March Break Challenge

How are you spending March Break? Traveling, staying home or camp?

This one week off is a great time to help your kids set and achieve a personal goal while raising money for their favourite cause!

It’s simple.

Pick a goal
Set up an ‘invitation’
Send the personalized URL to your friends and family
Ask them to sponsor you
Accomplish your goal
Earn a prize
Raise money for a great cause

And feel good!!  

The past two years both of our kids (now 8 and 9) have set huge goals, either in reading or conquering a fear.  So huge that I sponsored them too!  And they reached it!  Proud mom moment!

It’s amazing to see what kids can do if they set their mind to it.  I was so proud of each of them. And, yes, earning a prize was a huge incentive too!

Join us this March as together we grow the next generation of givers!

Click here for our March Break Challenge Took Kit:

March Break Charity Challenge Tool Kit

Celebrate your Co-workers in a fun & easy way!

We have a solution to improve office celebrations and make everyone feel great at the same time!

Do you celebrate birthdays, weddings or new babies at work?  We hope so!  We spend more time with our co-workers than our own families sometimes.  They deserve to be celebrated!

But who is organizing these celebrations?  Who passes around a card, tracks the contributions on excel, buys the gift or gift card?  It’s a lot of work and usually falls to the same staff person over and over.

Remember the last time an envelope was passed around the office to collect cash for a co-workers upcoming wedding or baby shower but not having any cash on hand to contribute?  Were you the one passing it around, trying to track said envelope each night, tracking contributions and sending reminders?

Wish & Give will make celebrating and gifting your co-worker easier!  And help everyone feel great at the same time!  A win-win.

Wish & Give is an online invitation platform that manages group gifting.  The twist?  Every invitation includes an option to donate to the honoured guests favourite charity. 

Science has proven it feels good to give, so you’re basically giving a shot of happiness to your entire department!

To get started, create your free personalized invitation online at www.wishandgive.ca and send the personalized URL to your department.  Everyone can contribute with their credit card with a few easy clicks.  Wish & Give will send the cash to the honoured guest and to the charity.   Office parties have never been simpler.

 

3 Birthday Party Trends – That are here to stay!

Birthdays are a big deal!  And should be celebrated!  Here are 3 trends that we hope/know are here to stay!

1. Group Gifts with a Charitable Donation

No more shopping!!  Woohoo!  This trend is here to stay.  Parents can set up their invitation online through Wish & Give (www.wishandgive.ca) and the guests contribute toward a group gift and to the charity of hosts choice.  A win-win.

Doing everything online saves the guest parent at least an hour, maybe more, from having to drive to the store, pick out a piece of nonrecyclable plastic, find the wrapping paper, wrap it…you get my point.  Plus, it’s environmentally friendly.  The birthday kid can use the cash gift for an experience, one larger gift or save it and learn the value of a dollar.  And we all get to feel great about giving to a local charity.

And don’t forget it’s a great way to teach both the birthday kid and the guest kids the importance of giving back!  Special events turned into important life lessons.  A win-win!

Create your personalized invitation at www.wishandgive.ca

2. Sustainable Loot Bags

What kid doesn’t go giddy over a tiny plastic jar of slime or a plastic slinky, but then it just ends up tossed to the side after a few hours of entertainment.  Not to mention the environmental waste plastic causes.

Candy is another sticky subject.  Do kids really need more sugar after a party?

A few sustainable options we love for loot bags:

  • Books
  • Tee shirt or pajamas
  • Gift card to a local café, ice cream store or bookstore
  • Upcycled plastic toys from www.tinytoyco.com
3. No Cupcakes at School

Save the treats for the party and at home! With 20+ kids in the class, kids are getting extra treats almost every week at school!  Passing out treats is one more time (20 more times) kids with allergies are ‘different’ and can’t partake in the celebration.  A few years ago my school banned treats and I’m all for it!

Still want to do something at school? Have your child pick out a new book for the classroom.  Or talk to the teacher about how they mark this special occasion.  There are lots of ways to make each child feel special without treats involved!

 

Watch how to set up a Personalized Wish & Give Invitation

Wondering how to set up a Wish & Give birthday party invitation?  It can be intimidating to use a new website for the first time, I hear ya!

This video walks you through each step.  Creating a beautiful personalized invitation in less than 5 minutes.  Enter emails or send the private URL to your guests and begin tracking RSVPs.

Happy party planning!

If you get stuck, email us at info@wishandgive.ca

My daughter loved her Wish & Give party and so did I. The website was easy to use and made sending invites quick and easy to track the RSVP’s. Heather

You are Invited to Join the March Break Charity Challenge

Calling all parents, children, and teens!  This March Break, Wish and Give is challenging kids to do something different!  Something better for your family and better for the community.  So, put down the devices and join our March Break Charity Challenge!

We are challenging kids to set a personal goal and fundraise for their favourite local charity.

What do we mean by a personal goal?
Encourage your kids to choose something that is a real stretch for them.  Is it reading 10 chapter books?  Learning to ride a bike?  Learning to cook?  Think about what will motivate you to sponsor your own kid!  Last year it was reading for my daughter; I was so proud of her I sponsored her too!

And what makes it even better…. your child wins a cash prize at the end!

So, this March Break let’s down our devices, stretch ourselves and our kids, learn a new skill and give back to our community!

It’s simple to get started: 

1. log into www.wishandgive.ca
2. select ‘invitation’
3. choose a charity
4. set a personal goal
5. name your prize
6. send the URL to your friends and family

During the week, post pictures of your kid’s progress on social media using the  hashtag #MarchBreakCharityChallenge. 

After the goal is accomplished send a picture to info@wishandgive.ca. We want to celebrate your kid’s achievements!  We’ll send you the cash that was raised for your child’s group gift/prize and the donation directly to the charity.

Get ready to accomplish something new this March Break!

For more details on how to get started refer to the Took Kit:

Find out more in our Tool Kit: March Break Charity Challenge Tool Kit 2019

 

March Break Charity Challenge

How to Reduce Clutter, Prevent Lego-Related Food Injuries and Make a Better World

Maybe you’re the world’s most organized person. Maybe your house is always clean, the laundry is always done, and the children’s toys are in labelled compartments, neatly stored in their rooms.

Or maybe your house looks a little more like mine with a healthy sprinkling of LEGO, books and miscellaneous art projects on almost every surface. I love Christmas, but there is a part of me that looks with unspeakable dread at the piles of toys knowing that more ‘stuff’ has just landed into my home.  The feeling is compounded with one birthday in the fall and the second in late winter! It would be easy to shake my fist at the toy companies, but the problem is that I’m partly responsible, too.  I can’t blame all the stuff on the grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends, I also like to shop for them and spoil them on birthdays and holidays.

But sometimes, countless gifts aren’t the best way to show love. Instead of excitement, kids can quickly get overwhelmed by too many choices, bouncing from one gift to the next until they’re sitting in the middle of a pile of toys saying, “I’m bored!”

While it’s amazing and fun to celebrate each other at birthdays (and we should), do we need to celebrate with more stuff?

In October 2017 I launched WISH & GIVE —a different way to celebrate (and save your feet from stepping on discarded toys)!  Each event supports a local charity or non-profit.  It’s not only for children’s parties but grown-up parties too.

By using WISH & GIVE for birthday parties, children still receive a gift, but guests are asked to contribute towards one bigger, more meaningful, gift and to give a donation to charity on the child’s behalf. Imagine this: Instead of your child opening yet another stuffy that will collect dust one day, your child gets something they actually wanted, and they get to feel good about giving back.

What you support is completely up to you! I’d encourage you to sit down together to choose a charity or non-profit to support. You search by postal code to find a charity near you. It’s a great way to discover the amazing things happening right in your backyard. All 86,000+ charities in Canada are on the site and any non-profit can be added (just contact me at info@wishandgive.ca).

By refocusing celebrations, starting with young children, we will raise a generation of thoughtful, caring individuals who are just as concerned about the world around them as they are their own wellbeing.  I’m seeing the fruits of this with the kids who have already used WISH & GIVE for their birthday.

So here is to less stuff (and foot injuries and clutter) and more giving!

Looking for the perfect teacher’s gift this holiday?

Group gift giving is a perfect way to show your appreciation for your child’s teacher or coach this season.  But we understand coordinating everyone can be complicated and time consuming.

Wish and Give is an easy solution to group gifting! And you help a Canadian charity at the same time!

It’s easy…simply set up an invitation on wishandgive.ca and send the URL to the parents in your child’s class or team via email or text. Ask your teacher or coach about a charity that is close to their heart and parents can contribute to both the gift and the charity.

Wish and Give will send the cash gift to your teacher or coach and the donation directly to the charity. Saving time, being green and spreading that oh-so-good feeling of giving.

Happy Holidays!

“As a teacher, I am very grateful for the thoughtful acts of appreciation and kindness that I get from my students, but to be honest, I don’t need a lot of things.  Wish and Give allows the parents of my students to donate to a charity that is important to me (Sistema Toronto), while also giving me a portion of the money that I could spend on something for myself.  I think it’s a fantastic idea.  It is better for the environment, convenient for parents, and we get to give back to charities that could really use some extra support!”
S. Wong, Elementary Teacher at Humbercrest P.S.

It’s the end of the school year! Be sure to thank your teachers!

Celebrate the amazing people who teach our children all year long! Send a Wish & Give link to the other parents in your class to collect a cash group gift for the teacher and a donation to a charity of their choice. The teacher gets what they want, and everyone gives back to the community – or even the school! A win-win!

How to Wish & Give for group gift collecting?

Follow these 10 simple steps below. The site was built for parties and tickets, but can easily be used for group gift collecting!

  1. Log in at www.wishandgive.ca
  2. Click Invitation and next
  3. Choose a charity
    1. If you are choosing your school, email julie@wishandgive.ca to have it added to the database
    2. Search by postal code to find a charity near you or simply type it in
  4. Party Details Page – while this is not a ‘party’ this is the page where you enter in the details the other parents will see when they receive the invitation
  5. TIPS:
    • Set the dates to when you start and end the contribution period
    • Set the location to the school’s address – this will populate a map and not have your home address on the map!
    • Click’online’ party and ‘private’
  6. Use the Description Box to let the parents know you are collecting funds for the teacher and donations to their charity of choice as a thank you for teaching your children all year long.
  7. Enter Emails – Skip this step, otherwise a party invitation will be sent to each parent. Click Next.
  8. Cut and paste the personalized URL and email it to the parents
  9. When you are ready to pay out the cash to the teacher click ‘close’ on your dashboard and email julie@wishandgive.ca with the teacher’s email address.
    1. The cash (minus admin fees*) will be sent directly to the teacher.
    2. And the donation will be sent directly to the charity.
  10. That’s it!  Congrats! I hope you come back to use Wish & Give for your child’s next birthday party! 🙂

*Administration fees = 5.5% and 50cents per transaction

 

 

Why Do You Volunteer?

Why do you volunteer?

Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can. – Ella Wheeler Wilcox

This quote is on a flip chart in the entrance to my kid’s school, it’s not only cooperation month with the Toronto District School Board, but it’s also National Volunteer Week. This week has me reflecting on what volunteering means to me and to those around me.

Monday, all the parents at my kid’s school, got a desperate plea via email for help with pizza day on Wednesday.  I checked my calendar and finally had that exact 2-hour time slot free, so I responded that I could help.   I showed up for the first time and was amazed at the sheer number of parents who pull off this special day every month for our school.  There were at least 15 of us!  And everyone was busy!

I asked the other parents why the volunteer, not just at the school, but in general.  I’m always impressed with the sheer number of hours some people devote to volunteering from coaching their kids teams to leading a school activity such as pizza day.

Here are some of the amazing reasons why people volunteer:

To say thank you.

Because the lead volunteer asked!

Because people need help.

I love my kids and like seeing them at school.

Volunteering makes me feel good about myself.

To give back to the community.

To get out of the house.

To lead by example.

You shouldn’t always get paid for what you do.

To help out before I start full time work in a couple of weeks.

Why not help if you can?

I love this! Such diverse reasons why others are inspired to give back.

Volunteering plays a huge role in my life. 

I am currently on the board of a food bank in downtown Toronto which is 99% volunteer run.  We rely on volunteers to come 5 days a week to help their fellow citizens access food and meals.  These volunteers inspire me.  They are often clients themselves, on some form of government assistance, yet devote their time to helping others.  One gentleman who has volunteered there for 4 years told me this:

“I come here for the community and the conversation.  It’s a place to belong. Since I am on government assistance, FYFB gives me purpose and a rhythm to my week.”

How do you give back to your community? 

It doesn’t always have to be a huge time commitment to volunteer. Many charities are not set up to host volunteers.  There are other ways to support charities, nonprofits and schools in your community.  Donating food next time you are at the grocery store (look for the Daily Bread yellow bins near the front door) is a quick way to give back.  Or shoveling someone else’s sidewalk. Doing something at your office such as joining a committee or organizing a fundraiser with your co-workers.

Giving financially is also very much needed in the charity and non-profit sector, and sometimes even more appreciated than gifts of time.  I often hear people feeling guilty for not being able to do more volunteer hours.  I try to reassure them that giving financially is sometimes even more important that giving your time.  We all have different roles to play in society.  And that is what makes Canada a great place to live!