It comes around every year – your birthday. Are you having trouble choosing a party theme? Are you running out of ideas for your birthday wish list? Do your gifts tend to feel a bit repetitive, contrite or even lacking lasting meaning? Then the Buckner Shoes for Orphan Souls® Birthday Club is just for you! You can make a difference in the lives of children in your community and around the world while experiencing a birthday memory that won’t quickly fade.
The Birthday Club is a program within Buckner Shoes for Orphan Souls that offers a creative way to host a shoe drive. The Birthday Club started in 2008 when 54 families decided separately to ask for new shoes instead of presents at their birthday parties. We loved their idea so much we decided to make it an official part of Shoes for Orphan Souls, and today, more than 400 people have joined the Birthday Club, forgoing gifts for themselves and instead choosing to give to children in need.
Joining the Birthday Club is a piece of cake. When you register, you will receive party planning and shoe drive materials to make the event go smoothly. We provide downloadable party essentials such as invitations, cupcake toppers, games and more, with two different themes to choose from. In the invitation, you simply ask your friends and family to bring new shoes to your party instead of presents. During the party, we encourage participants and their guests to write notes to put in the shoes and do other fun activities to contribute to the party atmosphere. Shoes for Orphan Souls offers as much or as little help as you need for the party.
When the party is over, mail or deliver the shoes you collected to the Shoes for Orphan Souls warehouse where they will be sorted, packed and shipped to children in need around the world.
Three friends share their Birthday Club story
Emma, Jenna and Kaitlyn were life-long friends participating in a mother-daughter Bible study. All three girls have birthdays close together. As their birthdates approached, the topic they were learning about was giving to others in need.
“We want our kids to be life-long givers. We want them to think outside of themselves and be sacrificial in their giving as they grow older,” explains Emma’s mom, as the other two mothers nod in agreement.
The girls decided to have a joint birthday party that would make a difference, so they decided to join the Birthday Club. When the girls discovered the impact they would have on children in need, they knew forgoing birthday gifts was worth it. They spent the weeks before the party decorating shoe collection boxes and praying for the children who would receive new shoes and hear the gospel.
“It makes me feel really good,” says Jenna. “It makes me feel like I am working for God.”
Because of what these Birthday Club members are doing, the lives of many children living in poverty have been changed. They’re able to attend school. They’re safe from diseases and cuts. They know someone cares about them and loves them.
That’s something worth celebrating.
Written by Kayln Grider, a summer intern with Buckner Communications.