children, Family, Life, Parenting

Our first ECHOage party.

This weekend, my family and I were invited to an ECHOage birthday party.  The birthday boy, my friend’s son, was turning two.  Typical of a two-year old birthday party, the event was held at an indoor playground.  But what was different, was the present.  In lieu of typical gifts, the parents decided to host an ECHOage party.

If you’re like me, and have never heard or attended an ECHOage party before, here’s the scoop.

1. Instead of using traditional invites or evite, you create your invitation on ECHOage’s website (

2. You then get to choose a gift.  Think BIG!  Maybe your child wants a play set for their yard, or an iPad, or even a puppy.  Whatever it is, you write down what big one item gift you want to buy your child for their birthday.

3.  Then, you select a charity.  Is there a specific charity your child loves and wants to support? Something that’s close and dear to your heart? Maybe “make a wish” or “WWF”. ECHOage will send half of the money contributed by your guests to the chosen charity.

4. The rest is straight forward.  You manage your party (event date, time and location) and you get to track how much money has been donated online. On your party date, half of the money will be sent to you directly (to be used for your child’s birthday gift) and the other will be donated to the charity that you selected.

My friend, who has a big heart and has always helped others in need stated that she picked this route for her son’s party because fortunately, he already has all the toys and clothes he could ever want due to the abundant of older cousins that he has.

John and I have always discussed a “no gift” birthday party for Kyle, but since he’s already at an age that understands that gifts are part of the party package, it would be hard to do away with it.  As well, our family and friends are so generous, they would probably bring gifts regardless.  This is why I love this idea.  It’s a perfect way to give back and teach your child about the community and helping out others in need.  I’m looking forward to hosting an ECHOage party for Kyle and our baby on-the-way 🙂