Local

Valley kids use their birthdays to give to charity

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

A growing trend among valley kids celebrates giving instead of receiving. Instead of birthday presents, more young people are asking their guests to bring donations for their favorite charity.

Kids' birthday parties have become high pressure and high cost for both the hosts and the guests. Now some local kids as well as their parents are realizing they can use birthdays as an opportunity to help someone else -- especially when they already have a roomful of toys.

This is a refreshing contrast to some of the all-out birthday bashes we're seeing on T.V. On MTV's Super Sweet 16 music mogul Sean Diddy combs bought his son a $360,000 car. One six-year-old received a mini set of wheels on TLC's new show "Outrageous Kids Parties". Her princess party cost $32,000.

That kind of materialism and overindulgence was a big turn-off for Jake Pizzo, Jack Stallngs, Dalton Garver, and Michael Ball. The Fresno friends decided on a no-presents party for their 13th birthdays.

"My brother did it when he turned 13 so I thought it was a good idea so that's what I did," said Dalton Garver.

They asked their favorite non-profit, Catholic Charities, what was needed. Cash and peanut butter! On the invitation, that's what they requested their friends bring to the party. Everyone was glad to oblige and gave what they could.

"We got some pretty cool kids here," said 13-year-old Michael Ball.

The kids raised $545 and 151 pounds of peanut butter which they plan to present to Catholic Charities later this week.

Everybody wins here: and in this economy, it becomes neighbor helping neighbor and teaches philanthropy at a young age. If you still want your kid to receive something on their birthday -- you can always get them a gift.

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Tags:
charity, catholic charities, fresno, fresno county, local, christine park
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