Birthday Parties That Give Back through Children’s Mercy
My self-appointed rule for Sarver kids’ birthday parties is that age 10 is the last year for the big birthday party. You know, the ones where you invite the whole class, choose a cute theme, send out invites, put together fun treat bags, etc. I decided early on that by the time they hit double digits, I would be ready to scale back. After the 10th, each girl invites a few friends over to celebrate with a movie, a meal out, bowling, etc, something on a smaller scale.
Even though the big parties stopped, the girls still received presents from their friends for their birthdays. I appreciate the thought, but we are getting to a point where there is nothing the girls really need and I want them to learn that it’s not all about receiving. I will have to admit that in the past I have been too lazy to coordinate any service project or giving back of gifts received.
Enter Children’s Mercy. They have recently started a program that allows you to host a virtual party to benefit the kiddos at Children’s Mercy. I told Ally we were going to try it out for her birthday and she was on board. She and I sat down together on a Saturday morning and in just 20 minutes we had created her party, chosen gifts to donate and invited her friends to donate. It was SO easy and Ally felt so good to be helping others. I absolutely loved it! I loved the fact that we’re helping others and I selfishly loved how easy it was. We’re talking super easy, as in, I kind of feel guilty it was so easy and required little-to-no effort on my part. And, we were helping others, talk about a win-win!
And, the parents of her friends? Thrilled with it as well! Here’s a text I received from one of the moms, “I have never felt so good about buying a birthday gift in my life! Thank you! We have spent lots of time there in the ICU, emergency, etc. What a good way to give back. Love it!”
After registering for the party, Ally received a piggy bank of her own in the mail as a part of the “Small Change, Big Difference” program through Children’s Mercy. The idea is to collect loose change in the piggy bank and then donate it back to Children’s Mercy. Ally asked her sister to decorate her bank (and it’s already got some change in it). A terrific way for kids to give back and learn to help others.