An Alternative Kid’s Birthday Party: Fundraiser

I can’t believe that my little man just turned two. TWO years old! He is everything you would expect from a 2-year old boy: vivacious, aggressive, in-a-hurry, exploratory, playful, fun, tiring, and an all-around big boy!

For his 1-year party, we decided to just have a casual get-together of family at our house. It was very nice and fun and low key. But we thought it would be fun to do a party this year – considering all of the characteristics above!

We wanted friends and family to come celebrate his life with us, but…. we didn’t really want any gifts.

Not only has Christmas just occurred, but no matter what Samuel has, there is always more to get. Another cool toy that he’s never played with. A new set of Little People that would make him laugh. Another outdoor toy that would make playtime more fun. And he (i.e., we) have enough. We have more than enough stuff.

We have more than enough to eat.

We have more than enough of a house.

We have more than enough love from a generous and loving Savior.

And we.don’t.need.more.

I don’t feel the need to have and do more just because it’s party time. And Brad came up with a fantastic alternative to just putting “No gifts please” on the invite … because… well, we didn’t think people would actually listen to that anyway. Not sure why…

Anyway, he said, What if we ask people to make a donation in Samuel’s name instead of bringing a gift?

Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner!

It was such a great idea. We specified on the invite to consider bringing $5 to donate to Children’s Relief International. This is an organization that Brad has personally worked with in India – helping bring relief and the message of Jesus to orphans and half-orphans in the poorest of places. I have wanted to tell you about them for some time. Shame on me for waiting this long!

If you are looking for something legitimate and long-lasting to support, it would be an honor to me if you would consider sponsoring a child through Children’s Relief International. It only costs $30/month, and this provides for a child’s (Christ-centered) education, food, housing, and helps them break the link of working in rock quarries as adults. Brad has gone to India and worked with the program 4 times now and is always impressed by how the native leaders there are growing the ministry. Bottom line: This is an organization to support!

You would spend more than $5 on a birthday present, wouldn’t you? We didn’t want to burden anyone, we just wanted to bless our friends in India.

So my mom and I teamed up to throw a super fun Mickey Mouse party!

We had friends…

We had kids…

We had family…

We had crafts…

We had cake and ice cream!!!

We. had. FUN! It was truly a blast.

And so far, we have raised $135 for Children’s Relief International!

This blows me away – because that money will go so far in India! I’m so thankful for the generous friends and family who came and contributed. It was the best birthday part we could have asked for.

* Thanks to Renee at for some great party pics!

Please don’t misunderstand me and think that I don’t think gift-giving is appropriate. Birthdays are a celebration of LIFE! And I truly LOVE giving gifts at birthday parties. This was a personal conviction that we had.


6 thoughts on “An Alternative Kid’s Birthday Party: Fundraiser

  1. Donna

    Great idea! looks like a great success as well! Love the cake, it’s so cute!!!!! God has truly blessed us to be a blessing to others.

  2. Anne

    We had considered this idea. As a low income family, birthday party invites sometimes create concern in that even though I know we don’t have to bring a gift, you feel weird showing up empty handed or very small, but our gift budget is very small. That said, as a low income family, birthday is likely the only time he does receive a toy or game through the year. We debated some more. Articles such as this one made me maybe second guess even more:
    We ended up staying traditional.

    1. Stephanie Post author

      It’s definitely a personal decision. It blessed us so much that it will be tempting to do every year, but I have no idea if we will decide to do that or not! 🙂

  3. Joy

    We had a similar party one year that benefited the local food bank. Everyone had a great time, even the birthday girls, and the food bank received items they needed. It was a blessing all around. 🙂

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