It’s a challenge raising children in a world where money is considered the main marker of success and narcissism and entitlement are embedded in many a parental urge to develop their child’s self-esteem. But one little girl has gone against the grain, deciding to use her birthday to help others instead of soliciting the parents for gifts for herself.
Soon to be 8-year-old Journey Tyner is having a philathroparty and if you don’t know what that is, now you do. The Maryland-based pre-teen has decided to do a virtual Give Big Birthday Party in honor of Global Service Day. Her goal is to raise $2500 for Water. Org during the month of April. (Her birthday is April 25). What motivated her? Her parents teachings that everyone is valuable regardless of their current situation and her own innate feeling that helping others is something that is its own reward.
“Well, around the world they don’t have fresh water and it causes illness,“ Tyner says. “So I want to stop that. So I’m raising money for fresh water. Lot’s of kids die every day from unclean water. Water should be a right and not a privilege.” This is not the first year that Tyner has done something special for others for her birthday.
Last year, guests at her Give BIG birthday party raised over $200 to benefit Cleveland’s Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital.
Here are a few tips from Journey’s mom Simone’s blog, Herlifeinspired on how to encourage your child to host a philanthroparty that’s fulfilling and fun!
Use every opportunity to discuss wants and needs.
Children that have a clear understanding and appreciation of what they already have are more likely to be givers. Every homeless person we see, every toy she asks me to buy, every meal that we eat are all opportunities to remind Journey of how blessed she is to have a warm house, a playroom full of toys and food to eat. Now that she realizes those things aren’t a given, she does not take them for granted and is more thoughtful about what she asks for.
Choose a cause or charity that they are interested in.
Most children are motivated to help when they hear about catastrophic events like the earthquake in Haiti and hurricane Sandy, or social woes like hunger and animal abuse. Listening to their reaction to current events and everyday occurrences can help you determine what causes they are interested in. Journey seems to be drawn to children’s causes, so most of her charity projects have benefited organizations that help children.
Contact the charity to find out its needs and decide how you will give.
As I mentioned, for Journey’s party [last year] we decided to make items for the charity in addition to making a monetary donation. Once we decided we wanted to work with Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital, I contacted them to make sure they would accept the items we had in mind. At the party we made jewelry, comfort cards, painted pictures and decorated picture frames. We also collected almost $200 in loose change. I included a list of other items that the hospital accepts in the party favor bags in case guests wanted to make additional donations. Another party we attended asked guests to bring dog chew toys and old towels for an animal shelter. Whatever you decide, make sure you clearly communicate it to your guests and make it easy for them to participate.