Gifts for donors on special occasions can become trite, especially when everyone is gifting the same things. They also can be expensive. Flowers are nice, of course, and always appropriate, but they often are lost in a flood of other floral offerings. Think instead of things you have enjoyed receiving and pair those with a little creativity to come up with unique gifts that are both appreciated and remembered. It has been my experience that food items are usually welcomed and enjoyed by all.
Companies like Brenda Starr’s Gourmet Goodies produce universally welcomed Bundt cakes that are high-quality with a reasonable shelf life and a five-star look. Cakes and other baked treats are shipped directly to the door of the recipient and always include a handwritten note. Never have I seen one of these cakes that the donor did not personally comment about. Personal deliveries, when possible, are always welcome, and put a kind face to the organization. Being in South Florida, we are blessed with fresh oranges in the winter. Delivering a gallon of freshly-squeezed orange juice to the home of a donor with the sniffles is a creative “Thinking of you” gift. A quart of chicken (or vegetable) soup from a favorite deli or take-out (Toojay’s in our area), also is welcomed for those who are under the weather. Pair it with a loaf of fresh bread from a local bakery and pack it all in a nice basket with a dishcloth: inexpensive, thoughtful and very comforting. A local baker can make cookies and cupcakes for celebrations at little cost; a few balloons from a party store and some streamers, and you’ve created a cheery “Happy Day” platter for less than $50. There are candy shops that produce chocolates and brittles to order, and even popcorn and nut mixes for those watching diets. Other shops can deliver healthier gifts — bouquets or platters of cut vegetables or fruits with creative dips.
You can be practical and creative all in one. Appeal to the palate and you’ll hit a home run every time.