Illustrations By Alastair Taylor

Thinking of hosting a charitable birthday party?

Denise Yearian believes that charity birthday parties can encourage children to think and act altruistically.

“[Jake] wondered if he could have a party, but ask the guests to bring clothes and toys for children from a needy family and donate the gifts to them… We had talked about charity many times, but now he was taking the lead and wanting to do something on his own.”

Here are a few things to consider:

Before your child’s birthday, ask if they would like to have a charitable party.

~Proceed with charitable-party plans only if your child is in total agreement. You don’t want them to feel coerced into it, nor do you want them to feel guilty if they don’t want to have one.

~There are two ways to host a charitable party: opt out of party ‘frills’ and make a contribution yourself, or ask guests to participate in the process. Talk with your child about what they think is the best option.

~Choose a non-profit organisation that will appeal to your child. If they are old enough, get their input. Tap into your child’s interests so they will be meaningful to them. If your child loves animals, look for a local animal refuge. If they’re into art, find an art organisation, and so on.

~Once an organisation has been chosen, contact them and ask what is needed most.

~If you choose to have guests participate in the gift-giving process, include a note explaining your plan when you send out invitations. If specific items are needed by the charity, make suggestions.

~Once the party is over, include your child in the giving transaction. If goods need to be delivered, take a picture of the child with the items as a record, or take the child with you when you deliver them. If monetary donations were made, include the child in as much of the process as possible.

Illustration By Alastair Taylor