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…
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!