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Graduation Lei

 Here's what I have done in the past. I include this, with a brand new shiny penny attached: "Our graduation gift to you is a penny, but why? Look at the penny and you will understand. The year is 2007 -- so you will always remember this special time.  "Honest Abe" Lincoln is on the front -- always be honest with yourself and others.  The word LIBERTY -- as they say in the Navy, you are now "at liberty," and that means free to do as you like.  Don't waste that  freedom.  IN GOD WE TRUST -- you must trust in someone or something, you can't go through life alone. Trust in yourself, trust in God, trust the life you make.  A penny may only be worth one cent, and you can't buy much with a penny any more. But every dollar is made up from 100 pennies, and every kid's piggy bank starts off with one penny. The penny, like you, is not made of pure silver or gold -- but surely if you put enough pennies together, they will amount to something.  We ask that you will go out into the world and amount to something. Set your own value on life, set your own standards and goals.  And, in case you need it...Here's a penny for luck." (Idea by Joyce Terry / ga02212007)

When I graduated from YW, many years ago, all the graduating Laurels were given a beautiful temple envelope to hold our temple items. This was a great treasure to me. It made me look forward to when I could use it. I didn't know exactly what it was for, but I knew I would use it when I went to the temple. I kept it in my top drawer and every time I opened my drawer I would remember that goal of going to the temple. When I did finally get to use it, I remembered all the wonderful girls and leaders that helped me get to where I was. It was like I had a part of them there at the temple with me. I still use it to this day. Every time I use it, I smile inside knowing that someone loved me enough to make it for me and cared what happened to me and what kind of woman I would turn out to be.  (Shared by Rachel Baker / ga05302012)

 Binder Cookbooks by Amy Formenti

 Recipe Tins by Heather Dreier

 For our graduating girls, we order a personalized temple envelope that is embroidered with their name and their favorite temple on it (you can get them at My Princess Pearls--or click this link: click here).  We present them this gift, with a note that it's to take with them to the temple someday, along with the book "Where Do I Go From Here: Finding Your Mission as a Young Adult Woman."  (Idea by Becca from North Carolina) 

{Tutorial} Graduation Caps for Push Pops

 Office Supply Boxes by Debi Hill

Graduation Treat Pops

 Last year we gave the graduating girls some tupperware and Ramen noodes with the saying "Congrats! You've "graduated" to the next stage in life... Tupperware and ramen noodles!! Good luck with college!"  The girls loved them because it was all something that they could use.  (Idea by Brenda Liddiard / ga03042007

Binder Cookbooks by Amy Formenti

 I really like the idea of monogramming towels for the girls to use at college. I also have seen cute laundry bags and then a laundry basket with laundry "Stuff.". I like the idea of a recipe book. I love the scrap booking idea of a book of quotes and stories. That is useful. We have also had a YW value bracelet made. I think it was $30.00, but now I think I could make the same one for about $10.00. Care packages are cute and you can put whatever you find in your neighborhood. What about a nice set of scriptures if you are by the distribution center with their name on it.--there are seconds available all the time for pretty cheap. What about something the "Hope" chest. A statute or nice framed picture. I like the idea of the tiles--with the vinyl lettering.  We do big graduation parties here where everyone is EXPECTED to come. I have volunteered to do the desserts or decorate or just help the mom's serve and clean-up. That is a nice gift--when you don't' have a lot of money. (Idea by Ann Snider / ga02212007)

Office Supply Boxes by Debi Call

Graduation Cap Card

 I've been in Young Women for the last 12 out of 14 years. The first year I was in YW, we decided as a presidency to give Recipe card files to our graduating Laurels. It's been a popular gift and one that we've given every year.  Each YW leader, and sometimes leaders that have been released but were leaders during the graduates years in YW, put about 10 recipes on recipe cards or 3X5 cards. We purchase wooden recipe boxes, the last several years we have found them at Wal-Mart for about $6.00. We make categories, such as bread, main dish, vegetable, soup, dessert, etc. Then we put the recipe cards in their boxes.  This is a gift they can always use, the leader puts her name on her recipe, so it is a reminder of their YW years and leaders. I know that 2 of my daughters who have graduated appreciated the recipes and use them.  We also have a ward dinner after the church meetings to congratulate the graduates, YM and YW. We have given them balloon bouquets in the past, these can be purchased at a dollar store. We also make large cards out of poster board and the ward members sign them. (Idea Kris Briles)

Recipe Tin by Heather Dreier

 Give a pocketsize copy of the hymn book with their name engraved on the front. 

 Nice but not inexpensive, temple slippers with the poem about temple slippers. Unfortunately, last year we paid around $10 per pair of temple slippers. Fortunately we only have a couple a year that graduate. (Idea by LeNore Merritt)

 We have given out laundry baskets with some laundry detergent, box of bounce, candles, Clorox, big towels, hand towels. It was a way to get the girls excited about college life and they loved it! (Idea by Melanie D. Clegg / ga02202007)

 When I graduated from Young Women's I received a nice temple envelope. I admit that I wasn't totally excited about it right away, but once I finally was able to go to the temple, I loved having a unique envelope that reminded me of my Young Women's experience. I still use it and love it. I think it makes a nice gift that gets more meaningful over time. Sorry, I know this idea won't really work with inactives.  (Idea by Amy)

 With our Young Women group being so small we don't have many up for graduation at a time.  Last year I had purchased a 5 x7 spiral bound cardstock scrapbook. On each page I printed out and made mini scrapbook pages of quotes of inspiration to help her as she goes on to Relief Society and University. I also had the other girls, her parents, other leaders and their bishop, write a letter 4x6 sized and included it in the book. This took up most the pages so my part only took a couple of hours. On the outside cover I glued a postcard sized picture of the London temple and glued scrapbook paper flowers around the edges. Inside I used a few addon scrapbooky things which I had, and stickers that I also had.  She was quite chuffed and speechless :)  Like I said, thankfully they don't come up often so I can make that extra time on the gift.  It was really inexpensive. I think the scrapbook was about $5-6 from Michaels. So depending what your scrapbook supply is like you can either make it really simple or really decorative...all my scrapbooking stuff got shipped with me when I moved otherwise it might be more in the $15 range....but you could DEFINITELY do one for under $8. (Idea by Alyson White)

 You could give them a pillowcase with their name or initial embroidered on the front.  You could also get fabric markers and have the other Young Women and leaders sign the back of the pillow.

 I love giving a copy of Dr. Seuss' "Oh, the Places You Will Go" to graduates! If you haven't read it lately, reread it - it's got a GREAT message!  (by Lisa Meng / 01282008)

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