The Birthday Gift Alternative

A few weeks ago I wrote about the triple birthday party my wife and I had for our kids We love combining their birthdays into one HUGE party, but we didn’t want people to feel like they had to bring presents for each child either. We decided to have a party where people bring donations to a specific charity, instead of presents.

A couple of years ago, my kids and I attended a party that collected donations instead of gifts and it was fantastic. Their kids were on board with the idea and they really felt great donating after their party was over. But, before we officially made our party a donations party, I talked it over with our kids, explaining what people would be bringing to the party instead of gifts, they were all for it. Since the party was in mid-August, and I really enjoyed the time I spent working with School on Wheels as a tutor, a school supply drive for School on Wheels seemed like a no brainer. They had (and continue to have) a wish list of needs for homeless public school kids in Indy. We sent out email invitations for the party and simply attached the website with all the needs listed on it to each guest.

On the day of the party, our guests didn’t disappoint, it was overwhelming to see it all piling up in our living room. People donated everything from basic school supplies like pencils and folders, to school uniforms and backpacks. It was amazing.

A few days after the party, the five of us loaded up our van and dropped off HUNDREDS of school supplies at School on Wheels. They were so grateful for the donations. They showed us around their book library and uniform room too. Our kids were even given School on Wheels tshirts to wear in ten years or so when they eventually fit into them.

If you’re looking for an alternative to people bringing your kids’ gifts, I suggest you consider a donation drive for a charity. Our kids loved it, the party guests I spoke to about it really liked the idea and we helped out a bunch of kids in need. Win, win, win.


For more info about School On Wheels…

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