May 22, 2024
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May 22, 2024
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Donations in Lieu of Gifts

People love to receive gifts. For many children, the most exciting part of a birthday party is opening the gifts they received. It is no doubt a highlight to see what is behind the multicolored wrapping paper, but what if your celebration could benefit others?

A great way to make any celebration meaningful is to use it to contribute to people in need. One way to accomplish this is by doing a chesed project at a birthday party, such as making bracelets for children in hospitals or writing letters to soldiers. An even more rewarding way to celebrate a birthday though, is to make a significant contribution to an organization or a cause. Instead of asking guests to bring gifts, request that they make a donation to a charity of the child’s choosing. If a child does not want to forgo all of their gifts, they can also request that guests bring a small donation in addition to a gift, and use the party as a way to spread word about their important cause.

Charities are always in need of donations, whether monetary or other. For example, organizations that support soldiers, such as the FIDF or AUSA, would be thrilled to receive a collection of socks, toothbrushes, or even magazines to send to troops on bases and overseas. Just a small donation of household items such as these from each party guest could result in a large contribution to a particular organization.

Additionally, the organization to which the child chose to contribute can create a theme for the party. For example, if a child decides to make a contribution to a local animal shelter in lieu of gifts, the party can be animal themed. Similarly, if a contribution is being made to FIDF, the party have either an army or an Israeli theme.

When a child chooses to contribute to a cause in lieu of gifts, or even in addition to gifts, they gain a sense of selflessness and devotion to others. They will realize what great pleasure is gained from doing acts of kindness, and will wish to keep helping others throughout their lives.

By Shana Adler

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