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T.G.I.F. Volunteer Recognition Idea #1

Have fabulous volunteers? Struggling to find fun, yet affordable ways to reward them for their service to your organization? Find inspiration in our weekly T.G.I.F. idea. Each Friday, we will highlight creative ideas for a Theme, Gift, Invitation, and Food plan that make for a perfect volunteer recognition event. Let A Creative Touch inspire your creativity with promotional product ideas that show appreciation to your volunteers!

act-pizza-cutterT.= Theme: Our Volunteers are Supreme!

G.= Gift: Choose this nifty little pizza cutter which can be customized with the special message “Volunteers Are Supreme” and your organization’s logo. It’s a giveaway that says, “Thanks for giving our organization all this pizza-z!”

I. = Invitation/D√©cor: Spice up your invitations with red, green and white: Join us for pizza, praise and lots amore! To create a pizzeria vibe, cover tables with red and white checkered tablecloths; then string white lights from the ceiling. Give each guest a paper chef’s hat and a mustache to wear. For place mats, make color copies of the Italian flag or a map of Italy.

F. = Food/Refreshments: The menu is as easy as pie: Give your volunteers a slice of Old World heaven with different kinds of pizza, pasta, garlic bread, Neapolitan ice cream and cannoli!

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Promotional Products Go Tailgating

Stock PhotoIt’s Monday Night Football!¬† Are you a football fan?¬† Then you’re probably familiar with tailgating.¬† For those not ‘in the know’, tailgating, is a type of party held at sporting events. In fact, tailgating could be described as taking your sports bar outdoors!Usually held in parking lots before big games, tailgating is known for its relaxed atmosphere. Beer drinking and grilling are two activities typically popular with tailgaters. Named after truck tailgates, which are often used as tables for food, these parties are very popular with college students and sports fans. Sports figures like John Madden have even written books about the art of tailgating.

Tailgating isn’t a modern phenomenon, even though it is enormously popular today. A recent NPR piece revealed that it’s roots can be traced to nineteenth-century game day picnics at Princeton.¬† While you may not be driving a horse drawn carriage to your next tailgate, you should join in the fun!

Whether you are a fan of tailgating or new to the party, it is a great idea to promote your business with tailgating-friendly promotional products. With fall approaching, thousands of grills will be fired up in anticipation of the football season.  These products from us at A Creative Touch can represent your organization on game day:

act-tailgate-coolerCoolers: Keep your beverages cool with one of our customizable coolers. We have over one hundred for you to choose from! I like the PEVA-lined ice chest with soft sides as a promotional product. It can be collapsed when not in use and comes in several colors, including red and blue. Coordinate with your favorite local team or pick patriotic colors to make it 4th of July giveaway appropriate, too.

What about grilling tools?  Believe it or not, we have 95 options for your company. Imagine being able to give customers a promotional product that will remind them of you whenever they flip a burger! If your clientele includes grilling fans, a custom spatula is fun and unique. Most of our grilling items are stainless steel, too.

act-bottle-openerFor something more portable, chose a smaller promotional product like a bottle opener. We have over 30 options, including combination bottle opener key rings in multiple shapes and colors. With a key ring option, your clients won’t accidentally leave your opener at home! If you are a wine drinker, choose our Sonoma wine opener, available in five colors. Whether you prefer beer or wine (or bottled ginger ale), all our bottle openers can be customized for you.

So, don’t forget us during football season! Order your promotional products in time for the big game now.

Before the Parade Passes By, Buy SWAG

Girl Brass BandIf you are like me, one of the highlights of your Thanksgiving might be watching the famous Macy’s Day Parade. Immortalized in 1947’s “Miracle on 34th Street,” the classic holiday film starring Natalie Wood and Maureen O’Hara, the parade is well known for its large and colorful balloons, floats, and marching bands.

Several million people line the streets during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, while millions of other Americans view the yearly television broadcast. Beginning in 1927, Macy’s introduced its famous balloons. Did you know that the first Macy’s balloon animal was Felix the Cat?¬† The man behind many of the early Macy’s balloons was a marionette maker named Tony Sarg. For balloon loving kids and other members of your family, the children’s book “Balloons Over Broadway,” explains how Sarg created those balloons.¬† Part of the reason the Macy’s parade is so famous today is the department store’s willingness to maintain important traditions while appealing to younger generations. Each year, for example, Macy’s unveils new characters as well as classic holiday balloons, ranging from SpongeBob to Scooby Doo.

act-pom-bamsIf your organization or company wants to emulate Macy’s by creating parade-friendly promotional items, we can help you at A Creative Touch! We have products for all your parade needs: If you want to cheer on the sidelines, look at our inventory of pom-poms, noisemakers, and even PomBams (pictured), which are noisemakers with silver pom-poms.

If you are planning an early morning parade activity, consider the hundreds of light up novelties in our collection LED lanyards to lit-up wigs, that will stand out from your float. Decorating a float? We have dozens of streamers and other supplies to help!  We even have small goody bags of candy and other items that can be tossed to parade viewers. 

A Creative Touch has ¬†hundreds of other items that can be customized for your local festivities, including flags, glow sticks, hundreds of beads and other promotional products. Our promotional products are fantastic for all kinds of parades–everything from Thanksgiving to Mardi Gras to the 4th of July! Contact us to help you find the perfect promotion today.

Make Mine Pie!

act-pumpkin-pieEverybody loves pie! So why doesn’t pie get any love at Thanksgiving? From apple to rhubarb to pumpkin, there are dozens of different types of pie. That’s probably why pie puts a smile on your face: there’s a pie type for everyone. According to TIME magazine, the original Thanksgiving celebration could have featured savory pies, although sweet pies are currently popular, with the nation’s longtime favorite embodied in the saying ‘American as apple pie’. While the turkey hogs the Thanksgiving spotlight, you may not have thought about pie promotions for the fall. Pies are a great gift option for volunteers, employees, and clients.

act-pie-cake-slicerRather than going with the usual free turkey, think sweet. Skip the turkey and say ‘ hi’ to pie! We have piles of pie products available at A Creative Touch:

Planning an event? Serve pie with a customizable pie and cake slicer. Available in multiple pastel shades, this plastic slicer is dishwasher-safe, light, and easy to use in booths and other display settings.

act-pie-serverWant something more formal to give to a client or employee? Choose one of our stainless pie servers. We have many customizable styles to chose from, depending on your preference for modern or traditional styles.

Need a plate for that pie? We have a dozen customizable plates with an image of your favorite pies: lemon meringue, blueberry, peach, even raspberry! Choose your favorite pie type and throw a pie party for valued clients or volunteers, so they can have a commemorative keepsake.

Looking for a more elaborate pie-themed gift? Let us help you create a custom basket! We have an array of pie-related items, everything from measuring cups to pie mixes. At A Creative Touch, we can help you design something truly unique and memorable.  We hope you have a sweet and filling celebration this Thanksgiving!

It’s Our 11th Anniversary!


act-11th-annivesaryThe team at A Creative Touch is getting ready to¬†celebrate our¬†eleventh anniversary. In fact, our anniversary will fall on November 11th! That got us thinking about 11th anniversaries and how to celebrate them. (They often don’t get much attention since 10-year and 15-year anniversaries¬†usually steal the show.)

Did you know that the traditional eleventh-year anniversary gift is steel? In fact, there is a chart for appropriate traditional and modern anniversary gifts.  Eleven-year celebratory gifts can include traditional choices like steel clocks, watches, or kitchen appliances. Modern options might be items like golf equipment, tools, exercise gear, or steel desk accessories.  How can your business or organization celebrate 11 years with promotional products?  Many of these customary 11th anniversary steel gifts make fabulous promotional items.  

act-steel-golfCustomizable pens are very popular giveaways-with an extra 11th anniversary-themed touch of steel.  A more unusual option is a portable toolkit designed for golfers. This is an excellent promotional product if golf enthusiasts are a big part of your clientele.  If you are looking to appeal to busy consumers, a steel travel mug is a practical, much appreciated choice.

At A Creative Touch, we carry more than 300 jewelry items among our steel promotional products. Choosing a jewelry item for your business is a neat twist on this act-steel-cufffashionable gift trend. Many of these promotional products can be customized with a personal message for your own 11th anniversary.¬† Consider a customizable steel pendant or a more daring option like a unisex steel cuff in a fashionable black patina which is often called an ‚Äėoil rubbed’ finish–a great promotional product option for both men and women.

Whatever you choose, A Creative Touch can help you celebrate your eleventh anniversary and promote your business in style!¬† With more than 30,000 steel items to choose from, we sure we can help your company ‘steel’ the spotlight on your 11th anniversary!

Ideas for Honoring Our Veterans

act-veterans-saluteVeterans Day is incredibly important to me.  Thanking our veterans for their incredible service is one of my most important missions.  In fact, I was the National Commander for the DAVA, the year I founded A Creative Touch.  Volunteer work and advocacy for our servicemen and women is still a large part of my life today; I volunteer 2-3 days per week, and I am always inspired by the courage and commitment of our veterans.  I encourage others to get involved, too!

Since Veterans Day, which honors all service members, is just around the corner, there are several ways you can celebrate our military:

  • Observe Veterans Day on November 11th by attending services and events in your local community.
  • Volunteer with your local VA facility or donate to the VA here .
  • Document and learn about veteran service through the Veterans History Project, a Library of Congress program that collects and archives oral histories (interviews) from veterans. You can even volunteer to gather histories from your local veterans, if you are a student in the 10th grade or higher. Many Eagle Scouts participate in this program, so inquire with your local troop if your child is an Eagle Scout. If you are a parent, teacher, librarian, scout guide, or involved in an organization for children and teens, this website also has resources to highlight the importance of Veterans’ Day to future generations.
  • For younger students, the “Take A Veteran to School Day” program-created by the History Channel-is an opportunity to increase awareness about Veterans’ Day but bringing a veteran to your school to speak to a class or student assembly.
  • The VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) Foundation has created a campaign called “Return the Favor,” which allows volunteers to leave virtual thank you notes to veterans, volunteers to donate to VFW efforts, and lists special events organized by the VFW.
  • Another way to volunteer for our veterans is by¬†contacting organizations that provide care packages and other items to individual veterans and VA clinics. As one elderly veteran told the Lincoln (NE) JournalStar newspaper, a care package shows that “somebody cares” about them.
  • Operation Gratitude is an organization that delivers care packages to active duty military overseas and was the first organization to send care packages to our veterans at home. As founder Carolyn Blashek says here, “it is never too late to say thank you” to our veterans for their sacrifices. One of Operation Gratitude’s programs is a monthly care package service–you can send one veteran of World War II, the Korean War, or the Vietnam War one care package every month! You can also write a letter to a veteran as an individual or group.
  • Create a blanket for a veteran with Soldiers’ Angels “Blankets of Gratitude” program. Visit their website for instructions on how to knit a blanket for a veteran and join their Sewing Team.
  • Donate toys, services, and funds to Operation Homefront, an organization that provides a variety of services to active duty military, veterans, and their families.
  • You can also organize an independent local effort through your church, employer, or other organization. For example, employees of the University of Arkansas Medical Sciences program created their own care packages for veterans at a Little Rock facility. Working with the Red Cross, local school children, and raising over six hundred dollars of their own funds, these employees created 125 care packages, a video tribute, and even held a Veterans Education and Benefits fair “where 20 veterans’ organizations and agencies were on hand to answer questions about retirement and health benefits, education opportunities, counseling and other issues.”¬† If your company or organization decides to take on a care package project, A Creative Touch can help with the selection of items to include.

Please join me in celebrating veterans in your community this year!

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