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 shoeboxes (you can also use pretty bags) with everything needed for a small birthday party. Each box goes to a different child. You or your child can send one birthday box to one child, or a scout group, church or synagogue group can send a lot of boxes for a group of children. **If you are sending a lot of boxes, PLEASE make them for all different ages.
To start, decide where you want to drop off or send your box (locally, to kids living in a battered women’s shelter, or through the mail to one of the communities where Family-to-Family sends food), and contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll put you in touch with a shelter (or F-to-F community partner) and give you the name and address of the person who will hand out your boxes.
Pick an age, and choose either boy or girl 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 in your house, and buy the things needed for a party. Include:
- 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 gently used book from your house that the child you are sending to would probably like
- a small $5-$10 dollar gift for that child.
- If you like, you can also include a goody bag filled with small surprises.
(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 would like to give the child you’re giving your box to a chance to write back to you, include a postcard with a stamp on it, addressed to you, c/o Family to Family, PO Box 255, Hastings-on-Hudson, NY, 10706. Then email us at email@example.com, put “birthday postcards” in the subject of the email, and tell us your name and address. Also tell us that you’ve included a postcard in your box, so we’ll be able to forward the postcard to you if we get it.
- 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 and “boy” or “girl”. (For example, you might write “6 year old boy” or “10 year old girl”.)
Then deliver the box, or boxes to the shelter address we’ve given you (or pack them in a mailing carton and ship them 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.