“Kerie, what is a PARTY WITH A PROMISE? Is this something I can do with my kids at home?”
~ Reader Question
Everyone knows when a mother makes a rule, she has to stick with it. Because of one rule in particular, Boshka birthday invites don’t go out to an entire class, they go out to an entire grade!
We don’t leave people out. This is a firm rule in our home. When a child is excluded, the pain in their eyes guts me. Needless to say, my kids and I do our best to try and include everyone. Yes, it makes for crazy weekends—and birthday parties—at the Boshka house.
Each year, I found myself watching in fear as my kids’ birthday parties, along with their stash of gifts, grew. (And let me say, while we’re very grateful for every gift received, there’s not enough room in one house for that kind of generosity.) Every year we had to up our game. We went from renting out entire dance studios to housing a 32-girl slumber party in our basement. (Not something I recommend, by the way.) The tipping point was the year 82 children destroyed our backyard with shaving cream and water balloons. Don’t get me wrong, the party was an absolute blast. I even wrote about it in my children’s bookTOAD FROG, MOUSE & MONKEY BOY: MAGIC & MAYHEM. But in all honesty, I was running out of ways to outdo myself—and running out of the room I needed to do it!
I’ve learned that there’s nothing wrong with finding a bit of balance—I definitely needed some. But I was still unwilling to change my rule. And Anistyn was unwilling to choose one friend over another.
Anistyn noticed that a lot of kids didn’t have as many friends as she did. It bothered her. She didn’t think it was fair that her birthday parties were getting too big, when other kids only had a handful of children attending theirs.
Her solution? She began planning the very first PARTY WITH A PROMISE.
Anistyn is a very sensitive child. When someone hurts her, I’m quick to remind her of the endless supply of friends her generosity has gained her over the years. We have a saying, “For every ONE mean person, there are TEN more who are nice.” She’s learned to ignore the mean ONE and go hang with the other TEN. Anistyn decided to use her party to help others meet nice friends, too. She called it the BE A FRIEND, BRING A FRIEND, MAKE A FRIEND party. She made flyers asking everyone to not only come to her party, but she requested they bring one of their friends as well.
The catch? She made everyone PROMISE to share their friend with someone else.
The party was a huge hit. Yes, the number of attendees grew, but that was a good thing. Anistyn’s simple plan to help people make new friends ended with an entire teen center filled with kids, all PROMISING to be one of the TEN who are kind. In lieu of gifts, Anistyn chose to support the Pacer’s National Bullying Prevention Center. Her abundance of amazing friends helped her raise over $1300.00 in donations! A TV crew really surprised everyone, by showing up with their cameras to do an interview for the evening news.
Friends were shared. Friends were made. It was the most fulfilling birthday party we’ve ever had.
That’s how the PARTY WITH A PROMISE campaign was born. A PARTY WITH A PROMISE is a party where everyone promises to do something kind for someone else.
We haven’t stopped at birthday parties, either. We’ve thrown end-of-year school parties, where students raise money/donations to support charities in their communities. We’ve hosted class holiday parties, where a class supports a family in need. We’ve even started reaching out to parents, and having them WORK WITH A PROMISE. (Details to follow on this one.)
Now, I’m asking you to join us by hosting your own PARTY WITH A PROMISE. Don’t freak out, I’m not asking you to invite the entire school! I’m simply asking you and your children to PROMISE to do something kind for someone else today. Trust me, helping others is fun, especially when you do it by throwing a party—even a small one! Choose to do something positive for your community and watch what an impact it makes on your family. Oh, and feel free to consider me your personal party planner. I’m here to help in any way I can. I’ll also be sending your child a special birthday treat as my way to say thanks!
Send me your pics and share your stories. I would love to highlight you on our website and shine a light on your party. You will inspire others to do the same!
If you think the concept may be a bit difficult for your children to grasp, don’t worry, I’ve got you covered! I have yet to run across a single child who hasn’t wanted to throw a PARTY WITH A PROMISE after reading about Toad Frog, Mouse & Monkey Boy’s adventure. In fact, they’re begging me to help them host a party. And don’t tell the kids, but they’re also learning how to solve problems, like being nice to their brothers and sisters, while they’re at it. 🙂
If you enjoyed this post, I’d be very grateful if you’d help it spread by emailing it to a friend, or sharing it on Twitter or Facebook. Thank you!
I’m looking forward to hearing from you soon!