Expressing Gratitude to 3 Different Groups of People – Close of Heart, Strangers & People in Our Community

Thank You Note

Gratitude to Those Close to Our Heart

When we want to express sincere gratitude for those who have supported us, encouraged us, and blessed us emotionally or practically, we want to take the time to say ‘thank you’ to them. Yes, others do their acts of kindness expecting nothing in return, but we all appreciate thanks for giving our time, energy, and acts of care. We offer something valuable, and we appreciate it when others recognize the treasure, whether it’s our time or our resources. Gratefulness is always appreciated.

We can write a note of appreciation because a handwritten note, email, or text is an excellent way of saying thanks to:

  • Family Member
  • Friend
  • Neighbor
  • Teacher
  • Co-Worker

If you want to express your profound appreciation through a little prize, consider a gift certificate to their favorite restaurant or Amazon.

Gratitude is “an emotion of the heart, excited by a favor or benefit received; a sentiment of kindness or good will towards a benefactor; thankfulness.”

Recognition of Strangers

Every time we dine in a restaurant, we have the opportunity to share encouragement with our server. We can be gracious if they’re new to the job, forgiving if they make a mistake, and applaud them if they are fantastic.

Whether our server is a college student putting themselves through school, a recent graduate paying off collegiate loans, or a single parent making ends meet, we can add value to them by giving above and beyond the standard fifteen percent tip. I recommend giving thirty to fifty percent of the ticket total. It will be a vote of recognition that their service is highly esteemed by us, a vote of confidence of their value as a person, and a boost of morale to persevere.

We can give a hidden gift by paying for others’ meals, so they are surprised when they check out and discover their total is zero. It’s fun to bless others unaware. If you see a young couple with several small children – when you checkout and pay for your meal, pay for the young family’s meal. If eating near a hospital and you see an elderly couple with strained faces, when you pay for your meal, buy their meal too, and hopefully, some of that strained look will ease because of a stranger’s thoughtfulness.

When you are going through the drive-through at a fast-food restaurant when you buy your meal, purchase the person’s behind you and your generosity will touch them. Suddenly a grey day has a light beam shining in it.

Generosity is “a disposition to give liberally or to bestow favors” on others. And when we recognize and acknowledge them unexpectedly, I believe it gives value, high regard, and hope to the recipient.

Acknowledgment of Community Needs

Thanksgiving is a fantastic time to serve in the community. Many communities serve a meal on Thanksgiving and need volunteers to help put food on plates. Other communities hand out food baskets for those struggling financially and need volunteers to package the baskets and deliver them once they are collected.

Food banks need donations of canned goods. And before you forget, blood banks are always in need of generous gifts of our blood. If you prefer not to open your pocketbook, or you don’t want to see a needle, grab a pen and write a note of encouragement or send a Christmas card to:

  • A soldier serving overseas
  • A juvenile in the prison system
  • A child in the hospital

Whether they chose their place (military or prison) or it is entirely outside of their control (hospital) our note, or Christmas card could give them a ray of hope in a dreary environment.

Gratitude, Thankfulness, and Appreciation

Gratitude, thankfulness, and appreciation are desperately needed today. Whether someone is close in heart or a stranger, we can give the gift of appreciation. And when we give of our time through an act of kindness, a deed of service, or a handwritten note, people feel valued, honored, and treasured. They feel hope.

Show gratitude. Who can you write or text right now to say thank you for a kind deed done for you?

Be encouraging. Who can you encourage through a note or card? Go ahead and sit down and write them right now. (Relative, friend, neighbor, a child in the hospital, a soldier deployed, juvenile in prison, teacher, co-worker)

Be kind and show appreciation. Who can you serve through an act of kindness? (A waitress, a patron in the restaurant, or the homeless in a local shelter)

Acknowledge others. Who can you give to? (Cans of food to the food bank, diapers to the crisis pregnancy center, blood to the blood bank, money for disaster relief [Red Cross or Salvation Army or United Rescue Alliance])




Kindness in a Storm


Webster’s 1828 Dictionary. Retrieved November 7, 2021, from

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8 thoughts on “Expressing Gratitude to 3 Different Groups of People – Close of Heart, Strangers & People in Our Community”

  1. Lisa, great ideas here to incorporate thanksgiving into our interactions with others and make a difference in their lives! You are so right when you say, “Gratitude, thankfulness, and appreciation are desperately needed today. “, When I was growing up it was a part of everyone’s interactions, today, so much entitlement and self focus has extinguished this beautiful grace.

    1. I agree, Donna, gratitude use to be a part of everyone’s interactions. Today, we have to intentionally cultivate appreciation. I’m hopeful that the seeds we plant will grow into a great harvest.

  2. I love these three categories! We often think our gratitude is just for those in-person people that are in our circles, but our circles actually extend much wider out into our communities and the world.

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