Birthday Party Service Project
My daughter, Julia, wanted to incorporate giving back into her 11th birthday party this year. After a lot of research and contacting organizations (Micah 6 Pantry, Mobile Loaves & Fishes, Hope Food Pantry, Capital Food Bank), I found the best way to give back is by doing something on your own to benefit an organization.
Pick something your child is passionate about, see what needs a non-profit has that corresponds to what your child wants to do, do it, and then donate it to that organization. For example, Mobile Loaves & Fishes has a need for desserts that are easily transportable, so they gave us the idea to put cookies into individual Ziploc bags.
We used our ping pong table in the garage to hold our different “stations:”
- Write a note to a child at St. Jude’s Research Hospital
- Assemble care kits for the homeless
- Cookie station for Mobile Loaves & Fishes (3 cookies per Ziploc bag)
The notes to kids at St. Jude’s were precious to read. I’ve always been a big fan of this organization. I sent the notes in a manila envelope (262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN 38105) – it was that easy. Currently, you can have your child send an online message.
For the care kits, Julia came up with a list of what she wanted to include (men’s shirt, travel size lotion, deodorant, tooth paste and toothbrush, Chapstick, water, Goldfish, note). We asked her friends to bring the shirt, deodorant, tooth brush and toothpaste. We provided the other items. Julia organized all of the different items into an assembly line, and each friend filled a large baggie. They also wrote a note for each person who’d receive the kit. They took a care kit home to give to someone in need. A mom recently told me that her daughter gave a kit to someone, and a few days later, they saw them wearing the shirt she was given in the kit.
Her daughter was really touched seeing this kindness in action.
I am a BIG proponent of these kits as a way to acknowledge and help our fellow brother or sister who is in need on the side of the road. Here’s a great resource on different items to put into a care kit. Avoid granola bars as they are hard to eat for those with dental problems (I’ve learned this from personal experience talking to a homeless man).
The cookie station was really quick and easy. I delivered them to the Mobile Loaves & Fishes commissary on the church campus of St John Neumann Catholic church (stay to the right and follow the road until the end). These cookies will benefit the food truck ministry. They prepare and deliver meals to men, women and children who find themselves homeless and working poor by going to locations such as government housing, intersections, parks and transitional housing.
As Julia’s mom, I was proud she wanted to give back for her eleventh year.
Helping others, and making it a part of our everyday, and part of our celebrations and milestones, is what I believe giving back is really all about.
I’d be remiss to not say that these activities were peppered in with a Bouncy House, Twister, volleyball and basketball.