Today we completed the most rewarding project – hosting a birthday party for a local Boys & Girls’ Club. This was by far the most expensive and time-consuming project we have undertaken to date, but it was 110% worth it!
This project started with research several weeks ago. I loved the idea of providing a birthday cake for an underprivileged child, which was one of the items on the original list. I contacted several different organizations to inquire about doing this project, and the Boys & Girls’ Club immediately responded and said they would love to have us help. So, we set the date and started planning.
Our project really took off yesterday. Abby and I started by shopping at Party City to find decorations and order balloons. Abby REALLY thought the kids wanted a princess party, but I did manage to convince her to go with generic “Happy Birthday” decorations and balloons.
After visiting Party City, we met with our friends, Jenny and Becky, to make the cake and cupcakes for the party. Jenny and Becky have been taking cake decorating classes, so they were the perfect candidates to be roped in to our project! We had the best time decorating with them. We started by doing the cupcakes.
They were so patient teaching Abby how to decorate the cake.
Abby actually painted several of the red and blue stripes on the bottom of the cake all by herself. I was shocked that an almost four year old could do that!
Here is the whole crew of cake decorators:
And here is the final product:
Today I picked up the balloons and then picked up Abby early from school for the party. When I picked her up she informed me that she made a birthday card for the party while she was at school.
We hit the store to get ice cream and, at Abby’s demand, sprinkles. Jenny was able to get off work early enough to join us, so she met us at the Boys & Girls’ Club for the party. We decorated the room and had twelve kids join us for the party – all the kids who were there today with June, July and August birthdays. We brought candles and ended up singing happy birthday three times. First, we sang for the one girl whose birthday was actually today. Here she is blowing out the candle on the big cake…
Then we cut up the cake and handed out cupcakes (vanilla cake) and cake (chocolate cake), with an individual candle for each child. Each child also got a cup of chocolate or vanilla ice cream. We sang happy birthday again to the whole group, so that each kid could blow out a candle.
Later during the party, a teenage boy walked in and asked if this was the party for the August birthdays. We said yes, and he said his birthday was in August. He said he had just turned 18. I asked him if he wanted a candle and if he wanted us to sing him happy birthday, fully expecting him to be “too cool” for that. To my surprise, he smiled and said yes, he would love that. So, we gave him a candle, lit it, and the whole group sang happy birthday one last time.
I cannot express how gratifying this project was. The kids were overjoyed by the birthday party. It was really obvious that some of them do not get this type of event very often, if at all. They were so polite and thanked us repeatedly for throwing the party. Several other kids came by and asked when we started doing this. We said it was our first time to host, and one little boy said he could not wait until his birthday month. I don’t remember the last time I felt so appreciated. A part of me was expecting the party to be kind of a let down after all the preparations – that maybe the kids would just swing by, grab a piece of cake, and go on about their day. That was not the case at all. These kids loved every bit of the party. They raved about how good the cake and frosting were. Not one kid complained about the obviously-done-by-a-child decorations on the cupcakes. They begged to get to take the balloons and cheap party decorations home with them. Much to my surprise, they never fought about who would get which balloon, or who would get the fancy balloons. Everyone was just excited that they got to take something home.
I highly recommend doing this project yourself. It takes some time and a little money (we probably spent $75, but you could certainly do this project for a lot less), but it would be a wonderful project for a group to tackle. If anyone is interested in doing this for the Richardson Boys & Girls’ Club, please contact me and I will put you in touch with the right person. You will not regret it!