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In a few short weeks, the youth group that my husband pastors will say “Congratulations!” to four amazing young people. My husband has been at our current church for eight years as youth minister, and we have had the privilege to have all these students in our youth group since middle school. This time is so bittersweet. We are both proud of their accomplishments, and we are excited to see what God will do in their lives in the future. However, we are also going to miss their presence in our group tremendously! I know that this time in their lives is full of wonder, nervousness, and apprehension. All graduates can use encouraging from those who love and support them! Do you know a few family members or youth group students who are graduating this year? Here are a few easy gifts that you can give to encourage new grads. Some are free, some are cheap, and some aren’t, but grads will find encouragement in all of these!
-A firm handshake and an encouraging word- We all know that this is a challenging time for grads. They don’t need us to remind them! Let’s edify new grads with encouraging words. These kids who were formerly “youth” are now adults heading off on new adventures and responsibilities. Show them a firm handshake, and let them know how much that you think of them and what they will accomplish. Skip the “I’m glad I’m not the one having to pay for college these days!” talk and keep it positive.
-Send an eCard- Do you struggle with connecting to older teens in a highly technological age? Or maybe the student that you are thinking of is extremely shy or lives far away? An eCard can be a fun and encouraging surprise! DaySpring has an eCard studio with many uplifting cards!
-Send a snail mail card- I’m old school. For me, there’s nothing that replaces a good ol’ card in the mail. Counting family and church youth, I have eight grads to mail cards to this year! The DaySpring Graduation Dream Big boxed set has classic cards with scripture text that are perfect for all the grads that we know.
-A photo- Do you have photos of your graduate? Maybe with friends or at a church event from years ago? Print them out at a photo kiosk and gift them to the graduate! In this time of reflection, students will enjoy these keepsakes as they prepare for new journeys.
-A piece of “keepsake” money- Do you remember that aunt or grandparent that always gave you a keepsake coin or $2 bill for Christmas? I remember collecting these, and I still have them today!
-Take them out for a meal or coffee
-Give the gift all graduates love- In case you didn’t know, that’s money! But money is a favorite for a reason! Expenses add up quickly when you’re graduating, and it can be a shock (especially for those students with a lack of knowledge about how much things really cost).
-A diploma and tassel frame- Did you know that they make special frames for displaying a graduate’s diploma and tassel? What a neat keepsake! I would have liked receiving one of them eons ago!
-A Bible– I challenge you to go the extra step with this gift. Instead of just gifting a new Bible, sign your name and a verse in the front. Or maybe go through and highlight a few of your favorite encouraging verses. This is definitely a gift that can keep encouraging for a lifetime! A journaling Bible is also an excellent gift for grads. Students can take notes in the margins or complete inspirational drawings!
-A nice pen
-Choose a small gift– Do you know your graduate well? Does she wear jewelry? Does he run on caffeine and coffee? Choose a small gift that you know that they will like. It may be a coffee cup, a necklace, a planner, or something else entirely!
What else would you add to the list?
While this post concentrates on encouraging graduates, the truth is that everyone needs encouraging! DaySpring is currently in the midst of their 21 Days of Encouragement Campaign. Click the below banner to get more ideas on how to encourage everyone in your life!
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