Families host present-free birthday parties

 

Daily Journal

The youngster didn't unwrap a pile of trinkets and dolls for her birthday.

Instead, guests at Kathleene Thomas' birthday party brought canned food to donate to the Interchurch Food Pantry.

At a party for a 5-year-old in Greenwood, parents asked guests not to spend money on action figures and toy cars. Instead, donations to a college savings account for the boy would be most appreciated.

Families across the nation and across the county are hosting present-free birthday parties.

Some parents say their child has too much stuff and they are tired of throwing away or donating toys that have been played with once or left in the package.

Other parents want their children to see that a birthday is for more than receiving gifts and that money spent on a birthday gift could be better used elsewhere.

"We were getting gifts that were played with a few days and then it was at the bottom of the toy box," Emily Cornpropst told the Daily Journal (http://bit.ly/1lTwEPT).

So, the Greenwood resident decided she would do something different for her son Dallas' fifth birthday party.

Guests were asked to join Dallas at an indoor trampoline park. Instead of buying him a gift, they were asked to make a contribution to his college savings account.

Their friends and family gave about $250, which the boy's parents matched.

Everyone won, she said.

They plan to make it a tradition for Dallas' 10th and 15th birthday parties.

Asking for a contribution to a college savings account allowed relatives to show love to their child through a gift, she said.

"More than saying 'no gifts please,' (friends and families) want to show love to this child," Cornpropst said. "We are more about the memories, too."

Hosting gift-free birthday parties is becoming a philanthropic trend, some families said.

April Thomas has had gift-free birthday parties for years for her daughter, Kathleene.

Grandparents purchase gifts for the Waverly resident, but friends and other relatives are asked to make a donation to the charity of Kathleene's choice.

Friends have brought canned goods to a Scooby-Doo themed birthday party to be donated to the Interchurch Food Pantry in Franklin and Mount Pleasant Christian Church's food bank. Pet supplies have been stacked alongside the cake, to be donated to the Humane Society of Johnson County.

Going present-free was easy, Thomas said.

"It was just an overload of toys. We had to scale back," she said.

Getting others to accept a present-free decree can be harder, families said.

Julia Dahl, a sophomore at Center Grove High School, gave up gifts for Christmas two years ago and will do the same for her 16th birthday later this summer.

She asked for cash, so she could donate it to diabetes research.

Most family members complied, but not all were happy at first, Dahl said.

"At first the reaction wasn't the best," she said. "Relatives told me that they wanted to buy a gift and see my reaction."

A classmate gave up birthday gifts and used her money to buy Bibles, which she gave to people in Indianapolis.

Remembering the joy she had when she gave up Christmas gifts and the idea from her friend has Dahl looking forward to her birthday party in August when she will forgo presents.

"Listening to my friend do that, I realized how amazing it was," Dahl said.

---

Information from: Daily Journal, http://www.dailyjournal.net

This is an AP Member Exchange shared by the Daily Journal.

Read more Breaking News - Business stories from the Miami Herald

  •  
FILE - In this file photo taken on Tuesday, July  2, 2013, Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and CEO of state-controlled Russian oil company Rosneft Igor Sechin speak during a signing ceremony of cooperation agreements with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia. Having for months dismissed Western sanctions on Russia as toothless, business leaders here are now afraid that the crash of the Malaysian jetliner will bring about an international isolation that will cause serious and lasting economic damage. The U.S. and EU are still playing something similar to “good cop, bad cop” with Russia, said Chris Weafer of the Moscow-based Macro-Advisory, but it remains to be seen whether the Malaysian plane crash will be a game changer for Russia’s economy.

    Russian execs fear lasting damage from plane crash

    Having for months dismissed Western sanctions on Russia as toothless, business leaders here are now afraid that the crash of the Malaysian jetliner will bring about an international isolation that will cause serious and lasting economic damage.

  •  
In this July 8, 2014, the Lotte World Tower under construction is seen in Seoul, South Korea. Plans for the super-high tower first surfaced in 1995 and it took another 15 years to get a green light after the Air Force objected to it as a risk to a nearby military airport used for VIP flights. Now it faces new doubts as South Korea reels from the Sewol ferry sinking in April that killed hundreds of teenagers. The disaster provoked a scathing reassessment of an ethos of economic progress first, safety last that was largely unquestioned over several decades as the country rapidly industrialized.

    Towering worry: Small holes cause big jitters

    For the developers of the world's sixth tallest building near Seoul, a mysteriously shrinking lake and the appearance of small sinkholes in residential neighborhoods couldn't have come at a more inopportune time.

  • Boone has lowest June county jobless rate in Ky.

    The state says Boone County had the lowest unemployment rate among Kentucky's 120 counties in June.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category