Encouraging your volunteers is an investment in the future of children’s ministry. Volunteer support doesn't have to cost a lot, it just needs to be intentional. Here's some low-cost (and some no-cost) ideas for volunteer appreciation that we think you'll find useful!
Start an adopt-a-volunteer program
For those who have a desire to be involved in VBS but don't want to be front and center, ask them if they would like to "adopt" a volunteer. Those who "adopt" a volunteer simply commit to praying for their volunteer, sending encouraging notes, giving them an occasional phone call, or meeting them for a meal. This is a great way to involve those who have time constraints and who may prefer to be "behind the scenes" while supporting VBS.
Provide a simple meal before VBS
Between kids’ sports, camps, and work schedules, it can be hard for volunteers to do find time for everything. Consider providing a simple meal before VBS for volunteers and their families. It's doesn't have to be gourmet; think bagels for breakfast or sandwiches for supper. Or rally some folks to put their crock pots to use! Not having to figure out a meal and spend time cooking and cleaning gives volunteers the freedom to stay focused on VBS preparations.
Share a treat every day
Treat bags are easy, inexpensive, and fun to make. Grab some sandwich bags and attach a short note to each of the following treats. To help you get started, we've provided downloadable thank you notes at the end of this post.
- Cookies | You are one smart cookie! Thanks for volunteering at VBS.
- Mints | Your help has MINT so much to us!
- Frozen fruit bars | You're so cool! Thanks for volunteering!
- Chilled coffee drink | Thanks a latte for helping with VBS!
- Donuts | We do-nut know what we'd do without you!
Facilitate feedback and follow-up
Once of the best ways to support your volunteers is to give them the space and time to share praises and challenges. Provide a short time at the end of each day to recap with your volunteers. While problems may not be able to get "fixed" right away, it's valuable to let everyone voice their suggestions. Assure your volunteers that you will follow up on those suggestions at a later date, and spend some time in prayer over any concerns.
We hope that you've found these volunteer appreciation ideas to be helpful. May God bless your VBS!