Let’s be honest, our kids really don’t need one more thing, especially if they have a late December early January birthday! But what an impact they could make, not only on their group of friends, but on the world around them, if our kids chose to come together to serve others on their own big day. Now THAT’S a memorable birthday! My kids are always looking for opportunities to better the world around them. Why not host a caring-centered birthday party? Read on for some great, local ideas.
Charity Birthday Parties for Kids
Options for having guests bring a gift to give someone in need:
Fill a Heart 4 Kids
2549 Waukegan Rd., Suite 20, Bannockburn
Fill a Heart 4 Kids provides custom care packages to orphans in group homes or institutions. You can host a Party 4 A Purpose where guests bring AMC gift cards in lieu of gifts so that residents can enjoy a trip to the movies.
PADS Lake County
1800 Grand Ave., Waukegan | (847) 689-4357
PADS is the only homeless shelter in Lake County. They are always looking for donations from socks, to soap, to sack lunches. Please contact the coordinator before donating items.
745 N. Milwaukee Ave., Libertyville | (847) 367-5360
A ministry of service to homeless mothers and children, Maristella provides education and support to families in Lake County. Your group can help collect items to be donated, or volunteer for the Thanksgiving food or Christmas gift distribution.
Project Linus provides fleece blankets and afgans to hospitalized and traumatized children. Your group can make blankets to be donated to children in need.Drop-off completed blankets to Joann Fabrics, 413 N. Milwaukee Ave., Unit 500, Vernon Hills, (847) 521-0672.
Places you can host your party while giving to others in need
Please note that each organization may have requirements such as adult to child ratios and participation waivers in order for children to volunteer.
Bernie’s Book Bank
917 N. Shore Dr., Lake Bluff | (847) 780-7323
The mission of Bernie’s Book Bank is to collect, process and distribute children’s books to at risk families. Your group can consist of any age and ability and will spend your time sorting and bagging books. For groups with more than eight people, please visit the website to make a reservation.
Feed My Starving Children
742 E. Park Ave., Libertyville | (847) 984-3846
At Feed My Starving Children, your hands can literally provide food for those in need. Volunteers age five and older will be organized into teams around packing stations and will create nutritious meal formulas that will be shipped all over the globe. Reservations are required via their website, and volunteer spots fill up weeks (and sometimes months) in advance.
Northern Illinois Food Bank
440 Keller Dr., Waukegan | (847) 336-3663
Northern Illinois Food Bank provides nutritious meals to those in need. Volunteers ages eight and over can help sorting and packing food. Call to find a location that meets your groups needs or register for volunteering on their website.
Advocate Good Shepherd Garden Site
450 Rt. 22, Barrington | (847) 875-2060
Smart Farm in Barrington grows and donates 8000 pounds of produce every year to families in need. Volunteering at the farm is a great opportunity for high school aged kids and adults to help care for the gardens and make a difference in the Barrington community.
Animal Education and Rescue
Invite some animals to your next party. For a $100 donation, an educator will bring an age-appropriate animal, will tell their story, and educate on AER.
Worth the Drive
1350 Lake Street, Suite I, Roselle | (224) 653-8315
Phil’s Friends provides encouragement and support to those affected by cancer. Your group can visit their distribution center to help write cards, decorate boxes, and pack custom care packages to be sent to patients. Your 90-minute session will be fun, educational, and great for preschoolers on up.
Have you hosted a party-for-a-cause for your child? What is your favorite charity to give back to?