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grocery cart filled with donations
Put a charitable twist on your kid’s birthday party.
posted in: Family
by Christy McFarland

The life lesson my child will never forget

I’ll start from the beginning. So, my son just turned 5. He only had two requests for his birthday party: (1) The party is dinosaur/rainbow themed and (2) we invite all of his friends. Easy enough, right? Sure!

Here are my thoughts that followed:

  • All of his friends? He might be 5, but don’t let that fool you. All of his friends would mean inviting his entire pre-K class, friends from swim, family friends, friends from daycare and family.
  • I’m going to need a warehouse for all of these people!
  • Dinosaurs and rainbows… ok, dinosaurs that are rainbow-colored, check! 
  • How do I incorporate some type of donation/charitable element (something I’ve been wanting to do for a while to teach him the importance of giving back)?

So I got to thinking – what if I could find a large space that was also a nonprofit that could benefit from the party? What if we have our party at the Midwest Food Bank, a food distribution center making an enormous local and regional impact every single day?

Here’s what happened next:      

  • I called the Midwest Food Bank and tossed out my crazy idea. I asked if I could have our son’s birthday party at their facility, and instead of gifts, we’d ask parents to bring food donations.
  • I told them I’d handle all the party’s elements, including hiring a face painter, gym games (the Food Bank has a gym space), pizza, cupcakes and dinosaur cookie decorating.  

Party day was the special part.        

  • The amount of awareness our party brought to the Midwest Food Bank was amazing. So many parents wanted to get involved and asked how they could also give back.        
  • The parents delivered. And I mean they delivered. We were able to fill two overflowing grocery carts with donations. I couldn’t believe it! 
  • Plus, every single child at the party learned about the importance of giving back to those in need. 
  • And my son? Not only was he okay with giving up his gifts for donations, he offered to donate some of his birthday cupcakes to the Food Bank.

My heart was full.

It was an awesome experience for everyone involved, and I can’t thank the Midwest Food Bank enough. They did more than provide a space for our son’s party. They changed the lives of 25 kids and hopefully helped create a life-long love for giving back to those in need.

About the Midwest Food Bank   

Midwest Food Bank is a nonprofit feeding the hungry in the USA and abroad. This video captures their history, motivation, and growth. Their passion is to deliver food, hope, and love to those in need. View how amazing MFB, it's volunteers, donors, and partner agencies work together to meet the need! 

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