Parents turn kids' birthday parties into opportunities to serve

KMBZ News Staff
December 19, 2018 - 7:14 am

ID 117741723 © Marija Stepanovic |


A trend in children's birthday parties is all about giving, but not to the birthday boy or girl.

More parents are setting aside the idea of hiring a clown or playing pin the tail on the donkey in favor of parties with a charitable spirit. The trend started with kids collecting food and supplies, instead of birthday presents, for homeless shelters, food banks and animal shelters.

In an age when kids have so many toys and luxuries, some parents want to focus on ideas that are less materialistic and self-serving. Some people have approached Casey Waugh with Wayside Waifs.

"We're able to give them directions to our wish list, which is on our website, and that way they have a little outline for items that are easily picked up," Waugh said.

And some kids take it to the next level by showing up at the shelter to serve.

"Maybe they'll help make treats for the dogs with peanut butter bones, or they can sometimes read books to the cats," Waugh said. "Whatever the project may be, they can decide and work with everyone here that day."

Groups as large as 10 to 12 can come to the shelter and there is no minimum age requirement, as long as a parent is present.

Other service ideas include visiting facilities with older patients, creating gift boxes for homeless shelters or sprucing up playgrounds at public parks.

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