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    April is National Volunteer Month, and I encourage organizations to honor their volunteers during National Volunteer Week, April 15-21. I’ve been able to learn a lot about volunteer through my work with local non-profit organizations on their events and my personal volunteer work. After all, one of the best ways to learn about appreciation is to be appreciated!

    If you’re looking for volunteer appreciation ideas, I recommend you grab a cup of coffee and watch our 10 minute Recognition TV webisode. I share popular themes for volunteers and volunteer appreciation event ideas you can use this year.

    In the video, I also recommend a few free resources that will help your volunteer appreciation event planning go smoothly. You can download all these resources from our Recognition Resource Center or by clicking on the links below.

    Volunteer Appreciation Ideas eBook

    Learn More

    Employee Event Planning Check List

    Learn More

    Award Presentation Guide

    Learn More

    Are you a volunteer or do you recognize volunteers? Tell us what you do for National Volunteer Week!



    Cori is Baudville's in-house Recognitionista (she's officially a Certified Recognition Professional, too)  and a member of the Millennial generation. Get her employee recognition tips and special discounts by liking Baudville on Facebook.

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    Working for Baudville comes with its perks – free product, for example. Well, one of those free products, our I Radiate Pure Awesome Tote Bag has happened to become my six-month-old son’s diaper bag (because what six-month-old happy boy doesn’t radiate pure awesome?!). About a month ago, one of the other daycare moms noticed the tote bag and requested one for her upcoming business trip…to AFRICA! Of course I said “sure thing!”

    She works for a global non-profit organization, Bethany Christian Services, which is dedicated to caring for orphans and vulnerable children on five continents. During her time in Africa she would be spending time in Ghana and Ethiopia training social workers, administrators, nannies, and directors working in the local orphanages. You can learn more about her mission by following her journey through her personal blog here:
    I Radiate Pure Awesome Tote Bag
    At a local market in Accra, Ghana

    As I read her daily updates, it was clear to me that she was embodying the spirit of radiating pure awesome – all the way across the globe! Through her work she is using her talents and passion to bring a voice to a part of the world many of us never think of, let alone travel to. Her words are full of life and cry out for all of us to find our “awesome” in the world and let it radiate, as far as it will go… 

    So what are you doing to radiate your pure awesomeness? You may be lucky enough to work in the field of your passion. If not, try this: find your passion and volunteer, write, create, paint, build, help, talk, run, play, mentor, coach, listen, engage. Do it. Do it now. I promise you will not regret it.


    As a team member since 2005, Falon has worn just about every hat the ‘ville has to offer. She’s seen both sides of working life — as an employee and as a manager — so if it sounds like she knows what she’s talking about, we’re pretty sure that’s why. When she’s not juggling between the IDville and Baudville brands, she’s been known to whip up a mean diorama - just like that!

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    National Volunteer Week (April 21-27) is fast approaching! How will you celebrate the dedicated volunteers who give their time and energy to help your organization achieve its goals?

    If you’re not sure, no worries! We’re here to help with our top three volunteer appreciation ideas!

    Celebrate. If you get started now, you’ll have plenty of time to organize a celebration that makes your volunteers feel like a million bucks. It doesn’t have to be formal; the most important part is that it’s meaningful, well-thought-out, and filled with appreciation.

    On a budget? (We know you are!) How about a simple, themed potluck with dishes brought in by the staff your volunteers serve? The theme could be related to your mission, or a special type of cuisine, or even focused on a meal of the day. At Baudville, we love a breakfast potluck—and we bet your volunteers will, too!

    To add a special touch, and still keep mindful of your spending, we recommend a personalized award certificate given to each volunteer. They’ll have a memento of their service to proudly display, plus a lasting reminder of your appreciation at the same time.

    A customer favorite is our You Make the Difference Certificate Bundle, which contains all of the components you need to create 50 finished certificates—folders and all!

    Photo of Certificate Bundle

    When your celebration day comes (make sure it’s during National Volunteer Week, April 21-27!), call each volunteer up individually to present their certificate and give a heartfelt thanks.

    Appreciate. If you have volunteers all over the state, country, or world, getting everyone together for a celebration might be a bit of a challenge. But that shouldn’t take the wind out of your sails! Baudville’s volunteer appreciation themes feature gifts and notecards that you can send to every volunteer far and wide. To make it easy for you, we organized all of our top volunteer appreciation gifts here. You can shop by theme, by price (we still haven’t forgotten your budget!), and by our hot, new products.

    Photo of Helping Hand Theme

    Don’t forget, you can also send free ePraise cards to all of your volunteers. We created several with National Volunteer Week precisely in mind, plus many more in your favorite themes!

    Commemorate. Want to give your volunteers an appreciation gift that will last well beyond the week? Our new Team Shirts™ are your answer! We created hundreds upon hundreds of designs that are customizable with your text, logo, and/or message. Pick a favorite Baudville theme, an event type, or a smart saying and we’ll seamlessly integrate all of the custom details that you want.

    Photo of Themed Team Shirts
    You can build your shirts online quickly and easily, then you’re on your way to giving a volunteer appreciation gift they’ll wear with pride. (We can even make a completely custom shirt for you, if that’s what you need!)

    Your volunteers will have a personal reminder of your appreciation every time they put on their shirts, plus, when they’re sporting their tees, they’re also spreading your organization’s message and getting your name some public attention. We call that a win-win around here!

    The Ultimate. If you want to create an unforgettable volunteer appreciation moment, you could combine all three of our ideas. They’ll be fed, clothed, and loved: quite the trifecta of appreciation, wouldn’t you say?


    Allison is a self-proclaimed Copywriting Diva and has the certificate to prove it! She’s been writing for Baudville for four years and has worked in a variety of business settings for more than 19 years. Before becoming a professional writer 12 years ago, Allison worked as a department manager where she used Baudville products to motivate her team. She’s what we call a true believer! 

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    For more than 20 years, USA WEEKEND Magazine and Points of Light have joined together to sponsor Make A Difference Day, the largest national day of community service. Millions of people join together on this day each year with one common goal: to improve the lives of others. >National Make a Difference Day

    Thanks to
    Newman's Own, you have the chance to win one of thirteen $10,000 grants to support your community, based on your Make a Difference Day event!

    If you don't have anything planned yet, don't worry! Here are 5 ideas to get you started for National Make a Difference Day 2013!

    Saddle Safari
    1. Work Together As a Team. As we have found in
    our latest community service endeavor at Baudville, serving together as a team not only feels good, it builds camaraderie and bonds that would never come out of our day-to-day work. So gather your team, decide on a cause, and get out there and make a difference together!

    2. Find Your Common Cause. Perhaps your workplace is already connected with an organization that could use your help. Or, perhaps someone in your organization has fallen on hard times – or one of their family members has. Get the word out that you're looking for ways to serve in your community. It could be something as common as serving in a local food pantry, cleaning up a local park, or doing some home improvements for a family in need.

    3. Spread the Word! You may only have a couple of team members ready to get out there and pound the pavement with you – don't let that kill your mojo. Invite family members, friends, and co-workers from other departments to give their time and talents with you!
    Order t-shirts to build your sense of team and act as a keepsake from the event. Our "Making a Difference, It's What I Do" team shirts would be perfect!

    4. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate. As the team leader, it's up to you to make sure everyone is informed. For first-time volunteers, it will probably be nerve-wracking leading up to the day. What can they expect? Are they ready? What should they bring? What SHOULDN'T they bring? Will they be uncomfortable? Will they offend someone? What should they wear? Should they bring something to eat and drink or will it be provided? How long will it last? Can they bring a friend, or their kids? Try to answer as many of these questions beforehand so your volunteers can put their minds at ease.

    5. Have a Great Time & Take Pictures! You will have a great time together as a team – that's a guarantee. Document it with photos, do a few interviews of your volunteers, and the community you're serving, and after you're all done, talk about it. As much as you can. It will make you smile, and it will make you proud. Then start planning a time to do it again. Don't wait until next year – your heart, your team, and your community will thank you.

    What are you doing for
    National Make a Difference Day 2013? Share your plans with us and then share your post-event pictures and stories – we'd love to hear about it!


    As a team member since 2005, Falon has worn just about every hat the 'ville has to offer. She's seen both sides of working life — as an employee and as a manager — so if it sounds like she knows what she's talking about, we're pretty sure that's why. When she's not juggling between the IDville and Baudville brands, she's been known to whip up a mean diorama - just like that!

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    December 5th is International Volunteer Day. This day was marked by the United Nations in 1985 as a time for volunteer organizations and individual volunteers to be recognized for their commitment, as well as a time to build awareness around the impact volunteering has in our local, national, and global communities.

    Volunteers are such a vital part of many of the biggest difference-making organizations all over the world. It is the tireless work of millions of volunteers each year that keep the homeless off the streets, feed impoverish families, pick up the pieces for communities effected by natural disasters, protect our animals, and clean our environment. Their work goes unpaid, but their hearts are filled, and our hearts are filled because of their goodness.

    December 5th is a time to thank them. Here are 4 great ways to let your volunteers now how much you appreciate their dedication to the cause:

    1. Gather the Troops & Celebrate! There is a special energy that presents itself when we gather together. Invite your volunteers to a special lunch just for them. Feature the statistics of hours served, lives changed, and impacts they have made while serving your organization. Present them each with a certificate honoring their dedication and a lapel pin keepsake, then sit back, have fun, and enjoy your downtime together!

    2. Make a Difference for the Difference Maker! Volunteers give, and give, and give, and give. They aren't the types to take time for themselves. Brighten their day in a way they never would for International Volunteer Day. Send them flowers, give a gift card for a day at the spa, buy them tickets for a local theatre event, or send them shopping at their favorite store! Whatever you do, make it personal to each volunteer. After all, they deserve special treatment, too!

    3. Tell Their Heart-Warming Story. Spend a little time with a person that each of your core volunteers has impacted. Take notes, write a letter, or tell their story at your volunteer appreciation event and present them with a special award. Spotlighting these stories at your event will also speak volumes to your new volunteers, as well, as to what's possible with the organization moving forward!

    4. Say The Right Words. Oftentimes it's hard to find the right words to express your most sincere and deep appreciation for your volunteers. Our Gift of Appreciation Character Pin and Starfish Character Pin are two examples that give you the right words as well as a tangible take-away gift. Check out our complete line of success and dedication Character Pins to find the right match for your volunteers!


    As a team member since 2005, Falon has worn just about every hat the 'ville has to offer. She's seen both sides of working life — as an employee and as a manager — so if it sounds like she knows what she's talking about, we're pretty sure that's why. When she's not juggling between the IDville and Baudville brands, she's been known to whip up a mean diorama - just like that!

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  • 04/03/14--11:35: Lend a Helping Hand
  • Before I came to work at Baudville, I will have to admit that my volunteer experience was dismal. I had always fallen back on the excuse that I was too busy or just filled my weekend with other plans, as I am sure most of us are guilty of. 

    However, Baudville has truly changed my outlook on volunteering. It is wonderful to be a part of a company that prides itself on giving back to the local community. Last year, the Baudville Team had a chance to help build a sensory riding trail for the Equest Center for Theraputic Riding. The Equest Center is a local nonprofit whose goal is to improve the lives of individuals with special needs through the power of the horse. I encourage you to read the testimonials of the parents and children of the Equest Center, but fair warning, have your tissues ready!

    Each and every employee was given a chance to volunteer at Equest to help build the sensory trail. There was a lot of root pulling, hole digging, raking, paving, and many other tasks required to get this trail ready for riding. However, I think I am speaking for most of us here at the ‘ville when I say it was exhausting, but the outcome was so worth it! Watching kids be able to ride on the trail we paved for them and get such joy out of it provided instant gratification.

    More recently, we have partnered with another local nonprofit, the Conductive Learning Center. CLC is an educational program for children with motor disabilities such as cerebral palsy or spina bifida. CLC helps children living with these disabilities gain independence to perform every day activities that we take for granted being able to do, like dress ourselves or brush our teeth.

    Baudville has become part of Team CLC for the 5/3 Riverbank Run and has paid the entry fees for all 30 of our voluntary runners. Each runner is collecting pledges for CLC's "Champion a Child" scholarship fund, allowing even more children to experience the life-changing Conductive Education program. Baudville employees can also purchase casual days for the month of April, with 100% of the proceeds going to CLC. I was so inspired, I decided to challenge myself to run the 25k this year as part of Team Baudville on behalf of Team CLC!

    Volunteering time, training, and a little bit of cash towards these organizations has given me an incredible amount of respect to people who spend their time volunteering for organizations that are close to their heart. Those who spend most of their weekends and time after work to give back to the community need to be recognized for all of their hard work and dedication! April 6-12 is National Volunteer Week so be sure to say thank you to those you know who take time out of their day to make a difference in someone's life! At the very least, take some time out of your busy schedule to volunteer for an organization that inspires you! I promise, it's worth it!

    Equest Center



    Krista is the 'ville's Web Marketing Coordinator. She came to us in 2012 as part of our stellar Sales team. Using her experience with Baudville customers, she helps create an online experience we're sure you will enjoy! Being the chatterbox she is, she truly misses talking with all of you so don't be shy and drop her a line!

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    As a creative writing major in college I was required to complete a semester-long internship in the writing field. There weren't many "creative" writing gigs in our town so I opted for grant writing, but at the Children's Museum – at least part of the job had to be fun. Getting a little glimpse into the world of not-for-profit for 8 weeks really opened my eyes to the invaluable gift that volunteers bring to these organizations on a daily basis.

    Volunteers have passion.
    Volunteers hunger to make a difference.
                                 Volunteers give.

    This week – April 6-12, 2014 – is set aside as a time to thank your volunteers for all they do, for all they give, and for their time. Here are 5 low-cost, no-cost ways you can show your appreciation during National Volunteer Week.

    1. Host a Meal. Ask the staff members to come together (pot-luck style) and prepare and serve a meal for your volunteers. Express your appreciation with a short speech and present each volunteer with a personalized certificate to thank them for their contributions.

    2. Send an ePraise. Are your volunteers spread out across the state or country? Send individual ePraise cards to each of them! The more you personalize your message of appreciation, the more effective it will be! Send one now!

    3. Make a Difference for the Difference Makers! Oftentimes volunteers give so much of their time and energy to the cause they serve that they neglect their own needs. Come together to help the helpers! Offer to help with some at-home fixes they may need, get their clothes dry cleaned for them, renew a magazine subscription, get their car washed, send them to get a massage, or take their pet to the local groomer.

    4. Celebrate Great Character. Check out our vast line of Character Pins™ that give you the right sincere words of appreciation and include a keepsake lapel pin gift. Choose just the right story and pin for each of your special volunteers.

    5. Ask for Help! If your volunteers serve your community or a group of people, ask one of the people whose lives they have touched to either write or communicate through video just how much your volunteers have impacted them personally. Share the stories with your volunteers during National Volunteer Week!

    Volunteer Week


    As a team member since 2005, Falon has worn just about every hat the 'ville has to offer. She's seen both sides of working life — as an employee and as a manager — so if it sounds like she knows what she's talking about, we're pretty sure that's why. When she's not juggling between the IDville and Baudville brands, she's been known to whip up a mean diorama - just like that!


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    I don't know about you, but I love spring! The sun finally comes out, the birds begin to chirp, and we welcome our resident family of geese back to their summer home here at the 'ville. But the cherry on top is all the recognition events that happen in the spring! This week is National Volunteer Week, April 17 is National High 5 Day, Administrative Professional's Week is April 20, and then, in May, there are Teacher Appreciation Week and National Nurses Week. That's a lot of recognition! So, in staying festive I've picked my favorite springtime recognition gifts!

    1. California

    With so many colors and messages to choose from, this gift will put a smile on your recipient's face. Pair it with a handwritten note and a Crystal Light On-the-Go packet and you have a fresh, new gift!
    California Tumbler

    2. Mini Glass
    Candy Mason Jars

    Filled with gourmet Jelly Beans, this gift is a tasty treat that lasts! Pair a Mini Glass Candy Mason Jar with one of our Mason Tumblers for a fun gift! We have a lot of great sentiments for Teachers and Nurses.
    Candy Mason Jar

    3. Glitter
    Lapel Pins

    Add a little sparkle to your co-worker's day with our best-selling Glitter Lapel Pins! Glitter Lapel Pins are a fresh, new take on the classic lapel pin. Pair the Glitter Lapel Pin with our lapel pin presentation box for a completed gift.
    Glitter Lapel Pin
    4. Tervis Tervis Tumblers® are a popular drinkware item that now features Baudville art! Tervis Tumblers will fit anyone in your work place. They hold hot or cold beverages and are dishwasher, microwave, and freezer safe. Plus, they offer a Lifetime Guarantee and are Made in America!
    Tervis Tumbler

    5. Slingpack

    This bag is just the gift or giveaway for your summer picnics this year! For as low as $3.95 per bag, you can fill it up with our Color Splash Water Bottles and an Eye Popping Squeezie for a low cost gift giveaway. With ten different options to choose from you're guaranteed to find one that fits your team!
    Slingpack Bag

    To find more recognition events, click here to visit our recognition event calendar.


    Kendra is Baudville's Product Coordinator. Using her awesome powers of organization and research, she brings new and innovative products to our customers. She is a recent graduate and is ready to help with your recognition wants and needs. Watch out, because this young professional just touched down at Baudville!

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    On the first day of the month, I saw a post in my newsfeed that said our main Grand Rapids Public Library would be closing permanently. My heart sank as I thought of that beautiful, iconic structure becoming obsolete—the place where I spent hours researching in college, the place where I tutored my ESL student every Monday night, the place that welcomed one and all to come through its doors to explore and learn. :sigh:

    Thank goodness, it was later revealed to be an April Fool's Day joke! Not funny, I thought. But, I also thought: I hope it startled many people into remembering how important this free resource is to our community, and that it raised awareness that without public support, this joke could be a reality. Library Week

    In the immortal words of Carl Sagan: 

    "Books permit us to voyage through time, to tap the wisdom of our ancestors. The library connects us with the insight and knowledge, painfully extracted from Nature, of the greatest minds that ever were, with the best teachers, drawn from the entire planet and from all our history, to instruct us without tiring, and to inspire us to make our own contribution to the collective knowledge of the human species. I think the health of our civilization, the depth of our awareness about the underpinnings of our culture and our concern for the future can all be tested by how well we support our libraries." -Carl Sagan, Cosmos

    With that in mind, what can you do to support your local library—during National Library Week, or any day of the year?

    Volunteer. Libraries rely on the generous time of their volunteers. If you have some extra time, consider giving it to help a library in your community. 

    Pass on Your Used Books. Some libraries have more than enough, while others are in need of more books for their shelves. Find out it you have a needy library in your area and pack up those old books that are taking up space in your basement!

    Make a Financial Donation. Money talks, friends. And charitable donations make great tax deductions (so I learned this year—cha-ching!).

    Say Thank You. If my other ideas are a little more than you had in mind, at least say thank you to your local library for all they do to enrich your neighborhood. We have free ePraise cards for doing just that!


    Allison is a self-proclaimed Copywriting Diva and has the certificate to prove it! She's been writing for Baudville for five years and has worked in a variety of business settings for 20 years. Before becoming a professional writer 13 years ago, Allison worked as a department manager where she used Baudville products to motivate her team. She's what we call a true believer!

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    On April 21, in an undisclosed year in the 20th Century, I turned 21. My roommates threw a big shindig for me, which they cleverly called the Bearthday Party, combining the festivities of a milestone birthday with the commemoration of Earth Day, April 22. We were a clan of new bohemians who did things that weren't as common back then as they are now, like composting and recycling; tree hugging and rainbow gazing. So, this holiday was right in line with our lifestyle and a good reason to celebrate for 48 hours straight.

    That was then, and this is 20 years & change later. What's happened since? Well, I started buying wrinkle cream, and words like sustainability, renewable resources, clean energy, and green consumerism have made it into the average person's vocabulary.

    Earth Day celebrations now occur globally and have become a time for conversation, education, and conservation. If you're thinking about celebrating Earth Day, what can you do to make a difference?

    Carpool. Or take the bus or train. Or ride your bike. Or even walk. The more you share rides, the less you tax the environment. And, if you travel with just the horsepower of your two legs—even better!

    Save a tree. That means thinking before you print that email or 50-page annual report that you can just as easily view on screen. Or, paying a bill online or in person instead of mailing it. And, if you sign up for electronic statements, you'll reduce the amount of paper going in to your recycling bin.

    Plant a tree. Trees provide so many benefits, I can't begin to list them all here. Good thing Tree People know their stuff so well and have shared their 22 reasons to plant and care for trees here.

    Volunteer or Get Involved. At Baudville, we advocate for volunteering all year 'round, but if you want to do something special for Earth Day, then check out their Billion Acts of Green campaign. They have tons of ways to make an impact—many you might have never thought of!

    Keep it up. The biggest change you can make is to take your Earth Day activities and spread them over days and months. Pretty soon, you'll be celebrating Earth Year!

    Finally, if you're looking for gifts to reward eco-conscious behaviors on your team, you'll love our Growing Together theme. Check it out here!


    Allison is a self-proclaimed Copywriting Diva and has the certificate to prove it! She's been writing for Baudville for five years and has worked in a variety of business settings for 20 years. Before becoming a professional writer 13 years ago, Allison worked as a department manager where she used Baudville products to motivate her team. She's what we call a true believer!