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Happy Birthday Grace & Eli

Grace and Eli, a couple of DonorsChoose.org’s youngest supporters, recently had a “sharing” birthday. They created a Giving Page on DonorsChoose.org, and asked friends and family to support the classroom projects of their choice, in lieu of gifts. We spoke with Grace and Eli’s mom Abbey, and just had to share their story!
We are so happy that Grace and Eli celebrated their birthdays by giving back to classrooms in need. How did you decide to include DonorsChoose.org in the celebration?
I was made aware of DonorsChoose.org about 4 years ago and have been an active donor ever since. We have found the message, the medium, and the content to be truly amazing. The connection of teachers with those who otherwise wouldn’t know how to help is filling a gap so beautifully.
In terms of how we decided to include DonorsChoose.org in our party plans, it’s pretty simple but also very complex. My husband and I are lucky enough to be parents of three young children (we have a third baby Sam), who are they themselves lucky enough to have everything they NEED and most of what they WANT. My husband and I regularly discuss how important it is to take opportunities to remind them there are others who do not have what they WANT and in some cases not even what they NEED. So, for this birthday, we told them they would be selecting “toys” for OTHER kids who didn’t have as much as they did. To be honest, at first that didn’t go over so well, but after they looked at the pictures and I read them a few excerpts (which they didn’t really understand but were at least intrigued by) they selected a few pictures of projects to be the projects we would sponsor. Then I put their pictures up and that got them REALLY going. Grace regularly asked “Did the other kids get their toys?” and I would say yes they did she should be very proud and thankful of our kind guests who gave to them.
What tips would you offer to others who want to celebrate with DonorsChoose.org?
It’s easy and the other parents love it. Just go for it. Don’t be daunted by the idea you may not raise “enough”. Every dollar is enough.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with the DonorsChoose.org community?
We were thrilled to have achieved the modest success we did with this giving page and profusely thanked the parents who gave as it was they who really DID something.  We will most assuredly do it again as our children will continue to grow and can actively participate in selecting projects to sponsor.  As a parent, you walk such a fine line of wanting your children to have it all, but recognizing others do not.  Letting them have a party, but using a giving page as a way for them to recognize the needs of others achieves both.   In the end, you as a parent experience helping your child grow their horizons by understanding of the needs of the world around them, while also giving the children a chance to “get” the pride of success – it just “works”. We love DonorsChoose.org and look forward to many years of future giving.
A BIG thanks goes out to Grace, Eli, their parents, and everyone who celebrated their “sharing” birthday by donating to classroom projects on DonorsChoose.org. Interested in celebrating your own special occasion with DonorsChoose.org? Visit DonorsChoose.org/Celebrations for more information.

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