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Season of Giving Thanks

Jessica Young (2)
Jessica Young (2)

Ideas for Thanking the Volunteers in Your Life

Today's guest blogger is Jessica Young, the Community Manager for VolunteerSpot.com.  VolunteerSpot’s free online coordination tool helps families, schools and community groups organize quickly and easily to make a difference.

The Thanksgiving table beckons the age-old tradition of going around person by person, no matter how young or how old, and sharing those people and things for which we are thankful. Though brief, this time connects the family to the underlying spirit of the season – to be thankful, in all respects, and to turn that appreciation into action where possible.

Our families’ lives, and especially those of our children, are filled with individuals and groups whose selfless time, talents and resources make for a life worth living.  Inspire your family to embrace this season of THANKS by showing their love and gratitude for the “volunteers” in their life.

  • Clubs – While extra-curriculars can often-times seem like a whirlwind of pick-ups, drop-offs and carpools, it is the leaders, teachers and instructors who make it worthwhile, whether it’s for drama, chess club, band, mathletes, science club, you name it! Commit your family to service by pitching in to help with a holiday event, tournament, or even set up, clean up, or snack time for the weekly gathering.
  • Team Sports – As fall sports wind down and winter sports kick into gear, think about all the time your kid’s coach spent teaching and encouraging your child with soccer, swimming, baseball or dance. Offer to help organize an end-of-season celebration for the team, think treats to trophies, and provide special recognition for the coach who made all the difference!  Tip: VolunteerSpot’s free online signup sheets make it easy for team parents to coordinate quickly snack schedules, end of season parties, and more.
  • Scouts —If your kids are in Girl or Boy Scouts, ask the leader what you can do to help in December with service or holiday themed meetings. Can you shop for supplies, help with a service project, bring snacks or rally parents for a troop potluck?
  • Worship Leaders—From Sunday school teachers to youth group leaders, pastors, and committee chairs, find a way to say thank you this year to the important people in your world of worship. Explore fun technology and record a short video of congregation members or youth saying thank you, or make a slide show with pictures and text to email out with the monthly newsletter.
  • Nonprofit Volunteers—Which organizations and causes are important to you and your family?  Call and ask how you can help – often nonprofits need extra hands during the holiday season. If donating your physical presence directly is not possible, consider baking a treat, writing thank you notes or gathering small gift cards as tokens of gratitude for the volunteer leaders at the causes you care about.
  • Community Volunteers—Think about all the festivals, carnivals, parades, and various holiday occasions where hosts of volunteers sweep in to create memorable events for your whole community!  It might be impractical to thank them all, but you could write a thank you letter to your Chamber of Commerce, or write an open letter with your family to the editor of your city newspaper thanking all the people that help make your community special.