I’ve lived in a couple of places where each Relief Society did a very good job welcoming us into the new unit. Here are some of the ideas I’ve seen:
One ward created a “Welcome Folder” that had information on local schools, trash pickup, snow removal, museums, post office locations, emergency facilities, etc. They also included a Relief Society Newsletter, ward directory, ward map, and a refrigerator magnet with the Relief Society presidency’s telephone numbers on it.
The presidency delivered these packets in person to the family along with a jar of cookie mix. They were delivered to every move-in family in the ward boundaries, regardless of religious affiliation — yes, it was a ward with very small boundaries.
I should mention that this ward put the Good News Minutes in the newsletter. This was a good way to get less active and non-members in the neighborhood to accept the newsletters and get a visit each month. Everyone seems to want to get the smack on what is going on with their neighbors. They also sent a sign up sheet around to Primary and Young Women so that the Good News of sisters in those auxiliaries could also be included in the newsletter and shared with all the sisters.
One (non-Utah) ward created a “Welcome Bag” that included the following:
- a welcome note from the Activities Committee
- Relief Society Monthly Calendar
- Ward Telephone Directory
- a copy of the weekly ward/branch bulletin (program) with the telephone numbers of ward leaders
- a copy of The Family: A Proclamation to the World pamphlet
- a copy of The Family Guidebook pamphlet
- a copy of The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles
- a Talent and Interest survey (Form 33812 from LDS Distribution)
- flyers for the upcoming ward and stake activities
- Local temple schedule
- Local temple’s visitors center information, hours, and map
- A map to the closest cannery
- A local area map
- A map to the closest LDS Bookstore
- Tourism pamphlets from the local tourism center
This information was created and distributed by the Activities Committee in an inexpensive canvas tote bag.
- Include a copy of your stake/ward’s preparedness plan.
- a map to the stake center
- a picture of the children’s primary/youth teachers and a welcome note (this would be especially helpful for parents of Nursery age children)
- Contact information for their new home teachers and visiting teachers
- Consider having home teachers deliver welcome packets and report on the visit to the Elders’ Quorum President or High Priest Group Leader directly with any needs