We’ve mentioned it before, but I wanted to remind our readers that donating to Ethiopian Orphan Relief, Inc. in lieu of receiving gifts is an excellent way to share the wealth. When my daughter turned two last October, we had a party for grown up friends and a separate gathering for our toddler playgroup. We specified, ‘no gifts’ for both occasions but also mentioned that if people must give gifts, a donation to EOR would be welcome. It was so lovely at both parties, not to focus on gift opening. Although the world’s most delightful two year old received some gifts from the immediate family and a few close friends, she also received a number of donations in her honor. Not one to be left out, our 10 year old also asked for donations for his birthday in January.
I thought we’d miss all the trinkets, the sweet little outifts, and the new puzzles, but really, by the end of the birthday extravaganza, both kids seemed happy despite not having a tower of presents to open. After the success the kids enjoyed, I asked for donations for my birthday as well. People seemed genuinely pleased to write a check for each of these occasions–it’s a good deal easier than gift shopping, wrapping and shipping, and in the end it’s a lovelier gesture too.
If you (or a small loved one) has a special occasion coming up–a birthday, graduation, Bar Mitzvah or something like that, consider asking for donations in lieu of gifts. The orphans of Ethiopia, who will receive playthings and clean water and medical care on your behalf will thank you. I’ll thank you too.