I've wanted to get the older women of our church involved with the girls in the Junior and Senior High groups for a while now. To set it up, I decided to offer a Secret Sister program, in which the women over the age of 18 would draw a number and be matched to one of the girls in the youth program. I wanted to launch it at our annual Christmas party, and set the goal for the women to pray for the girl they draw for the first six weeks of 2017 and occasionally send a note or card of encouragement.
Because it was being launched at our annual Christmas party, I thought the Spun Glass Heart Christmas Ornaments from Oriental Trading would be perfect for drawing the numbers. They'd be perfect for Valentine's Day, too! I placed each ornament in an organza bag. I created numbered tags in my editing program and placed a number inside the bag.
I placed the ornaments all in a basket. At the Christmas party, I allowed each woman that wanted to participate to select an ornament. The number she selected corresponded to a girl on my master list, and they'd receive their name from me. I'll be keeping track of the master list and planning a reveal for later. I thought I'd share what I've learned along the way and how I plan to execute the Secret Sister program.
Steps to Set up a Secret Sister Program
- Explain Secret Sister guidelines to participants. Include time frame, expectations, etc.
- Set a monetary limit if gifts are going to be involved. In our case, we're doing cards and notes of encouragement.
- If you're going to allow gifts, ask the recipients to complete a questionnaire, then use this to distribute to the Secret Sisters.
- Assign secret sisters randomly. In our case, they selected a number, I assigned the recipient according the number they were on the master list.
- Give simple ideas for cards and if possible, make cards available to those who may wish to participate but might not because of financial limitations.
- Monitor the secret sister program throughout the duration of it. Make sure no one gets missed, and send reminders as needed.
- Plan a Secret Sister Reveal. It can be as simple as signing their name at the end of the time frame or planning a luncheon. Make sure your recipients meet their secret sister face to face.
- Set up a location where the Secret Sisters can leave their cards anonymously. A small table, mailbox, or designated spot where you can retrieve them and distribute them easily. I'll be making a mailbox for ours.
- Maintain a master list of assigned Secret Sisters in case anything comes up. Be sure to reassign if anyone moves, etc.
In our case, it is my prayer that the Secret Sisters will want to build a relationship with the youth they selected and have prayed for. I'm hoping that six weeks of praying for the same girl daily will cause them to want to pour into the life of a girl younger than themselves.
***Special Thanks to Oriental Trading for providing some of the items seen in this post.***