Around the time their daughter receives her fourteenth Barbie, charity-minded parents will most likely be searching for an alternative birthday celebration plan. ECHOage, a web-based service that plans eco-friendly, charitable birthday parties for kids may be the way to go.
Invitations are sent to birthday pals through the website. Guests r.s.v.p. and make online gift contributions which are then pooled together. Half of the kitty goes to a charity of the child’s choice (e.g. EarthCorps or Nourish America); half is sent via check to mom and dad to purchase one meaningful gift.
Think about it: 20 pals are invited to your little one’s birthday bash. Each one donates $20. The result? $200 goes to Autism Speaks and $200 goes to that electronic keyboard your son has been begging you for.
Seems like a no-brainer. Kids experience early on the feel-good-in-your-bones emotion that accompanies philanthropy and score a super-sized gift that they probably wouldn’t ordinarily get. Mom and Dad can relish the fact that they are setting their kiddos on the path to become the grownups they’d want them to be.
No gift shopping, no piles of trashed wrapping paper…no Barbie Number 15? Icing on the cake.