National Volunteer Appreciation Week Ideas

National Volunteer Appreciation Week Ideas
April 5, 2018 Bob D'Ambrosio

With National Volunteer Week scheduled for April 7 – 13, you have the opportunity to affirm the volunteers who serve in your ministry and community.

Here are a few ideas to get you started.

  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 to an inspirational film. (Several coming up this month!)
  4. Personalize a tote bag.
  5. Fill a coffee mug with a bag of their favorite ground flavored coffee.
  6. Create a display or kiosk in your lobby that features volunteers serving in action.
  7. Give Whoppers candies with this note: “Thanks for your whopper service to our church!”
  8. Give a relaxing bath experience with a gift of bubble bath or scented, floating candles.
  9. Give a prayer journal with a personalized note written in the inside jacket.
  10. Give a cookie cutter with a note that says, “Thank you for molding kids’ lives.”
  11. Give a seed packet with a note that says, “Wow! You’re planting God’s Word in young children’s hearts!”
  12. Give plastic visors with “Top Volunteer” painted on them.
  13. Give a Mounds candy bar with this note: “You’re making a mound of difference!”
  14. Call a different team member each day just to see how the person is doing.
  15. Go to lunch with a volunteer — a different person each week.
  16. Send an encouraging note with a Scripture verse.
  17. Share a valuable ministry resource to equip them for success.
  18. Take your volunteers on a retreat to refresh and refuel.
  19. Send a thank-you card with a personalized note.
  20. Plan a team fun day where the church picks up the tab.
  21. Establish a convenient parking place for “volunteer of the month.”
  22. Create a comfortable coffee area for volunteers only. Provide fresh pastries and fruit.
  23. Give a Bar None candy bar with this note: “Bar none, you’re the best!”
  24. Greet each volunteer by name.
  25. Mention a specific person’s contribution in your church bulletin or newsletter each week.
  26. Provide free child care for volunteer training events.
  27. Use chalk to write volunteer affirmations on the sidewalk leading to your church so everyone can celebrate the good things your volunteers do.
  28. Write a personalized letter from Jesus to the volunteer.
  29. Believe in people. Say “I know you can do it!”
  30. Rent a horse-drawn carriage to transport your volunteers from the parking lot to the church entrance on a special recognition Sunday.
  31. Give a volunteer his or her favorite dessert.
  32. Frame a photo of a volunteer serving in action.
  33. Clip and send a funny cartoon or joke that a volunteer will appreciate.
  34. Give a journal for a volunteer to keep track of the God sightings in their ministry.
  35. Give your volunteers ministry “business” cards.
  36. Plaster a thank-you note on the church marquee.
  37. Give a book of stamps with this note: “You’re a special delivery from God!”
  38. Give a container of wild berries with this note: “You’re berry special!”
  39. Give a certificate for 18 holes of golf to a volunteer who loves to golf with this note: “You’re a hole-in-one for our ministry!”
  40. Give a new fishing lure to someone who loves fishing with this note: “Our ministry is hooked on you!”
  41. Arrange free baby-sitting for a volunteer to have a night off.
  42. Wash a volunteer’s car while they’re at church serving.
  43. Give a bag of peanuts with this note: “We’re nuts about you! Thanks for bringing your kids out of their shell.”
  44. Mow a volunteer’s yard — or in the fall you can rake leaves.
  45. “Kidnap” a volunteer for breakfast.
  46. Take students over to weed a volunteer’s garden.
  47. Give the gift of a back massage from a professional massage therapist.
  48. Give a coupon for a latte and scone at a local coffee shop.
  49. Ask volunteers their opinion—it shows you value their ministry experience.
  50. Arrange for a limo to pick up a volunteer and take them to church one Sunday.



[Adapted from Children’s Ministry Magazine]

Bob D’Ambrosio is a 25-year veteran of frontline church ministry and now serves with Group’s content solutions team. He’s a trainer for volunteer equipping, a Refresh the Church blogger, and a ministry coach for Group U. Bob is a contributing author and general editor of the E4:12 Bible Study Series Better Together: Connecting to God and Others and Leading Out: Connecting People to Purpose.


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