Benjamin Franklin understood the importance of giving back to your community. Known as the founding father of American volunteerism, he organizes the first volunteer fire department in colonial times. Today, 62.8 million Americans continue his tradition, volunteering an estimated 20 million hours a year giving back to their communities by serving meals to the homeless, walking shelter dogs, cleaning up national parks and then some. Their service generates the equivalent of $482 million in assistance to organizations and causes near and dear to their hearts.
Every year we recognize volunteer service during National Volunteer Week, an event organized by the Points of Light Foundation that thanks volunteers who give their time, talent, voice and support to causes they care about in their community. “We celebrate the impact of volunteer service and the power of changemakers to come together to tackle tough challenges, and build stronger, more vibrant communities,” the Foundation says. “Their stories can serve to inspire others to find ways to take action that creates change.” The 2022 event takes place April 17-23.
Being a volunteer allows you to do something you enjoy -everything from gardening and reading to children to serving meals to the elderly and meeting new people- while helping nonprofits and other organizations do good work. Many are understaffed and greatly appreciate the help themselves, often looking for creative ideas to say thank you to volunteers, like these:
1. Send an email or letter to a volunteer’s employer. Describe how the work they accomplish helps to enrich your organization. It will reflect well on them at their next review.
2. Make a memory for a volunteer. If they read to children, have the kids make a card or design a plaque especially for them. If they walk shelter animals, give them a doggie print thank you card from their favorite pet-pal.
3. Offer VIP parking to a volunteer. Reserve a designated front row parking space for a volunteer each month. Have a random drawing and announce the winner.
4. Hand-deliver a personal note to a volunteer. Rather than waiting months to recognize a volunteer who goes above and beyond the call of duty, quickly write a note or card and deliver it to them personally.
5. Feature a volunteer in their own video. Once a month on your website, creative a video or photo show that features a volunteer. Include candid shots of them interacting with coworkers, an interview or words that describe their motivation for volunteering. At the end of the month, present them with a scrapbook or a framed photo.
6. Host a special evening for volunteers – Everyone loves a party. Once a year, plan a big celebration for volunteers and their families.
7. Start a Volunteer Hall of Fame. Celebrate long-time volunteers by hanging a gallery of their photos in a prominent place, to let the public know you appreciate them.
This elegant award has an iron stand built into the design and allows the 7-inch oval of crystal glass to reflect light and showcase your personal laser engraved message. Or browse our selection of awards and plaques to find one that’s just right for you. Design it yourself with our easy-to-use online design tools. Place your order and receive an email with your free proof and quote in one business day. Once you approve your design, your personalized award ships from our warehouse two days later.
Want an award for each volunteer? We offer quantity discounts on custom products and gifts.