Simple and Effective Ways You Can Make A Difference (plus a giveaway!)Thursday, October 03, 2013
I love birthdays. They are a day to celebrate someone simply because they exist, not because of their successes, connections or anything else we as society deem important. I'm on the Advisory Board for a non-profit organization called The Birthday Party Project, which teams up with homeless shelters to throw birthday parties for all the kids in residence each month. I was able to participate as a birthday enthusiast (the name for their volunteers) in January and you can read more about that experience here.
Finding solutions to the problem of homelessness is a staggering and complex endeavor, but it's one that's being tackled. Poverty is more than economic and finding solutions requires a both/and approach rather than either/or. Felt needs AND emotional needs need to be addressed. Skipping the emotional needs in order to focus just on shelter, food and clothing is an incomplete solution. The Birthday Party Project comes alongside people working on these complexities and essentially says to these kids, "Homelessness may be your circumstance, but it is not who you are. You matter. Your dreams matter. You are worth celebrating."
Currently The Birthday Party Project works in North Texas, but is rolling out to affiliate markets beginning in 2014, so if you're interested in bringing The Birthday Party Project to your city, sit tight, they'll be announcing more information on how that works soon.
October is my birthday month and gifts (giving and receiving) are my love language. I'm participating in the #shareyourbirthday initiative this month. If you'd like to join me, I've put together a wish list for The Birthday Party Project on Amazon at party.pl/partywish. The list is filled with items they need to make these parties happen and all purchases will be shipped directly to The Birthday Party Project's headquarters in Texas. And if you're an Amazon Prime member, even better! You can buy the heavier stuff and not have to pay shipping! Win-win.
My talented friend Kelly Ashworth has whipped up this handy infographic with some fun up-to-date stats on what The Birthday Party Project has been able to accomplish since their official launch in January 2012. Feel free to use it to #shareyourbirthday too!
If you'd like to tweet the wish list, the official social media link is partyp.pl/partywish.
And because I love gifts so much, if you make a purchase from the wish list, make a donation, or share the infographic via social media with the hashtag #shareyourbirthday during the month of October, you'll be entered to win an official EAT SLEEP PARTY REPEAT t-shirt and a Penny the Pig party wish bank!
You can follow The Birthday Party Project on Twitter and Instagram at @bdayenthusiast and like them on Facebook for fun announcements. You can also download a copy of the #shareyourbirthday infographic in various sizes on Flickr.
The Fine Print:
This giveaway is sponsored by The Splendid Collective. It is open to all people 18 years or older living in the United States. The giveaway will run from Thursday, October 3rd, 2013 to Thursday, October 31st, 2013 11:59 PM Pacific. Each social media update in the month of October with the hashtag #shareyourbirthday counts as an entry. No limit to entries. The winner will be chosen randomly and announced on ThinkSplendid.com in November. Once the winner has been selected, the decision is final. This giveaway is not affiliated with Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Google or any other social media platform. Employees of The Splendid Collective and their immediate family members in their household are not eligible to win this giveaway.