giving

Neighborhood Art Show


Neighborhood Art Show

I’ve always wanted to do an Art Show at my house. We have a unique neighborhood with a plethora of kids, so why not collect their art and display it for all to see? Made perfect sense to me! It was also a great way to teach the kids a few things: Follow through on an idea, work together as a community, feel proud of their creativity, and raise money for a good cause. All of the money they earned was used towards buying backpacks filled with school supplies for needy kids in our area.

Here is how you can make it happen:

1. Collect art. Send out an e-mail to the neighborhood moms asking them to please consider dropping off some of their kids’ art for this cool art show idea. I would suggest starting well in advance, maybe two weeks before the show. Make sure to tell them that it will be easy, just grab anything they have collecting in a pile (we all have piles, right?), or things that are framed already. We ended up with about 65% participation, which was great for our first try!

2. Label art. We used neon labels that we stuck on index cards, cut out, then taped at the bottom of each piece. Tape lightly on the back of the art so that you can peel them off easily when returning.

3. Hang art. I used large rolls of kraft paper to cover my walls (the paper covered up my own permanent art), then I rolled up pieces of scotch tape to adhere to the back of each peice. I also used clothespins and line to hang some of the art.

4. Make fliers. Deliver to neighbors and friends.

5. Make a cool sign. Buy balloons. We made the sign by cutting out letters from old paintings, gluing them to craft paper, then outlining the letters with a white pen.

6. Make treats. We all pitched in to make treats. One of my neighbors even set up a Pizza Frita station! Big hit.

7. Open the doors…let the Art Show begin! It was so much fun to have my house covered with beautiful, colorful art. Parents were proud, kids were proud, everyone was happy. It was awesome!

8. (Optional) Collect the money and donate to the charity of your choice. You can certainly have an art show that is free without linking to a charity. For us, though, it gave everyone a purpose. And the kids got to practice their “pitch” to each person who entered the show. Good life skill, I say!

We had a very successful Art Show. We earned $405 dollars which we used to buy 8 backpacks filled with school supplies for our local charity Person-to-Person. Eight very happy children were able to go to their first day of school with all of their supplies, ready to learn.

I’m so proud of our neighborhood, way to go!!

An ECHOage Birthday


An ECHOage Birthday

To continue with my birthday theme this past week (streamers are still up), I wanted to share with you our secret to a happy birthday party.

For the past three years, we have celebrated the kids’ birthdays with ECHOage, an online birthday party service whereby your child choses a charity to donate to in lieu of gifts. When the e-vite goes out, guests RSVP and immediately can contribute to the charity that your child has chosen. At the end, when the party has been “closed out”, ECHOage sends half of the donated funds to the charity, and half to your child. Simple!

From my perspective, everyone wins! No more toys to unwrap (Lord knows we all have enough toys) or to buy, easy thank-you notes to write (you can have your child write one note, make copies, then just add in the givers name), your child learns the value of giving and receiving, we can help those in need, and…your child can go to the toy store (or Apple store, depending on age!) with money in hand and chose something they have always wanted.

I made this poster for the little guy for his party. We displayed it as a reminder of how much all of his friends helped.

Spread the love of ECHOage!