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What should be in 'Welcome Baskets'...

stephanieboyd

Member
Gold Member
Jan 26, 2006
475
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'Welcome Baskets'...

Okay ladies, I need some input!!

I have offered to donate some items to the welcome baskets for new incoming troops. These people will be officers and enlisted members coming into my husband's office and the office next door. They will have absolutely none of their belongings with them!! They will stay in a hotel type place on base for about a month until they find a home. We take 'Welcome Baskets' over to their room before they arrive. Typically, there are more 'welcome to Europe' type items in the baskets, but I would like to incorporate some 'this is available in your area' type things.

I was thinking this would be the perfect opportunity to introduce myself as a local TPC rep. I can't put just catalogs in the baskets. I have been told that this organization that makes the baskets cannot advertise or promote any one business. I chose to work around that by donating items from my business!! They have said that if I donate an item, I would be able to attach my business card on the items.

They do about 100 baskets per year! I don't want this to get too expensive, but I still want to give items that make the people think....'I need to look into this...' So any ideas on a few small things to donate to each basket???

My first thought was a pack of twix it clips, a citrus peeler, a couple of coffee packets and some tea bags. This combination of items are a little expensive, but not too bad. That would boil down to about $6 per basket. That's quite a bit for 100 baskets per year!!!

Ideas anyone????????
 
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nikked

Senior Member
Gold Member
Apr 10, 2005
2,133
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Engraving

I read on a bridal thread about engraving on the mini-spatula. What about putting the name of the base on them? Or, "Welcome to [Base Name]"? You can get them inexpensively through the supply order, and, at least at our base, there is a place that does this type of thing.

Just a thought...would probably really stand out and be remembered!
 

BethCooks4U

Legend Member
Gold Member
Jan 21, 2005
13,006
42
nikked said:
I read on a bridal thread about engraving on the mini-spatula. What about putting the name of the base on them? Or, "Welcome to [Base Name]"? You can get them inexpensively through the supply order, and, at least at our base, there is a place that does this type of thing.

Just a thought...would probably really stand out and be remembered!
Ohhh... I love that idea!

My thought was to put a season's best in the basket ($0.60 each if ordered in supplies) and either stamp them or put a sticker so your contact info is there. You could make a sticker saying saomething like "Welcome! Enjoy this cookbook! Give me a call to learn more about The Pampered Chef and how to get great kitchen tools for FREE." and of course your contact information.
 

Trish1953

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Nov 11, 2005
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I have put together two baskets that are fun to give and fun to make. :) The baskets I got from Dollar General. They have them in colors that match the new PC products. The baskets come in two sizes. One is larger and has a handle. The other is smaller and rounder.

I've used these baskets to decorate my kitchen, use for entertaining (fill with napkins, plates, etc.), give as gifts, carry items to shows; show products attractively at shows. I will also be taking pictures of them and incorporating them into a Realtor Gift Package. I can adapt for Bridal, Baby Shower, Birthday Party, etc. Have not as yet contacted my Chamber of Commerce to see if I can give it away during their auctions, etc.

Here is what I've put in them.

Smaller basket: NEW Tattersal Towels; NEW Twit-It Clips; NEW Microfiber Towels; NEW Stainless Double Balloon Whisk; NEW Small Mix 'Scaper; Cake Tester. I add a Cookie Recipe or a baggie of chocolate chips to personalize it.

Bigger basket: NEW Outdoor Plates, NEW Hot Pad/Trivets, Corn Cob Holders; The Pampered Chef Super Salads and Great Grill recipe cards; plus some small paper cups, napkins and plastic "silverware."

These look pretty ;) and I can adapt, i.e., using Quick-Stir Pitcher with formula; or Stainless Steel Whisk and Bamboo Spoon Set (with a baggie of "kisses" attached to it).

I love a bargain and these work. :p

Trish
 

stephanieboyd

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Gold Member
Jan 26, 2006
475
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These are great ideas!!

I am going to look into the mini spatula idea. I may be able to get those cheaper than the items that I had originally anticipated for product. I am a little weary of using the SB idea, because I don't want it to look like I am just trying to get something out of a donation. (even though I kind of am!! :D ) They are not supposed to endorse a specific company with these baskets. That's why I don't have fliers, catalogs and business cards going in these. I will be attaching my business card, as a 'Courtesy of.....' type card.

Since these are not my baskets, and I am just adding to the welcome baskets for the units. I will not be able to make it all my own. I really don't want to spend that much! To incorporate all of the new line of products would cost my business way more than the return would be!!

Keep the ideas coming!! I love all the help I get here!! Remember, no direct advertising, small, cheap, and something that says 'Pampered Chef welcomes you to our base!!'
 

nikked

Senior Member
Gold Member
Apr 10, 2005
2,133
7
What about a meal?

nikked said:
I read on a bridal thread about engraving on the mini-spatula. What about putting the name of the base on them? Or, "Welcome to [Base Name]"? You can get them inexpensively through the supply order, and, at least at our base, there is a place that does this type of thing.

Just a thought...would probably really stand out and be remembered!

I've really been thinking about this. This is something that I have been wanting to do at my base, but haven't gotten my brain wrapped around it! Thanks for the push!

What about a note attached to the mini-spatula offering a meal? You could offer a couple of different menu selections that aren't that expensive to make and feed different amounts of people...the Inside Out (or is it Upside Down?) Lasagna feeds a whole bunch of people, and rings would feed fewer. This way, you get to make contact with them (provided they call), and meet them in person! Plus, the ingredients would be a tax write off!!

I'm still thinking! :D
 

stephanieboyd

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Jan 26, 2006
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Nikki,

I hope some of them call!! I love the inside out lasagna!! I make that when we have the guys over for suppers!! Unfortuneately as you know, they are all coming in one household at a time!!

Try hooking up with a Booster Club on your base. They do the fundraising, but the Key Spouses actually build the baskets. This is what they are called at Ramstein, it may be something different at your base.

What base are you at?? What office does your DH work for?? Mine works for USAFE HQ, so maybe it's a bigger MAJCOMM thing. Your husband may be able to point you in the right direction. Not all bases and units do these welcome baskets, but maybe you can start one!!!
 

nikked

Senior Member
Gold Member
Apr 10, 2005
2,133
7
We're stateside

At Kirtland AFB, Albuquerque NM. They are just starting to try to get a "Key Spouse" program started here. The main base commander's wife is Becky Feehan, and I believe she is bringing a lot of the ideas from Ramstein!

We're in a bit of different type of situation here. There is very little sense of community, and very little outreach. Also, we are part of a very small wing of the base, and not affiliated at all with the main wing. So, what I do is watch for when people are moving in and bring something by. But even that is hard, because they have just completely rebuilt almost all of our housing, so people are moving all the time!

Waaaaa...can somebody play me a violin please? Email me privately to [email protected]. I'd love to "chat" more!!!
 

stephanieboyd

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Jan 26, 2006
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I really like the idea of the mini spatulas!! I have run it by my husband, and we think we are going to have it say 'Ramstein AFB 2006', that is something they will have forever! I will attach a business card with a little ribbon around the handle!

What do you all think of that?? Any better ideas that are reasonably priced??
 

scottcooks

Veteran Member
Gold Member
Jul 7, 2005
1,933
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If you have the time...

consider making something, and adding a Season's Best:

Melt 20 Jolly Ranchers in a micro-cooker, and pour into an oiled stoneware mold - leave about 5 minutes, then pry up an edge with a quickut or toothpick, and remove - flatten on wax or parchment paper. Each of these would cost about $1.50, depending on how cheap you can get the jolly ranchers. You can also do it with melted Life Saver candies, or any hard candy. Wrap in a baggie, and you have a colorful, one-of-a-kind treat.

Another slightly harder, but showy offering would be the pointsetta mini-cake. You can make pointsettas for December, but can make daisies or chrysanthemums (thinner & more petals) for other months. Pansies for the winter - experiment! Instructions are in ShowStoppers on Consultants Corner.
 

DebbieSAChef

Senior Member
Jan 17, 2006
2,153
0
So many options!

We have so many options we are able to implement from our door prize list. We get such a great discount. The Season's best cookbook, bamboo tongs, I-slice, Mini whippers, etc
Your business card will do wonders even if you are not allowed to actually place a catalog in the basket. The mini catalogs would have been great if they would allow it.
You could even engrave the bamboo tongs. I love them and have guests fight over them during games at my shows. The tongs are only $1.20 (10 for $12). And you could also add a cookbook with your info on back. The quikut paring knives are a big hit too. Maybe add some fruit for a fruit basket along with the citrus peeler and the knife. Coffee packets, tea packets, or seasoning packets are good additions also. The recipe cards we get for 75 cents are something to add also. These are all pretty cheap and using your imagination the cominations are endless.
Debbie
 

stephanieboyd

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Jan 26, 2006
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I love the idea of the citrus peeler and fruit!! I am a little worried about putting in the Quik-Cut Paring knives, because incoming military families might have small children that dig into the baskets for something and find a knife, even with the cover!!

How do you engrave on the bamboo tongs?? Like wood-burning?? I am checking into the idea of engraving a mini spatula, but if bamboo is cheaper I would go that route. I am doing 100 per year, so price is a big motivater in this decision!!

The recipe cards are a great idea too!! How many come in a pack?? Does anyone know how they are packaged, I have never ordered any? Do they come with one of each of the recipes? Is there a place on them to stamp my info??

Thanks again for all the ideas!! This site is awesome!!!
 
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KirstenAnne

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Feb 3, 2006
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Stephanie- What was the first thing you wanted that you didn't have when you got to Germany that you didn't have from your own Kitchen? What was the first thing you bought? With the citrus peeler you can put your biz card in the bag and also a gift certificate, or a coupon for %%% off. Maybe a little note on how when you got there the first thing you really wanted was XXXX and you really missed having it( of course put note in with citrus peeler) and invite over for a dinner. I am rambling but I will think of more ideas. When do you need by?
 

pchefinski

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Oct 7, 2005
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stephanieboyd said:
How do you engrave on the bamboo tongs?? Like wood-burning?? I am checking into the idea of engraving a mini spatula, but if bamboo is cheaper I would go that route. I am doing 100 per year, so price is a big motivater in this decision!!

As for the woodburning onto the bamboo products, you can always check into a local vocational school to see if they have a woodburning class.. and if so, you could see how well some of the students do the technique and if you can pay them to do X amt of them for you.
 

stephanieboyd

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Jan 26, 2006
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Thanks for the ideas, ladies!! I ordered some recipe cards, citrus peelers, and the bamboo tongs. I really needed a can opener and a pizza cutter when we first got here, but I can't afford that for 100 baskets!! I started with 30 of each of the items to see how it goes. I will decide then if I am going to step it up. The Key Spouses group gets together a few times a year to build the baskets. I don't know when my first shot at it will be!! I definately look forward to mine being the first PC name they see when they are in-processing!!

I will check into the price of the woodburning at the Skills Development Center on base.

Thanks again!!
 

Lorna

Novice Member
Jan 9, 2006
30
0
gift certificate

does anyone have a downloadable certificate so i have an idea of what I can make.
Lorna
 
Mar 9, 2006
6
0
Up Northwest

Im here in Malmstrom AFB, Montana. It sure is different being here at this base. I was thinking too, everyone I talk to says they LOVE SB, and they have recipes you can make in hotel rooms. Maybe mark a couple you think are esp easy, or include a few of your own, esp microwave recipes. Also, what about a Quikcut knife, they are wonderful little things. I love the mini-spatula idea. My DH is the Wx flt CC here and maybe I should do that for our guys! Or even a Mix-n-Scraper would do nicely.

Im sure they will appreciate anything you give them. The knife, spatula or scraper gives them something to use, while the recipe book gives them a sense of home adn something to look forward to trying.

Brenda :p
 

stephanieboyd

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Gold Member
Jan 26, 2006
475
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Okay Cheffers!!!

This is going to happen!!! I have training on Thursday morning to become a Key Spouse!!! All of the other members are PCS'ing out this summer so it will be a fresh bunch of ladies!! Good thing I already ordered some of the stuff!!! The ladies who are leaving never got back in touch with me in the last few months, so it's nice to have my own shot at a new group!!!

The other thing the Key Spouses do is send care packages to the troops who are deployed downrange. Maybe I can stick some stuff in those too that will be helpful out in the sand?????? Any ideas there?????

Let me know if you are coming up with anything good!!!!
 
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