It is indeed right. It is our duty and our joy.
It certainly is. What am I talking about? Let us, as the psychiatrists say, go back to childhood.
When I was celebrating my birthday as army brat living in Germany, my mum would make me sit down at the kitchen table to write thank-you letters to my grandparents for my birthday money – even for the £1 note that my Grandma would send me. And not just:
Thanks for the money you sent me.
Ginge in Germany
No, it had to be properly constructed – followed by a guaranteed ten-minute nagging session of my mother about how scruffy my handwriting was. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
I hope you are well. Thank you for the £1 birthday present. It was a very nice surprise.
I will use the money to buy a very nice book that I saw in the shop last week. It is all about dinosaurs. I think it will be very interesting. It has lots of pictures of triceratops, which is my favourite dinosaur.
Ginge in Germany
And actually, I do think writing such a letter and expressing gratitude is a very worthwhile exercise.
Last year, one church council meeting just before the summer holidays started, we had a lengthy discussion about how to encourage members of congregation to give of their time to church, whether that be as:
- Catering staff
- Sunday school helper
- etc etc etc
I suggested a simple way: go back to childhood habits. Send a handwritten thank you card to everyone who hase given of their time to church. I’ve never been a backseat driver. I rarely say:
Someone should do that.
I will do that.
The day after that meeting, I spent three hours in the church meeting room, fountain pen by my side, bottle of navy blue ink by my side, a pile of dm thank-you card (50 cents each – bargain!) on the table in front of me. Oh yes, and a few sheets of postage stamps (non-self-adhesive), also on the table next to my church directory.
- Adrian Aardvark…
- Billy and Sally Boyne…
- Carol Cardomah…
- Zachary Zilman
…finished. (Time for a cup of tea.)
Total number of cards sent last year: 33. I counted every single one of them. Not bad, when you consider our congregation consists of about 90 people.
What was the reaction? They loved it. I had so many people coming up to me at the next service after the cards were sent, saying,
Hey, thank you so much for your card. I wondered what it was when I came back off holiday! Really nice to be appreciated.
This year I decided to do the same. I just hope I haven’t missed anybody out. On the way to my office I had to stop off that local post to ask the nice lady who works there for some nice, attractive stamps.
And here they are…
After several hours – the finished product!
It is good to show proper appreciation at least once a year to volunteer, who do so much for our church. People appreciate being appreciated. Say it with
flowers a handwritten card!
This year: 37 cards sent.
Have an appreciative day, won’t you!