Thanksgiving is the time of year when we reflect on how grateful we are for everything God has given us.
While thanking God is our No. 1 priority, it's also important for us to express thanks to one another. Jesus said, "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me" (Matt. 25:40). When we thank others for what they do for us, we're showing the love of God.
Thank-yous are powerful. Sometimes just a simple thank-you can make all the difference for someone. It can completely turn their day around. It may be exactly what they need to hear.
Thank-yous also have the power to transform the thanker — that's you. When we're actively looking for things to be thankful for rather than things to complain about, we're allowing God to grow in us a much healthier and happier mindset.
That's why we're challenging you to participate in Project Thankful! This is an opportunity for you to reach out and touch someone else's heart. It's super easy and fun, and we want as many people as possible to volunteer.
It's our goal to shower the world in thank-you notes during the month of November. Here's how it works.
1. Pick Someone.
We want you to focus on someone who would never expect a thank-you. The thank-you note should come out of the blue, like a random act of kindness. Think of someone who goes the extra mile or who works hard behind the scenes, not expecting recognition. We want to show these people that somebody notices them and even the small things they do make a difference.
You can thank your closest friend or a complete stranger. For example,
- The person at your office who always wipes down the inside of the microwave.
- The ladies at church who set out cookies every Sunday morning.
- Your son's Little League coach who has a gift for encouraging the kids.
- Your spouse for always walking the dog when you're too tired.
2. Write the note.
Remember, the person has no idea this thank-you note is coming, so make sure you thank the person for something specific. It doesn't have to be mushy, but put some heart into it.
For example, you can say
- I thank God for you because…
- I'm writing this note for the sole purpose of thanking you for…
- I noticed that you did _______, and I really appreciate it.
- _________ may seem small to you, but it makes a difference to me because...
- People like you make the world a better place because you…
- You are serving God when you serve others by…
3. Deliver the note.
This is the fun part. If you can, figure out a way to deliver the note so it's a total surprise. This doesn't have to be elaborate. You can sign your name to the note or choose to remain anonymous. It's up to you.
For example, you can
- Stick it in their purse or backpack when they're not looking.
- Leave it somewhere they'll find it.
- Ask a stranger to hand it to them.
- Mail it with no return address.
- Tie it to a balloon and float it their way.
- Tape it to their car windshield.
- Write it on a Post It and stick it to their back. (lol)
You'll feel so good for making someone else's day. Remember, a note like this may be just what someone needs to hear. And it might be just what you need to get yourself out of la-la land.
We want to share all the notes on the blog, so if you participate in Project Thankful, please send us:
- A photo that has something to do with the thank-you note. For example, it could be a photo of the actual note, a photo of the person who received it, or a photo of a place or thing related to the thank-you. If you have a collage app, feel free to stitch a few pics together to tell the story.
- A few brief lines telling who you thanked and why.
To thank you for your participation in Project Thankful, we'll put your name in a hat, and the winner will get a super-fun prize.
We're hoping the sheer number of participants is a huge blessing. If you have kids in your life, get them involved! Mobilize your youth group. Get the Ladies' Circle in on it. Pass the word to your friends. Everyone is welcome!
Really, who doesn't like a thank-you? Who wouldn't want to be appreciated? It's so simple, but it can make such a difference. We can't wait to see the creative ways you spread the love this Thanksgiving!
Below is an example of what we're looking for in terms of a photo and summary.
There is a brother in our branch who translates the sermon into Spanish every Sunday. He does this in a little room in the rear of the sanctuary all by himself. He rarely gets recognition for this, but it makes a huge difference for those who don't speak English. I snuck a thank-you note in the case that holds the microphones and headsets. I hope he knows how much we all appreciate him!