South Eugene HS
Birthday Party Committee
What is the specific activity or project?
The birthday party committee organizes and holds birthday parties each season (Fall, Winter, Spring/Summer) for kids at the First Place Family Annex Center, a transitional shelter program for families that are experiencing homelessness. Because of COVID we’ve been having drive-by birthday party parades for the past year and it’s a great way to stay safe while making sure the kiddos have something to look forward to. For the parades, the committee decorates cars and we drive by the annex while playing “Happy Birthday.” We also provide a cake and goodie bags for all of the kids, as well as presents for the ones who have a birthday in the season we’re celebrating.
Why was it particularly meaningful and/or fun for your club to do?
Birthdays are usually a really exciting and fun time for younger children, so we’re really grateful to be able to provide that little extra special treat for the kids. Also (when in person) it’s super fun to play and connect with the people there. We’re able to give the parents a small break while their kids play and have fun. Everyone has a blast doing the drive-by parades and seeing all of the smiles makes it so worth it.
How easy or difficult was it to plan and implement? scale of 1-5 with 1=easy, 5=difficult
Scale = 2. The person we’re in contact with at the Annex is super helpful and lets us know how many birthdays there are/ total number of kids, etc. Overall, it’s pretty easy to decorate the cars/area of the party. The hardest parts are getting a good date so that the most volunteers can make it and making sure to budget effectively.
How many active and engaged people does it take to be successful?
For the drive-by birthday parties, at least 3-4 volunteers are needed for there to be enough cars in the line. For in person birthdays, it is most successful with at least 5 committee members to be there to set up, play with kids, supervise, clean up, etc.
Does it require funding or additional resources to launch? to continue?
Usually, our budget is $40-50, which makes this a fairly affordable project. These funds are used on the cost of the cake, party favors, decorations, utensils (if needed), and presents. Lots of the decorations can be reused in future parties, which is sustainable and cuts costs a lot!
Tips and lessons learned?
When doing the birthday party parade, play the music loud enough for the kids to hear. Also, it doesn’t take longer than 30 min to set up the cars. For in-person parties, don’t be shy to talk to parents and kids! Connecting with everyone there is one of the best parts.
Are you willing to provide any resources (templates, timelines, etc.) to help other clubs?
Yes! We have many google docs that can be used for reference that have all of the timelines, budgeting/costs of everything we used, and details about each of the parties.
I would like to tell you that the kids really enjoyed their goodie bags, one of the birthday girls was front and center of the parade and it’s all she could talk about. She absolutely loved it, she also lover her gift. Everyone loved the cake, and I had ice cream to go along, we kept up with it and sang happy birthday song all night at least four times. So, thank you so much that little gesture made a house full of kids so happy and had such a good night. Thank you very much.
—Shyla Hecht, Kitchen Manager, Svdp fpfc annex