Jennifer Gilbert Gebhardt 2013-10-08 10:07:28
Thanksgiving for Lions Strengthen Your Club by Showing Appreciation The Mountain Grove Lions don’t serve for the glory. Whether collecting coats for needy children, holding their 5K run or staffing the both at Kidsfest, these Missouri Lions serve their community without the need for acknowledgement. But when one of them receives a recognition certificate housed in one of Lion Ken Lewis’ handmade frames, they don’t mind one bit. “Everyone loves how much care Ken puts into making those frames,” says Lion Sandy Richey. “We serve without expectations, but who isn’t appreciative when they get a thank-you? It’s a motivator.” Lewis began making the frames when he was club president and wanted to show his appreciation for members taking on responsibilities and leadership roles. A skilled woodworker, he used spare firewood to make the custom frames. “Lions are ecstatic when they receive them, and they all look forward to seeing them because each one is different,” says Lewis. Since Lewis began presenting the framed certificates, the club has strengthened and grown. Coincidence? “It used to be more difficult to get members to take on responsibilities. The Lions gained confidence, and little by little they began stepping up more. Of course, it’s not just the framed certificates, but I think they may have had something to do with it,” Lewis says with a smile. Recognition may make a Lion feel great, but it’s not just a “feel good moment.” When Lions are personally recognized within their clubs, they may feel more motivated to serve and build confidence to take on more tasks. LCI’s publication “The Art of Recognition” explains that recognition can benefit the whole club by building productivity, enhancing morale, improving retention and increasing membership. The key is to make the recognition personal and genuine. A little creativity can help too. In addition to presenting certificates printed on a home computer to the Camelback Lions in Arizona for their various talents, Lion Sally Shears gives small personalized gifts as special recognition for a job well done. “It tells them ‘I know you,’ and they appreciate the thought that went into it. And it doesn’t have to cost much,” says Shears. She enjoys giving gifts that either reflect the personality of the Lion or the work that they did. “One Lion loves candles, so I gave her a candle set. Another Lion did a great job on a fundraiser, so I gave him a piggy bank,” says Shears. Ultimately, it’s the thought that counts. A verbal thankyou or a handwritten card often does the trick. When she was president of the Dilworth Loco Ladies Lions Club, Kristine Johnson made sure to show her appreciation. “I tried to verbally thank members at meetings and functions, and I also sent personal thank-you cards. At the end of my term, I gave every member a rose and a thank-you card with pictures of the club,” says Johnson. Her efforts were appreciated, and even became contagious. “I received a thank-you card from one of the members thanking me for my thank-you card!”
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