Give the gift of a happy birthday to a child in need.

Join the Birthday Giving Project

Create a party-in-a-box for a child in need.

Everyone loves to celebrate their special day. With this project, you'll make birthdays easier for families who are struggling.

Possible Recipients

This is a project through Family-to-Family, a national hunger relief organization that serves over 430 families in 20 of our poorest communities. For project details, go to Birthday Giving Project.

Or call your local food pantry to ask if they accept birthday-in-a-box donations.

What You'll Need

Anything to help make a party!

  • Box of cake mix and a can of frosting

  • Birthday candles (no matches, please!)

  • Simple wall decoration (streamers, banner, etc.)

  • New or gently used children’s book

  • Small $5-$10 gift appropriate to the age and gender of child

  • Optional: goodie bag with small surprises

  • Art supplies for your family to make a card

  • Shoebox

  • Wrapping material

  • Mailing carton and postage

  • Stamped postcard so recipient can write you back (optional)


  • Decide on your recipients. It can be kids living in one of the Family-to-Family communities or kids in a battered women’s shelter. If you contact, they can put you in touch with a F-to-F community or a shelter and contact information for the person who will hand out your box.

  • Choose what age and gender child you want to create your birthday box for.

  • Shop for items and wrap them

  • Wrap the top and bottom of a shoe box separately (so that even wrapped, the box can be opened). Fill it with the things you have gathered.

  • If you want to give your recipient a chance to write you back, include a stamped postcard with your name, c/o Family to Family, P.O. Box 255, Hastings-on-Hudson, NY, 10706. Then email, put “birthday postcards” in the subject line, say you may get a return postcard, and provide your name and address.

  • If you want, put a homemade birthday card in the box. Tie the box closed with ribbon, and label it with the age and “boy” or “girl” (e.g., “6-year-old boy” or “10-year-old girl”).

  • Enclose the gift(s) in a mailing carton and ship to the address Family-to-Family gave you.


  • What are your favorite birthday traditions or memories?

  • What would it feel like to not get any presents on your birthday or not celebrate?

  • How would it feel to receive a “birthday party” box from someone you’ve never met?

  • What are ways you could make a birthday extra-special for someone you know?


Take it Further

  • If your child is making the box, he or she can raise the money to buy the birthday items at a bake sale or yard sale, or by doing extra chores.

  • Gather a group of friends, a church group or scout group and make a bunch of birthday boxes for kids of all different ages.

  • Host this project as a birthday party. Have guests bring items for the birthday boxes in lieu of gifts. For more inspiring birthday party ideas that give back, check out our e-book 12 Fun, Creative Birthday Parties that Give Back. Empower kids to use their birthday to do good!

  • Every year on your child’s birthday (or other notable date), make it a tradition to send a birthday box to a child in need

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