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Make your Holiday Party a “Charity Party”

The term “charity party” obviously does not need a definition, right? Someone throws a “party” and donates the profits to “charity.” Organizations do it all the time, but the parties are usually black tie affairs with lots of glitz and glamour, celebrities and high-end gift auctions.

Sure, these huge soirees bring in huge dollars. But there’s no reason why the average Jane and John can’t throw a charity party on a smaller scale and still make a big difference.

I don’t think there could be a more appropriate time than the holidays to throw a charity party. The two things everyone does at the holidays are attending parties and giving gifts, right? Well, there you go. That says “party” and “charity” to me.

Every year, we throw a holiday party and invite our friends to help us decorate our Christmas tree and light our Hanukkah candles (yep, we do both holidays in my family). We all get into such a festive mood while we bake traditional cookies, wrap presents and decorate. It really gets us into the spirit.

This year, I’m going to add a few twists to turn my holiday party into a “charity party.”

• My favorite charities are those that care for children. This holiday season, I think I’ll try to pinpoint organizations that care for homeless children, hungry children and sick children.
• I am going to ask all my guests not to bring gifts for my family. But, I will ask them to use the money they would have spent on gifts to bring things for needy children.
• To be sure exactly what the children in my area need the most, I’m going to make some phone calls to our local Children and Family Services. If they say they are in great need of hats and gloves, then I’m going to ask each of my guests to bring a child’s hat and glove set to the party.
• I’m also going to ask each of my guests to bring canned and non-perishable food items for donation to the Food Bank.
• Finally, I’m going to talk to the Pediatric Department at the local hospital and get the names and ages of some young patients who are in great need. Then, I’m going to assign each of my guests one child each and ask them to bring along an age-appropriate gift or two for that child.

After we’ve shared the eggnog, decked the halls, and had our fill of latkes, I’ll head out the next day to drop off the food, the gifts, and the necessities to my chosen charities. My party sure won’t bring in the huge dollars that the grand charity balls do, but it will definitely make a difference to the children who end up opening our gifts, wearing our hats, and eating our food.

So, why not try throwing a charity party yourself? Not only will you have a great time partying and getting into the spirit this holiday season, but I’m sure you and your friends will be excited about giving too. Remember, it’s not the size of the gift that counts. What counts is that it is given from the heart.

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