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Donate Your Birthday

My birthday is tomorrow. When I was little, I really loved celebrating my birthday. My mom would make it really special by making me a home baked birthday cake, a tradition that I have followed with my own children. But, when I receive beautiful gifts from my loved ones, it’s just another reminder how so many people in this world have no one and nothing. Oftentimes, a birthday is just another day, nothing special at all. And that’s wrong.

A few years back, my children and I started a birthday program for homeless children. It was a wonderful way to give back to the community and to help needy families make birthdays special for their kids. “Every child deserves a birthday party,” my then seven-year-old daughter told me.

But, you don’t have to start your own program to make a difference. Why not just start by donating your own birthday to help someone in need? Here are a few suggestions:

Ask for a donation instead of a gift
If you’re throwing a birthday party for yourself or someone in your family, make a note on the card that you’ll be taking donations instead of birthday gifts. We recently attended the 40th Birthday Party of a great friend, and they asked for donations of canned food to help stock local food pantry shelves. Or, you can call a local shelter and find out exactly what they need the most – sometimes it’s something as simple as socks. Then, ask your guests to bring new packages of socks.

Donate to Birthday Wishes
Birthday Wishes is a non-profit organization operating in several states that accepts birthday donations to help throw parties for homeless children. You can either throw a “Birthday Wishes” party to celebrate your birthday, at which your guests bring gifts for an assigned child, or you can send in a donation to sponsor a party. They’ll even take donations to celebrate weddings and other special occasions and will send your guests a personal thank you card.

Go to Charity Birthday
Another interesting organization, Charity Birthday, enables you to post your birthday and invite your guests to visit your post to find out what your favorite charities are. Then, they’ll make a secure donation to your chosen charities as a way of celebrating your birthday.

Donate your birthday for clean water
Last fall, Will and Jada Pinkett Smith donated their birthdays to Charity: Water to help build wells and bring clean drinking water to thousands in poor countries. In lieu of gifts, ask your friends to make donations to Charity: Water, and for every $20 donation the organization receives, they will provide one person with clean drinking water for ten years.

I don’t throw birthday parties for myself anymore, but I do plan to make a donation to one of my favorite charities in honor of my birthday. I always liked the idea of giving to celebrate my birthday more than getting, and what better way to give than to make a difference at the same time?

Birthday Wishes
Charity: Water
Charity Birthday
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