Volunteers go out of their way to give the best of themselves. Their roles are selfless and truly come from the heart, and they give their time and energy to the fullest extent. It’s natural that you may want to show your appreciation for those in your life who volunteer in some capacity that benefits you. It might be a person who helps a loved one, or someone who cares for your pet from time to time. Or maybe it’s someone who volunteers for your non-profit organization or your business.
The key is to select something that’s as meaningful to them as their service is to you. What better way to express your gratitude? The end of the year offers you the perfect excuse to give thoughtful holiday gifts that resonate with their altruism, yet also provide the recipients a chance to relax, unwind, and enjoy some much-needed rest. Here are a few ideas to keep in mind for the volunteers in your life.
Plants are timeless treasures that add beauty and color to the home. Best of all, you don’t have to give your volunteer something that requires frequent care and attention — something that’s sure to come as a relief to anyone who lacks a green thumb. Think with the season in mind. A poinsettia is always a thoughtful choice. Succulents are also popular and require very little TLC.
A Christmas wreath is just as thoughtful, and appropriate for the season. The beauty of giving something natural is that it serves as a constant reminder of your gratitude and the value that your volunteer brings to your world. Plus, plants have been known to lift spirits and even purify the air. It’s a winning situation all around.
Cute and festive holiday accents are always appropriate to give. To make it truly suitable for the volunteer, put some effort into putting something together that won’t be forgotten once the season comes to an end. Colorful ornaments are beautiful, timeless pieces that your recipients are sure to love. Choose something that depicts an image or scene they’re sure to appreciate.
Or consider giving a personalized Christmas stocking if you want to go slightly above and beyond in gratitude for all of the hard work and intensity they’ve put into the job. This is a thoughtful idea for the volunteer who’s a more significant part of your life — someone who’s a friend you know well. Fill the stocking with little treats, like the holiday cookies you’re famous for baking or the candies you know they love. Make it extra-special, and they’ll always remember the thoughtfulness behind your gesture.
There’s nothing like presenting a volunteer with a great book. Think about what the recipients might appreciate and how it might tie into their professional goals. For example, you could surprise them with a biography written by someone in their field of interest. Or give them a subscription to a digital book service so they can select a few of their own.
If you do choose to give an actual book, why not slide it into a monogrammed tote? That’s something they can use over and over again, whether they bring it with them to work, carry their books in it to campus, or hoist it around when they’re running around town. Personalizing it with their initials is a thoughtful way to put some extra effort into the gift and show that you’re truly grateful for all they’ve done for you or your company.
What could your volunteer use more of in the workplace? Maybe they’re always losing pens. Maybe they could use a new lanyard to hold their identification card. Maybe a clipboard or a notepad would come in handy. These types of items are priceless to busy volunteers who want to stay focused and are committed to their roles. Items like bus passes and gift cards to local coffee shops are also thoughtful gifts for people who go the extra mile — since they don’t get paid for the work that they do, little tokens like these are especially welcome.
Stash the supplies in a stylish and comfortable backpack that they can use at their convenience. This is a great choice for a student volunteer who needs something that easily transitions from campus to work in an instant. Look for a bag with all of the bells and whistles — pockets, compartments, and padding for added comfort. They’re sure to appreciate the gesture.
No matter what you give, you can trust that the volunteers in your life will be grateful for the recognition. They strive year-round to give their best. Now is a wonderful time to show how much you appreciate their efforts.