posted by Talk About Giving blog team
August 10, 2011 @ 9:08 am
How many birthday parties did you take your kids to last weekend? It’s possible that you lost count. Nevertheless, celebrating birthdays is a very big part of growing up. Wearing your new birthday outfit, surrounded by all your friends at your favorite pool/pizza place/gymnasium/bouncy ball house/horse stable/tree house, etc. OH and all the presents! What could be more thrilling?
Teaching our children that giving gifts is just as great as receiving is sometimes a tough lesson that falls on little deaf ears. But once they grasp the concept, the lesson may last a lifetime. So instead of filling your child’s already overstuffed toybox, consider making the next birthday party more meaningful by planning a Charitable Birthday Party. Here are some steps and ideas to help you:
- Talk about it. Have some conversations with your kids about the blessings in their lives, the needs of others in our community and what can be done to help them. Get them thinking about simple ways they can help.
- What does your child care about? Maybe its animals, the elderly, homelessness or hunger. Help your child select a charity that is meaningful to them.
- Research. Once you and your child select the charity of choice, give them a call or check their website to determine needs. Don’t make assumptions. Find out specifically what would be of help to them. Many nonprofits have suggestions and wish lists on their websites. Here’s a list of of nonprofits in the Midlands, SC-area that provide wish lists.
- Invite. Here’s some sample wording for inclusion on the invitation to explain:
- Let’s celebrate JoAnn’s love for animals! In lieu of gifts, please bring a bag of your favorite pet food for donation to Pawmetto Lifeline!
- Edward would like us to use this special occasion to help the homeless. Please bring new or gently used sheets, towels and bedding for Transitions.
- Veronica wants to share her birthday with the kids at St. Lawrence Place! Please bring a new children’s book for donation to its childcare center.
- Close the Loop. After the party, take your child to deliver the donation. It will truly make the gifts they’ve shared real.
Instead of Pin the Tail on the Donkey, movies or kickball, consider an activity specific to the charity of choice. Be sure its age appropriate and enjoyable for everyone attending. Here are some suggestions:
- Create care packages for people serving in the military
- Make dog treats
- Stuff teddy bears for donation to the local children’s hospital
- Decorate reusable grocery bags
- Plant a tree
- Bake cookies for the homeless shelter
- Volunteer as a group – walk dogs at a local rescue, play with children at a family shelter, entertain residents of a retirement home, etc.
What other ideas do you have for a charitable birthday party? We would love to hear them!
Sources and Suggested Reading: