and envelopes from Amazon (currently $15.77) that are actually pretty nice…and colorful:

Step 2: Pick a Sunday.

Aim for a Sunday in which you expect good attendance, so as many families as possible are involved.

Step 3: Ensure all volunteers get a card.

We did this by putting out a few tables where parents do pick up.

On each table, we spread out the thank you cards.

On every card, we put a sticky note with a volunteer’s name on it.

Every volunteer got a sticky note, so every volunteer would get at least one card.

Also put out extra cards on each table, so families can write more than one card for volunteers whose sticky note was already taken.

Step 4: Give instructions at pick up.

At pickup let parents know that the tables are for writing thank you notes to their kids’ leaders.

Prompt them to write at least one thank you note and more if possible.

Station one or two volunteers at the tables to bring families over and facilitate card writing.

Also, put instructions on the tables.

Instructions we included were: 1) Write your first card from the sticky note options, so every volunteer gets a card; 2) Be specific in your thanks, not general; 3) You may write more than one card; 4) Place your card in an envelope, address it to the volunteer, and leave it on the table when finished.

Step 5: Deliver the cards.

This is where you get to do double appreciation and make the thank you doubly meaningful.

Over the next several Sundays after the cards have been written, deliver them by hand.

When you deliver them by hand, take one or two minutes to add your personal appreciation.

Be specific in your appreciation.

If you’re not able to be specific, ask someone to deliver the card with you who can be specific (this will also help you get to know some of your volunteers better).

Application Questions:

1. When can you have families write cards to your leaders?

2. If you’re part of a larger church and don’t know all your volunteers, who else do you need to include in delivery?

Add your voice: What is a way you appreciate your volunteers that you think would be helpful for other leaders to hear?

This article originally appeared here.

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