Being a mom is the hardest thing I've ever done, but it has brought me so much joy! I want to encourage other moms on their journey, I'll share motherhood tricks, spotlight tips I've learned from friends, and I hope you will share your ideas. I will focus on secrets that help families stay balanced, healthy, frugal, creative, and closely knit. I will also share favorite fiction and nonfiction books that I have enjoyed. Many blessings to you on your mothering journey!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Parties with a Twist

Everybody likes a good party! But parties don't always have to revolve around selfish interests – listen to these party ideas that have a volunteer twist. The ideas were generated by a group of 2nd-6th grade girls participating in the Care Bears Volunteer Camp at Harpeth Hall School.

Two of the girls shared how they had hosted a joint birthday party for the Ronald McDonald House. They asked their guests to bring new gifts for either a boy or girl for RMD. They were excited that they had generated 50 presents for other children! In sharing with others, these girls also educated their friends about RMD and the hospitality it offers others.

This conversation led to a brainstorming session about party possibilities with the agencies where we were volunteering. See ideas below AND look back at Summer Fun for even more ideas for philanthropic parties.

**Host your party at an animal shelter. For playtime, walk the dogs and play with the cats. For craft time, make toys for the animals out of recycled materials. For service time, ask the shelter how you could help out. Then eat cake!
**Host an educational playday at an after-school center. Read books, play games, and build memories together. In lieu of gifts, collect books and school supplies for children.
**Have an outdoor party at a local park. Have a scavenger hunt to see who can collect the most trash left around the park. Give prizes for the most unusual trash specimens. In lieu of gifts, donate money to the park. Or bring wildlife books to donate to a nearby school.
**Have a birthday party with older adults in a retirement center. Play your favorite games, sing new/old birthday songs, play old/new party games, and eat yummy cake. In lieu of gifts, ask the retirement center what they need, and help meet their needs.

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