Christmas Volunteer Appreciation Idea: Thank-You Stockings


The stockings were hung by the children’s ministry classrooms with care to show volunteers how much families do care!

Here’s a festive and fun way for kids and families to thank children’s ministry volunteers this holiday season—with Thank-You Stockings!

Children’s ministry volunteers are extraordinary.

Consider your team of children’s ministry volunteers. If you were to calculate how many hours your volunteers serve each year, what do you come up with?

According to statistics, 63 million Americans volunteer each year. And volunteers in the United States spend about 52 hours volunteering every year.

When I think of the dedicated children’s ministry volunteers I’ve served alongside over the years, I calculate that some of my most committed volunteers averaged at least 104 hours of teaching each year—that’s double the average!

It’s true—children’s ministry volunteers are extraordinary. They’re dedicated and creative. They love children and they love Jesus, and as their leaders, we certainly love and appreciate them. But guess who loves them even more—“their” kids!

So this Christmas, as you think of ways to thank volunteers and tell them what a gift they are, invite kids and their families to join the thanksgiving, too! Here’s how!

Stuff stockings with thanks!

Remember Valentine’s Day parties in elementary school? You’d make a box where classmates could deliver cards and goodies for you. Well, why not borrow the idea for Christmas? It’s a merry and marvelous way for kids to give thanks to their leaders.

Purchase and hang Thank-You Stockings with care.

  • Purchase a Christmas stocking for each volunteer or volunteer team in your children’s ministry.
  • Put a volunteer’s name on each stocking and hang stockings near volunteers’ classroom doors. Or…line up all the stockings in an easy to access location in your church—like the hallway of your children’s ministry area.

Invite kids and families to “stuff” the Thank-You Stockings.

  • Invite parents to help kids write personal thank-you cards for their teachers and helpers and “stuff” them in their stockings.
  • In addition to cards, invite families to place treats or small gifts in volunteers’ stockings, too!

Families are busy (and forgetful), so have cards available for families to fill out at church, too. That way, even if they missed the memo, all kids and families can participate.

Consider printing these FREE Teacher Thank-You Cards. They’re sure to tug on heart strings and make it even easier for kids and families to express what they like about their teachers. Older kids can write things they love about their teacher, and young children can use washable ink pads to make fingerprint hearts for their teacher.


Check and add additional goodies.

  • After a couple of weeks, check stockings to ensure volunteers have each received notes. If needed, reach out and remind families.
  • Add personal thank-you notes from you, your pastor, or other church staff members to each stocking.
  • Stuff stockings with extra gifts or treats. Need ideas? Check out 38 Smile-Inducing Ways to Say “Thanks” to Your Volunteers.

Present the Thank-You Stockings to volunteers.

  • Give each volunteer their Thank-You Stockings. You could create a special time for kids to present the stockings to their teachers.
  • Or…present stockings to children’s ministry volunteers during a worship service so your whole church can recognize and thank them for sharing God’s love with children.

This Christmas, help kids thank their teachers in an extra special way. Your volunteers will get a tangible glimpse of the Kingdom impact their making—and kids and families will get to connect and bless teachers who give their time and love all throughout the year!

Looking for more volunteer appreciation ideas? Check out these 5 Last-Minute Christmas Gifts for Volunteers and this Year-Round Strategy for Recognizing and Retaining Volunteers.

Do you need help finding and keeping volunteers? Check out this online training course!

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