A couple of months ago, on a whim I decided to meet up with a group of ladies to discuss an idea that a couple of girls had. It was simple, organize a group of volunteers to help give kids a birthday party they deserve. I was all in.
I love the idea. I love making things. I love giving back. I love helping. I love kids. And I love parties. WIN WIN. The best part is, it’s SO simple. And it’s not a big commitment. Let’s face it, we are all super busy with our lives and it is hard to commit to something that takes away from our time with our own kid’s, work, sleep, etc. However, with Box of Balloons, you choose your own commitment when you have time to do whatever you choose to do. Also, there are options. If you are crafty–craft. If you’re a great baker–bake. If you hit the dollar store regularly–hit it! But if you don’t want to do that, you can just donate to help us serve MORE kids. Because seriously, what kid doesn’t deserve a birthday party?!?!?
Our purpose and goal is simple: we think every child deserves to celebrate their birthday. But, the unfortunate reality is that birthday parties just are not an option for some families. So, through our organization, Box of Balloons, we work with local schools and community organizations to create a specialized birthday party celebration for children in our local communities, at no cost to them and with no strings attached.
How it works:
1) School social workers/teachers and community organization leaders identify families a) in need and b) who would truly appreciate and cherish a birthday party. Next, they complete a worksheet with some basic information about the child’s interests and preferences and this helps us select the birthday theme.
2) A group of fantastic volunteers sign up to fill the need by volunteering to fulfill one (or more) components of the birthday box (includes: tableware, party favors, a game, cupcakes, decorations and a gift).
– The amazing leader of Box of Balloons sets up a link for us to indicate which component of the box we would like to fulfill (she even includes links sometimes to give us ideas).
– Note: sometimes life is busy and we all understand that! We are not at all expected to help with every single box – we sign up when we can.
– Finally, we purchase or prepare our part and make arrangements to get the supplies to Nicole Moll. Nicole lives in Poynette, works in DeForest and goes to church in Sun Prairie – so, we are likely to catch her in one of these locations during the week, but we also have Sun Prairie and Madison drop locations if we are not able to make it to Nicole.
3) Every birthday box is delivered to the school or community organization leader on the Friday closest to the child’s birthday. This is an important part of our mission: we allow the parents or caregivers of the child to throw the birthday parties. We want to empower the parents to give their child the birthday party they deserve. Because every child, family and birthday is worth celebrating!
How amazing is this?! In the last month or so, we have created and delivered 4 Box of Balloons birthday celebrations: baseball, super hero, basketball and one direction themed. The feedback is heartwarming….AND an inspiration for us to do more! What’s next?! We had an initial goal to celebrate 2 birthday’s per month, but would really love to celebrate even more birthdays in 2014….so, we are hoping to add to our volunteer team. If this sounds like an organization and mission you want to be connected to, check out our website (www.boxofballoons.org) and email (firstname.lastname@example.org) to be added to our volunteer list. Doing so, will enable an alert to be sent to you each time we have a new box to fill and if you are able, you simply sign up for that box. And if not, that month you take a pass and watch for the next opportunity to hit your inbox.
This week we got a last minute request for a “Frozen” themed party and I signed up for the game. I thought I’d walk you through the process,
First, I received an email from Nicole regarding the request with the link to sign up:
Every box is composed of the same basic items, somehow tied into the theme for the box–this box is “Frozen” and it is always announced in the first email. This is what the signup page looks like:
After I signed up for the game on this one, I got this email:
I also received an email from Nicole with a few game ideas, incase I needed some help, which is always nice!
Today, I put my part into action and created the game (excuse the cellphone pictures!):
And since I had the stuff, and I was in the mood, I just created this little extra:
What birthday girl doesn’t want a birthday crown?!?!? 😉
Aside from feeling like I did something good, and giving up an hour of my day (totally worth it)…the best part about this was it was completely free for me! I had all the items I needed to create this right here in my house. It doesn’t get much better than that!!
So what do you think? It’s pretty easy right?!?! Please contact me or Nicole if your interested in being a part of this awesome group of people making local birthday’s a little brighter!!!
ps. here is another blog post with an example of some of the items in a box: