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It can’t be stressed enough that it takes a whole team of volunteers to run a successful VBS program. Many give of their time during the VBS week each summer, but others invest weeks or months throughout the whole year into making VBS a reality. One way or another, you will want to find a way to help each person know that you appreciate their work and sacrifice.
Do you give out “thank you gifts” to your volunteers after the VBS? If so, what sort of things do you give that don’t break the budget?
–D. E. via Answers VBS Discussion Group
You could individually thank each person with a unique gift or card appropriate for the role they played, or you could thank each VBS volunteer with the same token of appreciation. Either way, Answers VBS encourages the VBS director to thank the other leaders and volunteers for their service to the kingdom in some way to help prevent volunteer burn out. Here are some ideas of how you could thank your team.
This seems the most obvious, but a simple handwritten thank you card can show someone that you are grateful for his or her help. A heartfelt thank you note that recognizes their contribution will be a blessing to them.
Teens and other helpers will love the full-color Staff Appreciation Certificates, which is an inexpensive way to recognize your team too.
You can peruse a Christian bookstore or shop online to find a few great titles for group leaders and teachers. To go along with the theme of the 2016 Answers VBS Ocean Commotion, you can choose a booklet such as Was There Really a Noah's Ark and Flood that could be given to each helper, or grab an assortment of booklets and DVDs to give out through the Noah's Ark Basics Bundle. This would be a wonderful way to remember the lessons shown at Ocean Commotion and to present a biblical look at the Ark. Gifts like these are not only encouraging but equipping to your church so that they can become even better witnesses to the kids in years to come.
Another possible gift idea could be a keepsake figurine or model. The Resin Ark Replica could be a fantastic gift for a few key leaders, but it may be tough to buy one for everyone involved in your program. Handmade crafts may help keep the cost down and can be a way to let some of the more artsy kids help thank leaders! The Awesome Ark Model and Rainbow Wind Catcher from the Craft Guide are two examples of great visual reminders of VBS week that kids would love to help make for leaders after they have their own to take home!
Last year, I personally bought a tubular bandana for each volunteer. They loved them!
We gave out packets of seeds and put a scripture verse on a card that said, “Thank you for helping plant seeds.” It was super cute. It was very inexpensive, but they all liked them.
Another idea is to plant mint seeds in small, inexpensive pots (one for each volunteer) a few months before VBS and give them as gifts with a small note that says, “Your help ‘mint’ a great deal to the kids! Thanks for your help!”
Let us know about other ideas and join in on the conversation at Answers VBS Discussion Group. Have a different VBS question? Let us know. Your question may be answered in a future blog!
© 2019 Answers in Genesis