What do you get for residents living in independent living retirement communities as a prize when they have everything that they need already? Gift cards! How many times have you heard that the residents are trying to get rid of stuff in their homes at this stage in their lives? I hear it a lot, and I hate to wast money on silly stuff, so I find that gift cards have been a great prize to award when I need a prize. Yes, I could give (and do sometimes) food items, but that is tricky with special diets.
I like to give away a few different kinds of gift cards. The first is more like a gift certificate instead of a card. This is a personalized certificate that I make in my office and can be applied towards the price of a fee for service activity in our community. I've made them for my activities department as well as the housekeeping and culinary departments. They are redeemable with the department heads of the various departments.
The other type of gift card is the store bought variety. Most of the residents like getting ones for the grocery stores or the drug stores. I also buy Walmart, Target and other department stores. I make sure that wherever I get a card from, that our community provides transportation to the store at some point in the near future. Visa or Mastercards are alright also, but there are usually extra fees attached to them when you buy them.
There was an article in my local paper today regarding gift card resellers on the Internet. Be very careful about selecting a reputable site to shop from if you choose to buy gift cards on-line. Here are a few that are mentioned in the newspaper article that seem good, though I have not had any transactions with them yet.
Remember that Amazon has all kinds of gift cards. I tried to select a few that would be most likely in your area to show you on this blog, but since there are readers from all over, you will want to check out the link above to see what more is being offered. The easy of ordering on-line through Amazon, free shipping on most items and knowing how safe it is, makes perfect sense to me! No more driving to different stores makes for a happy Activities Director and happy residents