Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Ideas for Expressing Appreciation

In yesterday's post, I challenged us all to say "thanks" to those who have supported our ministries this year (in any capacity).

Lest you feel overwhelmed, here's a list of ideas that offers various levels of "thanks": some cost no money and taking only a moment of time, and others require a bit more investment. Enjoy!

Money-Free Ways to Say "Thanks" (these only cost time and things you have):
  • Make a phone call whose sole purpose it is to say thank you (no other agenda allowed).
  • Make a public statement of thanks (in front of class, group, or congregation).
  • Write a thank-you note and hand-deliver it.
  • Make a small bouquet from cuttings from your garden or yard (Iris and Lilac blooms are plentiful this time of year), then give the bouquet as an appreciation gift.
  • Bake cookies and place two or three in a Baggie tied with ribbon (one batch makes lots of thank-yous).
  • Bake mini-loaves of bread and give them as appreciation gifts.
  • Roast your own coffee beans and give small bags of them away as thank-you gifts.
  • Write out Paul's prayer in Ephesians 3:14-21 on stationary or an index card, then give it to the person and commit to praying Paul's prayer for him over the summer.
  • Write a poem about the person for whom you're thankful, then give it to her.
  • Using your computer, create a personalized appreciation bookmark (using Publisher, Print Shop, or Adobe, for example) for those you want to thank, print them, laminate them (if you have a limanator), and give them to those who've helped you.
  • Create a list: The Five Things I Most Appreciate About You and Why. Give it to the person about whom you've created the list.
  • Offer to do a service for someone you want to thank (babysit, cut the grass, weed their garden).

Ways to Say Thanks that Cost a Bit More:

  • Give gift certificates to local restaurants or bookstores.
  • Give gift certificates to CBD (Christian Book Distributors).
  • Host an appreciation day recognizing all helping hands.
  • Put on a "thank-you" brunch.
  • Treat your whole team to a catered lunch (or even take-out).
  • Treat them to a one-on-one-with-you thank-you lunch at a restaurant.
  • Give chocolate, coffee, or tea as gifts.
  • Order a gift basket, fruit basket, or treat tower from your local florist (great for church staffs to share).
  • Give mugs with appropriate messages printed on them.
  • Give a personalized gift (monogramed or inscribed).
  • Create personalized appreciation certificates (using pre-printed certificate paper).
  • Give a token appreciation gift: pens, journals, medals, gift Bibles, Bible-study helps, single-stem flowers, potted plants, stress balls, bookmarks, picture frames, trophies, paper weights, framed prints, Scripture Keepers.

There are countless ways to say thank you. The point isn't how much we spend or how big a gift we give; the point is simply to communicate our appreciation.

This year I gave each woman on my class leadership team a box containing two books marks and a few pieces of chocolate nicely dressed up in tissue paper. With each gift I included a personalized note from me expressing what I valued about that person. The total cost for these four appreciation gifts was less than $5 (for all four total) and little bit of my time. And my leaders know I'm grateful for them.

Next week I'll give my program teachers different appreciation gifts, just to say thanks for their faithfulness in teaching this year. And each will receive a personal note from me with their gift.

The personal touch counts.

So, yes, indeed, express your thanks, but include a personal touch no matter what you choose to do. It will mean more to those receiving your appreciation.

'Til next time,


No comments: