Birthday Parties That Give Back

Birthday Parties That Give Back | Twin Cities Moms Blog

My kids have a lot of stuff.

It’s kind of ridiculous.

Despite the fact that my clutter-hating husband regularly makes the kiddos clear out their rooms, donate, and trash what they don’t use, it still seems to pile up.

So a couple of years ago, we decided to put the kibosh on receiving gifts when we celebrated my eldest daughter’s birthday. In lieu of gifts that year, we asked Avery to come up with a plan that would help others instead. She decided to ask that people bring new or gently used children’s shoes that we could donate to those in need.

This year, we’re planning to take it one step further. The entire party will be focused around giving back to others. And instead of gifts, we’ll be asking that kids bring sandwich-making supplies.

Yep – my daughter chose the organization 363 Sandwich Project. Started by a man who wanted to do something to help the many hungry people he saw in need, this organization hands out sandwiches donated by others. Watch this inspiring video about it here.

It’s the best of both worlds – the girls get a to do a ‘craft’ project (putting together the sandwiches) and get to make a difference in the world at the same time.

Another fun idea? Host your party at Feed My Starving Children. A friend of mine did this for her 8-year old, and it was so much fun! Not only is packing meals a great time, but the company does a good job of singling out the birthday child and making them feel special, too.

Birthday Parties That Give Back | Twin Cities Moms Blog

Sole Hope, a non-profit dedicated to providing shoes for children in need, allows you to party while giving back. In fact, we just hosted our own shoe making party through them. For a small fee, you can order a shoe-making kit, then collect gently used denim and milk jugs to create the shoes. The girls in our group had so much fun creating them together – and it was awesome knowing that they were doing their part to be world changers.

There are tons of other opportunities to host a charitable birthday party. For just $25, you can order a doll-making kit from Happy Doll – each child creates a doll that is donated to a child in need. Many Humane Societies offer birthday party options where children can play and help care for animals in residence. Kids Caring 4 Kids was started by an 11-year old girl, who wanted to help children in Africa orphaned by AIDS. For $25, you get a kit which includes party ideas, a CD with sample activities, and information on how your donations make a difference. The list goes on and on.

Birthday parties should be fun, but that doesn’t mean they have to be traditional. I love having a reason to be able to teach my kids about loving others. Have you ever done an out of the box, giving back type of party for your kiddos?

Having lived most of her life in Minnesota, Cate is in love with this state and all that it has to offer. Raising an 8-year-old and twin 4-year-olds, alongside her handsome hubby Ed, keeps her busy, but connecting with other moms keeps her sane. When she's not chasing her kids around, Cate writes about many of her passions, like fashion, beauty, DIY, and small business, on her blog - she's excited to share those passions with other Minnesota mothers here as well!


  1. Love this list! Such a fantastic way to encourage a servant heart in our kids — plus it’s really impactful for their friends too. Thanks for sharing! Our local womens shelter hosts monthly birthday parties for the residents and their kids, which is another great way to get involved even when you’re not celebrating your own birthday 😉

  2. Great article. We also have changed our party theme. This year, we are asking guests to bring donations (like diapers or formula) for an African orphanage. I want Maggie and Josie to have an obligation to their roots. There is also where you can volunteer to be a part of a large group in February that will be supporting Feed My Starving Children. What a great way to teach our children to have a kind and loving heart for others.


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