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We volunteer because we want to make a difference. We do it because of the personal satisfaction we get from helping others. We keep coming back because we love what we do. Yet it’s always nice to hear that we’re appreciated.
Of course, the best thank you is a personal one like a handwritten card or a face to face “thank you”. But there are lots of other ways to show appreciation for your priceless volunteers. Here are just a few:
- Invite a massage therapist to provide chair massages for volunteers.
- Arrange for discounts at local businesses.
- Ask your on-site children’s center to make thank you cards for volunteers.
- Send volunteers to seminars or provide onsite workshops.
- Host events involving food: ice cream social, picnic, breakfast, pizza party. Invite their families to join them.
- Offer free tickets to events: movie, concert, sporting event, museum.
- Send cards for their birthday or volunteer anniversary.
- Provide a free meal while volunteering.
- Host special activities for National Volunteer Week (3rd week in April).
- Thank volunteers in the employee newsletter.
- Provide free flu shots.
- Get a group of employees together to sing a thank you song at a volunteer get-together. Check out these great songs or write your own!
- Pay for a fun adult education class of their choice such as cooking, painting, or gardening. Ask them to share what they learned with the residents.
- Offer to write a letter of recommendation for a job application or a scholarship.
- Provide free child care during a volunteer meeting or event.
- Print business cards for each volunteer.
- Give each volunteer an item with the company logo to promote a sense of connection to the organization.
- Take pictures of volunteers in action throughout the year, then feature them in a slideshow at a volunteer event.
- Provide opportunities for residents and their families to write notes of appreciation to volunteers.
- Help your residents create little thank you gifts such as bookmarks, picture frames, sun catchers, or coasters.
I love to read Chicken Soup for the Soul books. This is one of my favorites, and I know your volunteers would enjoy it, too. (Click on the image for more information.)