It’s Smooth Sailing Thanks to Our Volunteers!

National Volunteer Week (April 16–22) is sponsored by the Points of Light Foundation in the United States and by Volunteer Canada.

Volunteers know the ropes and are lifesavers. So, sometime during National Volunteer Week, plan a volunteer appreciation celebration around a “sailing” theme.

Special Card

Make a special card for your volunteers. Gather lots of signatures for the card. Use the card we have designed for you or design your own.

Add a special message on the inside, such as: “Thanks for helping us run a tight ship.” Download and print matching envelopes to use with your cards. (Download the directions for making an envelope.)

Certificate of Appreciation

Print a certificate of appreciation for all your volunteers. Simply type in the person’s name and print. Or you can erase “Type name here,” print the certificate, and then handwrite the name. Date and sign your name (or the name of your community) in the lower right-hand corner. Present the certificate during a special ceremony. Invite residents, families, and staff to attend. If people cannot attend in person, plan a virtual ceremony via Zoom or Teams.

Special Sign

Print a special sign to post on your bulletin board this month. Use the sign to advertise your volunteer activities. Alternatively, post a list of your volunteers and include their unique talents or contributions. Another idea is to add Inspirational Volunteer Quotes.


Write about your volunteers for your newsletter, website, blog, or Facebook page. You could ask people for quotes or anecdotes about your volunteers to include. You could call or write to local newspapers or television stations. Often they are looking for human-interest stories.

Special Gifts

Add our special tag and give to each volunteer.


Check out our Poster page for a special poster you can print and post. It is available in two sizes—8.5″ X 11″ and 11″ X 17″.

Celebrate Every Day of the Week

You’re Magnificent Monday 
You’re Terrific Tuesday 
You’re Wonderful Wednesday 
Thankful for You Thursday 
You’re Fabulous Friday 
You’re Super Saturday 
You’re Sensational Sunday

Other Theme Ideas
  • Dynamite theme – “Volunteers are dynamite.”
  • Donut theme – “Thanks a hole bunch!”
  • Coffee theme – “Thanks a latte for your service.”
  • Tea theme – “Volunteers are tea-riffic.”
  • Nut theme ­– We’d be nuts if we didn’t thank you.”
  • Mason jar theme – “Volunteers are ah-mason.”
  • Gardening theme – “Volunteers help us grow.”
  • Sun theme – “Volunteers are a ray of sunshine.”
  • Flashlight or lighthouse theme – “Volunteers light up our lives.”
  • Hollywood theme – “Volunteers are superstars.”
  • Pirate theme – “We treasure our volunteers.”
Volunteer Online Resources
Publicize More Volunteer Opportunities

During the celebration, announce opportunities for people to continue or increase their volunteer commitment, and sign them up.

If you are unable to have volunteers in the building, they can still volunteer. Here are ways volunteers can help your community from their home:

  • Have volunteers chat with community members via phone, Zoom, Skype, or Teams. They can also read aloud newspaper articles, short stories, or books to the person during the call.
  • Have volunteers participate in a Joke-a-Day program. They can call interested residents and deliver a joke daily. This will brighten anyone’s day.
  • Have volunteers provide entertainment. Volunteers can record or live stream themselves playing an instrument and singing, or performing magic tricks, etc. The show can be broadcasted to your community,
  • Volunteers can become pen pals and write to residents weekly. Everyone loves to receive letters. (This also can be done via email if the resident has an email account.)
  • Volunteers can make birthday cards to send to residents. Volunteers can help assemble Table Talk Tidbits for dining room tables.

In addition, check out this month’s in-service—Volunteers: Recruitment & Retention.