Our churches and centres are full of volunteers who give up countless hours, week after week, to minister to others—especially within the important work with youth and children.
In 2018, the Youth & Children’s departments launched the Year fo the Volunteer in order to help people honour, develop, and celebrate their hard working volunteers—it was so encouraging to see the amazing and creative ways the contribution of our volunteers was recognised over the year!
Our hope is that people have embraced the importance of honouring volunteers, and that going forward, they will continue to be honoured throughout The Salvation Army in our territory.
Below are some resources to encourage and inspire you to do this in your setting, so please make use of these if you find them helpful.
An everyday way to recognise and honour volunteers is to regularly thank them for the effort they put in. This can be as simple as remembering to say "thank you" after an event, texting them or taking them out for coffee.
We've gathered some creative ideas for when you want to say thanks with a small gift - click the image below to go to our Pinterest board for some inspiration.
Thank You Cards
Thank you cards to personalise and give to volunteers!
'Everyday Ways' to Say Thanks Poster
Poster with ideas for everyday ways to celebrate and thank your volunteers.
Chocolate Gift Tags
Cards with chocolate puns to accompany a chocolate bar as a thank you.
Host A Volunteer Sunday
We've come up with a bunch of ideas for hosting a volunteer Sunday in your setting. Feel free to adapt these or come up with your own ideas to throw a special and unique event. We're encouraging you to specifically honour your youth and children's ministry volunteers, and our ideas reflect that, but you may want to include other volunteers from your corps or centre as well.
- Schedule a date in the calendar at the beginning of the year for a ‘Volunteer Sunday’
- Hold your volunteer Sunday on the same day as the YP or family service to honour those serving in youth and children’s ministry
- Invite your volunteers with a personalised invitation
- Make it a special event – you could have a special morning tea following the service with cake, cheese and crackers or strawberries and ice cream
- Gift your volunteers a free coffee voucher (at your corps or a cafe)
- During the service, invite all the volunteers to stand or come up the front
- Get your kids and youth to help present cards, small gifts or goody bags to each of the volunteers who help in youth and children’s ministry. (These could include gift cards, pre-paid coffee vouchers, chocolate or flowers)
- Tell the congregation about the things the volunteers do to serve
- Get a volunteer or two to share their stories and why they love (we hope!) working with young people. This could be interview style or people sharing in other ways!
- Pray for your volunteers
- Have a photo/video presentation of some of the things you’ve got up to over the year
- Have a VIP area set up with couches or decorated seating for your volunteers to sit on during the service
- Get the leadership team or the young people to serve the volunteers morning tea at the end of the service
- Hold a pre-service breakfast for the volunteers and get young people involved with serving the volunteers
- Have a photo-booth area with silly props to use and take some fun photos after the service
- Have a theme for the Sunday and make it a celebration!