Alternative Gift Ideas

Everytime there is a birthday or holiday, many mother’s cringe at the prospect of all the new toys she will have to navigate. Why not suggest to your child they share their birthday with little ones who are less fortunate?
A new trend amongst the kind-hearted, and socially aware, children of today is to ask for charitable donations in lieu of gifts for their birthday. If your little has been asking you about what they can do to make a difference in the world, why not suggest they pick a charity and ask their friends to make a small donation. You can place a note with the invitation explaining that your child has decided to share their birthday and offer a description of the charity. A fun way to do this is to ask every guest to bring a toonie and have a a donation box decorated with images from the charity, which is also a great craft activity for your birthday boy or girl!
Here are a few that are Canadian-based children’s charities:
1. Make A Wish: grants the personal wishes of children with life threatening illnesses to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy.
2. Save the Children: works in over 120 countries around the world, advocating and campaigning for better practices and policies to fulfill children’s rights and to ensure that children’s voices are heard.
3. Ronald McDonald House: is dedicated to helping children with serious illnesses or disabilities lead happier and healthier lives.
4. Right to Play: committed to every child’s right to play, giving children a chance to become constructive participants in society, regardless of gender, disability, ethnicity, social background or religion.
5. OneXOne: focuses on the five sectors that most affect a child’s well being; including water, hunger, healthcare, education and play.

If you do not feel comfortabel asking your guests to make monetary donations, another way to have a charitable day is to ask each child to select a gently used toy that they no longer use in lieu of a gift. These toys can be donated to local hospitals, food banks and boys and girls clubs to make a difference in the lives of many.

One Response to “Alternative Gift Ideas”

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  1. Caisy says:

    This is an AMAZING thing!
    We do it every year for my son (7) and my daughter (3) will be doing the same this year. We have had nothing but memories of heart felt goodness and that out lasts any toy!

    We ask the grand parents (as well as us) to get the few special thing that the birthday
    child is asking for. Everyone else brings in a donation! Give your charity a call… we do the Ronald McDonald House and they are always in need of certain items and we send that list out with the invites to all guests.

    I hope all will give it a try, everyone will benefit from the experience!