Where Should I Give My Birthday?

posted by Talk About Giving blog team

January 18, 2012 @ 4:20 pm

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So you’re thinking about planning a Charitable Birthday for your kiddo(s) this year but not sure what nonprofit would be appropriate to support?

To help, we’ve pulled together a list* of Midlands, SC-area** nonprofits for your consideration that provide wish lists on their websites. Items requested range from art supplies to snacks to cleaning products to linens to baby food. There are so many options!

Take a look at the organizations and items on the wish lists, select a few that you think your child would like or have meaning to your family and that request items appropriate for your party guests to bring. Talk through your narrowed-down list with your child, explain why the organizations exists and why they need the items they’ve requested. Help your child select a nonprofit that is meaningful to them in some way – you might have to help them connect the dots. Feeling connected to an organization that you’re making a sacrifice for really adds to the experience of giving.

You might find the wish list to be lengthy, so feel free to select a few items in particular and request those specifically from your party guests. Our friend Jack decided to give his birthday to Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital by asking his friends to bring art supplies.

Before you move forward, we suggest giving the organization a call, explain what your family is doing, verify that you have their current wish list and confirm protocol for dropping off the gifts with your child.

Wish Lists

Health and Hunger

  • Harvest Hope services 20 counties in central South Carolina and feeds 48,000 people per week. Did you know that one out of every four children in our state go to bed hungry?
  • Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital State-of-the-art freestanding new hospital offering more than 30 medical subspecialties strictly for children caring for nearly 80,000 each year.

Family support services and homelessness

  • Cooperative Ministry assists individuals and families in financial and spiritual crisis and helps them regain independence.
  • The Family Shelter provides emergency food, shelter, resources, and hope to homeless families with children in the Midlands area.
  • St. Lawrence Place (scroll down their page to in-kind donations) is a community of 28 homes, providing programming and transitional housing in addition to structure, training and support homeless families need to regain independence.

Shelter for Children

  • Epworth Children’s Homes (accepts gift cards) provides group residential care and a nurturing and loving environment to children/youth coming from broken family systems.
  • Palmetto Place Children’s Emergency Shelter provides a safe and nurturing emergency shelter bringing together a broad range of services for children who are victims of abuse and neglect.

Abuse and Neglect

  • The Nurturing Center is a family-focused therapeutic center for child abuse and neglect.
  • The Healing Species is the first student intervention program in the nation addressing issues of the heart to overcome violence, bullying and crime with the assistance of rescued dogs.
  • Sistercare is a program of services for battered women and their children residing in the Midlands.

Adult Homelessness

  • Oliver Gospel Mission ministers to the community’s homeless by providing meals, shelter and spiritual direction.
  • Transitions provides strategies and types of housing to help stabilize individuals living on the street and enroll them in services designed to stabilize their lives, increase their income, and help them secure permanent housing.
  • The Women’s Shelter provides a safe environment for homeless women in crisis and the necessary resources to build strong and healthy lives.


  • Carolina Wildlife Care addresses the needs of wildlife and the community through rehabilitation and environmental education outreach programs, bringing hope to wild animals and a second chance at life.
  • The Healing Species is the first student intervention program in the nation addressing issues of the heart to overcome violence, bullying and crime with the assistance of rescued dogs.
  • Pawmetto Lifeline is devoted to responsible and compassionate care for homeless animals and fostering the animal-human bond. Since its founding in 1999 it has rescued more than 6,000 animals.
  • Pets, Inc. assists the public with rescue, shelter, spay/neuter, and adoption of unwanted or found animals, provides medical, nutritional, and rehabilitation services to ensure successful life-long adoptions and educates the public about the causes and solutions to the dramatic plight of hundreds of thousands of dogs and cats.

What About Money?

Perhaps there’s a nonprofit that is meaningful to your family that does not have a wish list or have needs that can be met through gifts from your party guests. Consider requesting that in lieu of gifts, your guests bring monetary donations for your child to present to that nonprofit. This might be more appropriate for older children and also provides a sound lesson in finances – counting the money, considering the value and how it can make a difference and giving it away.

Learn how this Columbia girl supported a local nonprofit that was meaningful to her by asking for monetary donations from friends and family for her birthday

*If we’ve missed a Midlands, SC nonprofit that provides a wish list, please let us know and we’ll gladly add it to this list.

**Don’t live in the Midlands of SC? Chances are there are similar organizations in your area. Select a nonprofit category, like ‘homeless children’ or ‘abuse and neglect support’ + ‘Your city and state’ and find wish lists for nonprofits near you!

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