How to Thank Youth Volunteers

In honor of National Volunteer Week, we’ve come up with ten ways to thank Youth Volunteers for the awesome work they’re doing:

1. Buy some 100-Grand candy bars and make notes that say “You’re worth $100 bucks!” Keep these with you on projects and give them out to youth who went above and beyond that day.

2. Ask a local business like a movie theater or ice cream shop to donate small ($5-$10) gift cards to give to youth who stood above the rest.

3. Host an annual recognition event where youth can invite their families and receive certificates (Youth Volunteer Corps Affiliates can order ready-made certificates through the YVC Store) for the number of hours they completed. You can even brainstorm some larger awards like Volunteer of the Year to give to the most outstanding youth.

4. Make sure to nominate them for YVC’s Milestone Awards. Each fall we give out the 100-in-1 Award (for youth who have served 100+ hours in a single year), the Ethic of Service Award (for youth who have served 500+ hours with YVC in their careers) and the World-Changer Award (for youth who have served 1,000+ hours with YVC in their careers).

5. Invite the media to a press conference to recognize your top volunteers.

6. Offer leadership opportunities for the top volunteers like a Youth Advisory Board or Junior Team Leader position.

7. Once a year send a letter to the principals of the local schools your Youth Volunteers attend notifying them of all the inspiring youth who volunteered that year.

8. Call or email a volunteer’s parents to let them know when their child went above and beyond and served as an example for the other volunteers.

9. Email Youth Volunteers to say thank you following the project and include a group photo from the event.

10. Just say thank you! Make sure to thank volunteers when they sign up for a project, during the project and after the project.

Interested in more tips about running a youth service program? Learn more about launching a program here.