Family-to-Family - Birthday Giving ProjectProviding children a birthday surprise - one shoebox at a time
It's hard for many of us - whether we're adults or children - to imagine celebrating the birthday of a loved one without a party or presents. But for many of the families we serve, finding the extra money to spend on a child's birthday celebration is a struggle at best, and frequently impossible. For too many children in our country, birthdays are just another day... celebrated without cake, balloons, or gifts.
A Birthday Box is a shoebox filled with everything needed for a small birthday party. Each box is given to a different child in need, and the contents are designed to provide the many layers that build happy memories. Hosting a Birthday Box event is not only a fantastic way to give families the ability to celebrate together, but also the impact goes far beyond the children who will blow out the candles on their birthday cake.
Planning and executing an event is a team-building exercise with a purpose, one that can bring friends together as well as unite co-workers with a common goal. From parents looking to develop empathy in their children from a young age, to businesses providing an outlet for their customers to participate, the desire to incorporate charitable giving in our lives continues to grow. It also knows no boundaries - it might be surprising to know that children themselves donate a significant number of boxes!
Adventure Theatre in MD organized an event to coincide with their production of Spot's Birthday Party, encouraging their young patrons to bring a Birthday Box to the show!
How can you help?
There are many ways you can get involved with our Birthday Box program! It can be as simple as sending out an email to friends and family. You can talk about it at your next community group meeting. Forward the idea to your co-workers for your next holiday party. Ask guests to bring a completed Birthday Box to your next event in lieu of a gift. The only limit is your imagination!
The most common way for groups to participate is by adding it to an event that is already taking place. Distribute the Birthday Box content list in advance and guests can be invited to participate by merely arriving at the event with a pre-prepared box! This is a great charitable addition to any celebration, and you can wrap up the evening by letting everyone know what the impact of the combined donations will be.
Another great way to participate is by making the process of creating the Birthday Box an event in itself. This is especially fun for children to participate in! Many youth activity groups find the process to be especially rewarding when they work together to raise the money to buy all the items needed for the boxes, having the final wrapping event as a celebration on its own. A table set up with bits of colorful paper, glue sticks, and crayons, can be an excellent way to put a personalized stamp on each box created.
We are continually learning of new ways to incorporate donations to the Birthday Box program into events, and we would love to pass on a few ideas that have worked for previous donors if you find yourself stumped on how to best plan your own group event!
We have an event in mind - what next?
Once you've decided to participate, send us an email at email@example.com and let us know! We can work out any particulars of destination at that time together, as well as talk about your particular donation. Once you have the final tally of the boxes (how many for each age range and gender) after your event, you get in touch with us again and we provide the address for the destination. You pack the boxes in a mailing carton and ship them to the address provided (if applicable). And that is it!
A Birthday Box is easy to create - everything fits into a shoebox!
Decide in advance what age range and gender each box is suited for. When making a number of boxes, please ensure that there are a variety of ages and genders represented in the boxes (so as many children as possible have the opportunity to receive one). Gift wrap each shoebox and the lid separately so that items can be removed without ruining the wrapping. Once the items have been placed inside the box, tie it closed with a ribbon and attach a small removable tag to the ribbon that indicates the age range and gender the box would be suitable for.
Contents of each individual Birthday Box:
- one box of cake mix
- one can of frosting
- one package of birthday candles
- wall decorations (a package of balloons or streamers, for example)
- an age-appropriate gently used book
- a small age-appropriate $5-$10 gift
- a goody bag filled with small surprises and a birthday card (optional)
Thank you for your participation in the Birthday Giving Project!
For more information, please contact us:
P.O. Box 255
Hastings-On-Hudson, NY 10706
Executive Director: Pam Koner