Clarissa celebrates her 1st birthday and helps Midwest Animal ResQ too!

My idea was far from original. I’ve been invited (along with my kids) to a handful of charitable birthday parties since I became a mom. We’ve donated everything from boxes of diapers for needy kids to cans of food for local food pantries. I’d always kicked around the idea of turning one of my kid’s parties into a charitable event. And then we had to put our family dog of 7 years to sleep. Heartbroken, I decided that one way to help me heal would be to do something good for Erin’s Midwest Animal ResQ.

Here’s how to throw a party that’s for the dogs:

  1. Find someone with a birthday, graduation, anniversary or anything to celebrate.
  2. Invite some friends. Make sure to include an explanation on the invite, letting them know not to bring gifts, but that you’re gladly accepting donations.
  3. In our case, I got a list of needs from Erin, including everything from kennels and paper towels to gas and pet store gift cards. I included the list of needs and a link to the website in the invitation. Most of our guests ended up making donations online in my daughter’s honor.
  4. Have some fun at the party! We did it up with a doggy craft project, dog ballons and doghouse plates. But the icing on the cake was literally the icing on the (cup)cakes. I used some thick chocolate frosting and piped it onto the top of the cupcakes in the form of something you’d typically be cleaning up out of your backyard. It was a huge hit with the 3 and 4 year olds!

At the end of the day, our guests helped make a difference in the lives of some of Erin’s “fur babies.” Erin sent each of them thank you’s with touching stories and pictures letting the donors know how their money had been put to use. Plus, the guests had the added bonus that the donations were tax deductible. And we got to say goodbye to our family dog in a special way. Of course, you can do this for any charity that speaks to you, but I recommend Erin’s!

(Our guest blogger, Laura Garfield, has adopted two dogs from Midwest Animal ResQ and is passionate about the work done by the rescue and the lives that have been saved.)