Birthday Presents - How many is too many?
How many is too many?
Social etiquette versus social responsibility
Have you thought about the amount of gifts children get on their birthday parties? Presents piled high in the corner of a party room, parents dragging home giant bags of gifts only to watch their child unwrap present after present, always asking for the next one. The party aftermaths is inevitably lots of plastic tat, duplicates and wrapping paper scattered all over the place.
Too many presents, it feels wasteful and wrong, but what are the alternatives? After trying the no gifts party, the charity box and the group gift collection, an enterpreneurial mum from London set out to create a one-stop invitation platform Kindergifts (www.kindergifts.co.uk) to make gifting easy and meaningful. The platform allows parents to club together for a dream gift and, at the same time, donate a portion of the gift fund to a good cause – be it the school charity or any other cause close to heart.
Kids in state schools are often raising funds for school improvements - like a new playground or sports equipment, whereas most private school communities support local charities. So, when a child receives a Charity Certificate at school recognising their charitable efforts - that’s way more meaningful and memorable than unwrapping the nth birthday present. It’s an opportunity for the parent to engage with their child about being fortunate, sharing and helping others. After all, aren’t those the very first values we want to teach our children?
Social etiquette vs social responsibility
It all makes sense, but the “Brit” in me feels uncomfortable suggesting a gift or money. What about good manners and social etiquette? Well, here is the other side of the coin. By remaining silent, how comfortable do we feel about letting our children receive so much stuff they don’t need when there are so many other kids who need things they never get? What’s more important, looking good or doing good?
There is a fine balance in doing things the right way. Would you really think any less of your friends for choosing this kinder way to celebrate?
Celebrating for a good cause
The platform offers a great variety of good causes that children can relate to. So far, kids tend to pick charities providing basic necessities, educational opportunities and joy to disadvantaged children such as the Starlight Children’s Foundation, Stand by Me, Magic Breakfast, COSMIC, The Trussell Trust and many others. A typical charity donation from a Kindergifts party is around £100-£200 which over time can add up to a meangful contribution towards those local charities.
How it works
The parent and child create an online party invitation with gift and charity details which is then sent to the guests. When the guests RSVP to the invitation, it’s easy for them to contribute online what they would normally spend on a gift. In the end, the parent buys the present with the gift amount and the charity receives a donation. It saves time, reduces waste and does good in its own right.
What about the birthday child?
Children have an innate ability for empathy and kindness. Here is what the birthday boys and girls say about their Kindergifts parties:
“I’m learning to read and I want to help other children learn to read too”, Zane, age 5
“I want to help hungry children have breakfast at school”, Sammy & Ethan, age 7
“I feel sorry for the children who are poor and don’t have a warm house to sleep in the winter”, Christopher, 8 years old
“I am fortunate to receive many presents and I wanted to share my gifts with children who don’t get presents at all”, Nikole 9 years old.
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