The Birthday Giving Project

How Your Kids – Or You! – Can Help Kids with Less Have a Birthday Celebration

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 or gift bags with everything needed for a small birthday party. Each box goes to a different child. 

Pick an age, and choose either boy, girl or gender neutral for each box you make. For larger donations multiple ages are best. All items must be new and undamaged.  The quality of each box or bag is more important than the quantity, so focus on how to make them extra special! 

Find a large sneaker-sized shoe box (or use a party bag) in your house, and buy the things needed for a party. Include all of the following:

  • 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 aged child you are making the box for
  • a new ($15-$20) gift for that child.
  • If you like, you can also include a goody bag filled with small surprises, or other small gifts

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 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.
  • 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”, “girl” or “gender neutral”. 

If you are making fewer than 10 boxes there are two options for you to choose from:

We can provide you with a list of communities to ship to.


You can find a local organization on your own.

Please fill out the form below and let us know which option you choose!

Here’s how to find an organization near you! We recommend finding an organization before you make the boxes.

·         Go to a search engine like Google and type in your zip code and a phrase such as “family shelter”, “women’s shelter” or “Boys & Girls Club”.

·         On shelter websites, take a look at any Wish List provided to make sure they accept all the items in your birthday box. (For example, some shelters can’t accept books or cake fixings.) For Boys & Girls Clubs, you can give them a call or shoot them an email right away!

Once you’ve found an organization that interests you it’s time to explain the project:

·         Let them know you are interested in donating goods for children on their birthdays (if you are sending an email, it might be helpful to link them to this page.)

·         Once you are connected to the person in charge of donations, give them a brief explanation of what your boxes will contain. Be sure to include the amount of boxes you plan to make, and when you plan to donate them.

·         If you don’t have specific ages or genders in mind for your boxes you can ask what works best for them, or even if there are specific children with birthdays coming up.

·         Make sure the organization understands that you are dropping off the donation personally, and all they have to do is accept them!

If you are making 10 or more we will find you an organization (or two!) in your area. We ask that you make no more than 50 boxes. Please fill out the form below, and someone will get back to you within a few days.

If you have any questions send us an email at, we’d be happy to help!

The Birthday Giving Project may qualify as a community service requirement for your child’s scout troop, school, church or temple.

In 2019 – 468
In 2018 – 2000
In 2017 – 2300
In 2016 – 2,150
In 2015 – 1,191
In 2014 – 1,814
In 2013 – 1,118
In 2012 – 850
In 2011 – 660
In 2010 – 730
In 2009 – 700
In 2006-08 – 1,800

Total since we began: 15,781