The Birthday Giving Project
How Your Kids – Or You! – Can Help Kids with Less
Put a Birthday in a Box!
A Concrete, Hands-on Way to Give
It’s hard for many of us – adults or children – to imagine celebrating a child’s birthday without a party or presents. But for many of the families we serve, finding the extra money to afford a child’s birthday celebration is a struggle at best, and frequently impossible.
F-to-F’s Birthday Giving Project is designed to help these families by providing a small “party in a box” for a child in need… and at the same time gives children with “more” the opportunity to learn empathy in a concrete way by helping another child.
The idea is to decorate and fill shoe boxes with everything needed for a small birthday party. (Or, pretty, decorated shopping bags can be used instead.) Each box goes to a different child. You or your child can make one birthday box for one child, or a class, scout group, church or synagogue group can put together many boxes for a group of children. If you are making a lot of boxes, PLEASE make them for a variety of ages!
To start, email us at email@example.com and let us know if you’re making fewer than five boxes, or if you’re making a larger number. If fewer than five, we ask that you ship it/them to one of the impoverished communities we serve through our hunger relief program.
If it’s five or more, we’ll link you up after your boxes are complete with a pantry, battered women’s shelter or a homeless shelter in your area where you can drop them off.
DIRECTIONS: (For a printable version, click here.)
Pick an age (or ages), and choose either boy(s) or girl(s) to send your box to. (For example, you might choose a 9-year-old girl, or a 4-year-old boy.)
Find a large sneaker-sized shoe box, and buy the things needed for a party. (Or use a pretty birthday shopping bag.)
• a box of cake mix
• a can of frosting
• birthday candles (no matches please!)
• a wall decoration (like streamers, or a happy birthday banner)
• a new children’s book for the age child you are making the box for
• another ($10-$15) gift or toy for that child.
• If you like, you can also include a goody bag filled with small surprises, or other small items.
If your child is making the box, he or she can raise the money to buy the birthday items at a bake sale, or yard sale, or by doing extra chores around the house.
- Wrap the book and the small gift in birthday paper.
- Wrap the top and bottom of the shoe box separately (so that even wrapped, the box can be opened), and fill the wrapped box with the things you have gathered.
- If you want to give the recipient child a chance to write to you, include a stamped, postcard addressed to: YOUR NAME, C/O FAMILY-TO-FAMILY, PO BOX 255, HASTINGS ON HUDSON, N.Y., 10706. Then email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us your name, address and that you’ve included a postcard in your box, so we’ll be able to forward it to you if we get it back.
- You can also make a birthday card to put inside the box.
- Then tie the box closed with ribbon, and label it with the age you chose and “boy” or “girl”. (For example, “6-7 year old boy” or “10-11 year old girl”.)
Then deliver the boxes, or bags, to the shelter address we gave you, or pack it/them up in a mailing carton and ship it to the F-to-F community address we have sent you.
The Birthday Giving Project may qualify as a community service requirement for your child’s scout troop, school, church or temple.