Suggestions, Please, for frugal "thank you" gifts

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  1. mythbuster profile image73
    mythbusterposted 13 years ago

    I've just received word that I've qualified to receive some "assured long-term" benefits for disability - on an application process that took over 2 years and many individuals/professionals as advocates' assistance. This means that I can evade the constant worry of homelessness, so long as my current housing remains secure.

    For my advocates, the most I am allowed to do is extend a client-to-service provider version of "Thank you for doing your job," so I have that figured out.

    A number of close friends minus (my) family members have been incredible moral and sometimes financial and always - emotional supports...especially when I did become homeless during this application and qualification process.

    Can anyone provide some ideas on how to thank these wonderful people for all their support? I immediately thought of buying small gifts but this new benefit program I just got on is actually something which places me securely below poverty level but with assured income to pay my rent without having to work full time. ie: I won't ever have a lot of money and certainly the "little bit extra" I'll receive within the next month is not going to go far...I really want to let some people know how much they are appreciated (I've already told most of them but it doesn't seem enough to just say, "Hey dude, thanks - high-fiver!" or give a gal a hug and say "You're appreciated - thank you").

    Should I wander over to Moonmaiden's hubs and start working on "crafts" and make some gifts (oh but how long will it take me to MAKE a dozen things?), send my "alternative, artsy" friends around to poetry hubs that others have written which match something I identify with and which express something similar I can relate to about all this stuff? (there are some really cool "friendship" hubs from the Hub Pages community - and also, a lot of great poetry).


    1. Phoenix Poet profile image58
      Phoenix Poetposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Okay, this might seem stupid BUT if you are any good at writing poetry you could always write them something personalized, print it out and frame it.  You can get cheap frames at a place like Dollar Tree.
      If you know someplace where you can get wildflowers you could dig some up and put them in cheap pots.
      You could do a multi-media hub on these people if you have pictures of them.
      Lyricsingray did hubs on male hubbers she liked.
      It was very flattering to all included.

      1. mythbuster profile image73
        mythbusterposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        Phoenix Poet, all good ideas here. I didn't think the poetry suggestion was stupid at all. I'm not a very good poet but I try sometimes...most of my stuff ends up as a limerick lol

        but my friends probably won't care if they get a limerick from me, so long as I make a fair attempt to write a good one!

        Every single post here has great ideas!

        Amber Allen, I'm not sure what you mean by writing testimonials for advocates to promote their services...

        1. Phoenix Poet profile image58
          Phoenix Poetposted 13 years agoin reply to this

          I get it!
          What she is saying is that you take your writing skills and use it to write PR or ad copy or the like to promote their products and services.  Promote their businesses with your writing skills.
          they should appreciate it and it won't cost you much!

  2. Arthur Fontes profile image76
    Arthur Fontesposted 13 years ago

    If you could afford a few flats of flowers some small pots and a little soil then a small gift could be made.  It could be put on desks, in windows and will last through the summer season.

    1. mythbuster profile image73
      mythbusterposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Forgive me for my slow brain, Arthur Fontes...

      Your idea, I'm definitely going with here. It just occurred to me that it was my hope, anyway, to be able to afford some plants for my place, flowers, etc and with your idea, it'll be a BONUS to initiate gift-giving of this nature:

      "One for me, one for you and you" - Cool...I'm going to get the starter stuff for things/plants in my own home, anyway...I'll just buy a little extra, then give away the stuff that is "in excess, taking up too much room at my place." Then nobody will try to make me return anything, either.

      You rock, Mr. Fontes.

      1. Arthur Fontes profile image76
        Arthur Fontesposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        Thank you.

        When my children lived at home the flowers was what we made to give to family members for holidays.  Mothers day, Easter  etc...

        It was nice to see the flowers in the windows when we went to visit.

        I am glad that I could be of some help.

  3. Greek One profile image63
    Greek Oneposted 13 years ago

    since you are a hubber, a personalized individualized letter explaining just exactly what their support meant to you...

    everthing else would just be a symbol of what you would be trying to communicate anyway

  4. Origin profile image61
    Originposted 13 years ago

    You could always make homemade thank you cards smile

    1. mythbuster profile image73
      mythbusterposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      I was actually thinking, for some of the poorer folk I know, that I could make hand-made "coupons" for them that are "redeemable" only through ME - for an "emergency support meeting" downtown (coffee visit when they are likewise stressed), "hugs" redeemable by me and (yes, I know some of this is silly - but heck, we're not SERIOUS all the time over here - even in our homelessness and near-homelessness lol), etc.

  5. mythbuster profile image73
    mythbusterposted 13 years ago

    Wow, Arthur Fontest, thanks for the quick reply...

    I like your idea - but I'll make a list here and see which things are affordable and appropriate for my situation and then make a selection in a few days or so.

    In my region, something flowery will definitely be appreciated by most people as we have a relatively short and questionable summer season in this area of Canada! Flower sets will definitely bring some cheer!

    This might work for a few people I have on my list - but several other people I need to thank are, quite frankly, homeless individuals.

    1. profile image0
      EmpressFelicityposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Food items?  Something non-bulky and not too perishable that you know the person likes but can't afford to buy normally (like chocolate, for example).

      1. mythbuster profile image73
        mythbusterposted 13 years agoin reply to this

        Most of my friends hate when donations of chocolate are made and have already asked me "NEVER DONATE CHOCOLATE to the shelter I am at - and NEVER give me chocolate as a gift..."

        So I know where a few people stand on that matter - but I do like your suggestion, Empress, on food items that are healthy. I think I will stock up my own cupboards and keep just one shelf that is for "my fantastic homeless friends" and keep a supply of granola bars, raisins and stuff like that on it that is not for me but is for other people...and if my friends turn in a "coupon" I'll toss some bars into my bag before heading out to meet them.

        Cool ideas here, people...Empress - my problem will be figuring out "non-bulky" items and all I came up with is the granola bars and raisins. I'll keep thinking on this though.

  6. mythbuster profile image73
    mythbusterposted 13 years ago

    Origin and Greek One...your ideas are down on my new list now, too...both great ideas!

    I'll bet if 12 people respond here, I'll get 12 great, performable ideas I can implement!

  7. Greek One profile image63
    Greek Oneposted 13 years ago

    keep in mind that these people would know about your financial sistuation, and would probably feel uncomfortable even if you were to spend money on a gift.

    1. mythbuster profile image73
      mythbusterposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Yes, you've got THAT right, Greek One...most of the people will try and make me return gifts and get my money back...

      Which is why the suggestions here so far are all perfect!

      All of the ideas, so far are going to be "no-return." Nobody's going to return and say they won't use a home-made coupon, card, small affordable flower kit or granola bars and raisins!

  8. mythbuster profile image73
    mythbusterposted 13 years ago

    Cool ideas, people - I already have TWO lists now...

    One for people who are housed who will appreciate the flower idea like Arthur Fontes mentioned...

    Another list to implement ideas for my friends who are not housed or are in unstable housing situations and can't keep long-term items around like flowers or plants.

  9. scottyy11 profile image59
    scottyy11posted 13 years ago

    How about a pen, just $5-$10.

    1. mythbuster profile image73
      mythbusterposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      For my low-income peers, scottyy11, the pen idea won't work (most are students - they have pens in and out and sideways, including "gift-set" pens which people donate a lot of to shelters)...but you've just given me a perfect item that is acceptable for some of my advocates that I'm supposed to have a professional client-service provider relationship with.

      I think a gift of a nice pen will be considered "appropriate" and acceptable here.

      Thanks for the suggestion.

  10. raisingme profile image80
    raisingmeposted 13 years ago

    For those who are not housed if it is possible for you to do so you could host a Thank You Dinner at your new digs and whip up an inexpensive but nutritious meal.  There are thousands of recipes on the internet for frugal diners.

    And, Bless You, it takes a lot of energy to go through wend one's way through the bureaucratic quagmire on the way to get the needed assistance, many lose their way or give up - Congratulations to You for persisting and attaining your goal!

    1. mythbuster profile image73
      mythbusterposted 13 years agoin reply to this

      Another great idea.....

      Dang - now I have to work on a third list - a shopping list for this dinner idea...

      I think I'll have to host a couple of very small dinners, raisingme... LOL my kitchen's pretty small - but thank goodness I do have my own kitchen.

      I'll be able to implement something like this, for sure, in about a week! Probably 2 or 3 little dinners with just a person or two invited should do the trick!

      Thanks so much.

  11. Amber Allen profile image61
    Amber Allenposted 13 years ago

    Would the advocates who helped you be able to use a written testimonial from you to promote their services?

  12. Beth100 profile image72
    Beth100posted 13 years ago

    You can write a hub featuring the special things they did for you and provide them with a link in a card or email.  You can even add photos of them (if they give you permission).  Letters of reference, when well written, are priceless and continue to give well into the future.

    If homeless, then basic necessities would be good -- personal hygiene items along with a special something like hairpiece, special soap, puffy scrubber and gel.  I know that this isn't very original, but a few of my friends who were/are homeless enjoy the "finer" things in life (as they joke with me all the time).  You can find these at the Dollar Store.

    Dollar Store also has crafts:  premade treasure boxes, birdhouses, cannisters (multiuse) and are generally made of wood that you can paint or decorate with embellishments (a dollar will buy you a bag that will decorate 5-6 items).  Each of the wooden DIY projects are a dollar. 

    I love the Dollar Store....small wreaths that you can decorate with fabric flowers (which are located at the back wall).  A square gift box, a plate mirror that fits on the bottom and a candle.  It looks smart and costs only $3 (I've given this to professional friends, and they thought I spent a fortune). 

    BTW, very happy for you that you receive your disability income.  It's an uphill battle, and a painful one. 

    If I come up with any more ideas, I'll come back.

    Enjoy your day!

  13. rebekahELLE profile image86
    rebekahELLEposted 13 years ago

    a nice idea that I'm sure they would love.
    and perhaps a hand written note expressing your gratitude with some inspiring quotes. I think everyone really appreciates hand written notes.

    congrats for you. it must give you so much relief.
    it is always the simple gestures that mean the most in our lives.

  14. Ohma profile image59
    Ohmaposted 13 years ago

    All of these are great ideas.
    I an a huge fan of the pay it forward idea as well. Your friends and supporters will know that their kindness inspired you to extend the same to someone else down on their luck and you will get the benefit of helping others.


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