There's a new trend in children's birthday parties that moms (and dads!) will love as much as we do.
Increasingly, elementary school-aged children are invited to parties with a charitable goal. Along with coming to celebrate at the party, guests are asked to bring donations to support a local charity. The birthday child chooses the charity, the guests choose items to bring, and the charity and community benefit.
To celebrate my daughter's 10th birthday we hosted a party where she asked her guests to bring contributions to a weekend feeding program for low-income children across the nation. Children leave school each Friday with a bag of child-friendly meals. My daughter sees classmates who benefit from these donations, and this makes hunger a real issue for her. She was so proud to collect the donations — in her case over 60 pounds of food!
My daughter is certainly not the only generous one. In the past few years she's been invited to other charitable parties. Animal shelters have been popular and she enjoyed picking out toys, food, and treats for animals in the shelter, knowing that might cheer them up.
Parents will love seeing guests bring something that makes a difference in the community rather than another toy or trinket that their child does not need. And the birthday boy or girl will, too! You might be surprised to discover that the satisfaction of helping will be just as enjoyable as a gift for your child.
Ready to plan a charitable party to support your community? Here are a few ideas to consider.
- Book drives
- Soap, toothpaste, shampoo, personal care items, underwear, socks, diapers, and/or pajamas for local homeless and women's shelters, such as the Crisis Center of Douglas County
- Toys, cake mix, candles, frosting, and other party supplies to benefit the Birthday Room for low-income families at the Douglas/Elbert Task Force or Fresh Harvest Food Bank
- Care packages for the military
- School supplies for low income students served by DCSD's Lend a Hand Back 2 School Supply Drive
- Food donations for local food banks
- Dog and cat food and supplies for an animal shelter like the Dumb Friends League
- Backpacks for foster children
- Jeans to benefit low-income teenagers (used jeans are fine)
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