Why Gift Giving in important – even for Virtual Parties

“Mom, does COVID mean I won’t get anything for my birthday?”

It’s the question you’re dreading if your child has a birthday coming up. You want the day to be special—to include things that can help them feel normal and safe, but it isn’t easy, is it? 

So what do you do?  

If your kids are like mine, they’ve been planning their birthday all year long. Not only do they look forward to their own birthdays, they eagerly anticipate attending their friends’ birthday parties and making them feel special.

 Virtual parties and drive by greetings are a great solution.  These are amazing ways to pivot the traditional birthday party and help kids feel celebrated, special and—most importantly—loved.

Giving Gifts, Safely 

Just because it’s a virtual party or a drive by greeting, doesn’t mean the birthday kid needs to forego their gift. Giving is important, it’s their birthday after all!

At Wish & Give, we get it. It really is better to give than receive. (Though receiving is pretty good too!) Giving gifts isn’t only important for the birthday kid; it’s important for guests too! But actually going to a store these days can seem like taking your life in your hands. 

Great News

Here’s the thing: Wish & Give’s invitations have always been virtual! Our invitations mean that your guests can virtually contribute to an amazing group gift and, to keep that goodness going, a donation to charity.  It’s win-win for everyone! Your birthday kid can choose the gift or experience they really want and experience the joys of kindness and generosity by fundraising for their favourite cause.  

The Birthday Kid Wins:
  1. Lets your child know they are loved and remembered by friends near and far
  2. They’ll receive the gift or experience they actually want
  3. Teaches them how to support a cause they care about
  4. Feels like they’re part of something with their friends, supporting a common cause
 Guests want to give!
  1. Feels good about giving a gift in a safe, meaningful and easy way
  2. Opportunity to support charity – a dose of happy hormones!
  3. Stress-free giving – (no masks, gloves or hand sanitizer required!)
  4. Saves time – no shopping, no wrapping

Parties may have changed a little, but kids still need a chance to celebrate and be celebrated. While we all look forward to a swift resolution to the crisis this pandemic has caused, in the meantime, you can help your kid feel amazing.  

 Get started with your Wish & Give invitation at www.wishandgive.ca  and don’t by shy to ask your guests for gifts!  They want to give.

Thanking Our Teacher’s from Home

Calling Parents – Let’s say thank you to our teachers!

It is that time of year. And what a year it has been. From strike days to home schooling we parents have been through a lot.  And teachers have been through a lot. I think we need a collective sigh and virtual pat on the back.

Our teachers have showed resiliency and showed up for our kids in this strange new world. They quickly transitioned to online learning and they miss our kids just as much as we miss them.  Let’s show our gratitude by giving back, to the teacher and to their charity of choice. A group gift that gives back.

Wish & Give is the perfect solution to thanking teachers virtually.  Our online platform helps you arrange a class monetary gift and a donation to their favourite charity.  All from the comfort of home.  No shopping required. And everyone will feel great about giving back to a local charity.

How to set up a class thank you gift:

  1. Ask your teacher what charity they would like to support.
  2. Create an invitation at wishandgive.ca.
  3. Send the private URL to the parents in your class (skip the enter email step online).
  4. Email us after all the contributions are in and we’ll send the cash gift* to your teacher and the donation to the charity.

Easy-peasy and everyone will feel great about giving back.  Canadian charities need our support more than ever now.  This is a one stop shop to do something good and thank your teacher.

No shopping. No leaving home. And feel good about supporting a local charity!

*We use Pay Pal to send the gift, minus the administration fees of 5.5% and 50 cents per transaction.

5 Zoom Backgrounds for your Virtual Party

Introducing background photos and videos for your virtual birthday party!  As if a Zoom party wasn’t fun enough, we’ve brought it to the next level with these fun background images and videos.  Get your party hat on!

Click on each video or photo below to download to your computer and lets get the party started!

We’ve created  5 fun images or videos below to enhance your virtual party experience!  Share with your guests ahead of time to make the party even more entertaining!  Don’t forget to take a photo or screen shot of your party and share on social media.  Tag us, we’d love to see how you celebrated virtually!

Party Hat Fun

Add a party hat to the birthday kid or grown up with this fun download!  Email the video to your guests so everyone can where a virtual party hat!  Don’t forget to take a picture of everyone or a screen shot to remember this special occasion.

Cheers

Have a virtual cheers with your friends!  Download this video and share it with your friends before your Zoom party.  Everyone can change their background for a virtual cheers. Don’t forget to take a screen shot of everyone!  This is definitely Instagram worthy!

Party Pop

Having a super hero themed virtual party?  Download this video to make your party pop!  Share it with your friends too for a super fun party experience.

Donut Fun

Who wouldn’t love to be surrounded by virtual donuts?!  Be sure to share with the photo with your friends so everyone can enjoy one!

Zoom background photo for your next virtual party

Sweet as an Angel

Have some angels in your party?  Share these fluttering wings with everyone and turn your party into a dream!

How to Change your Zoom Background

If you are the party host, set up a Zoom account, schedule a meeting and share the link with your guests via your Wish & Give invitation.  If you have purchased a party package through Petit Party or All Wrapped Up, you will receive a Zoom link from the entertainer to include in your invitation.  If you are the guest, click on the link and enter the party.

Once logged into the party,  find the video camera icon, usually in the bottom right corner if you are on a laptop.  There is a little up arrow to the right of the video camera icon, click this arrow and it will give you the option to change your virtual background.  In the pop up box, click the little ‘+’ to choose your own photo or video as the virtual background.  It will then allow you to browse your computer and select your own photo or video.  Find the one that you saved from this blog and click open,  it will automatically appear as your background!

For more help click here .

Don’t forget to Share

Have fun and Happy Birthday!  Don’t forget to take a screen shot or photo of your virtual party and tag us (@wishandgive)!  We’d love to see how you use these backgrounds to celebrate your  next party!

And check back for more photo options!  We’ll add to this post regularly.

Virtually Brilliant Birthday Party Ideas

 

We’ve put together a list of helpful resources and ideas for hosting a virtual party while we are home bound during the Corona-19 Virus and practicing physical distancing.  Now more than ever it’s important to celebrate the kids in our lives, keep socializing and stay connected to our friends safely from our own homes.

We’ve come up with a list of virtual party packages, party ideas and online invitations that give back.

Virtual Party Packages 

Let’s keep celebrating kid’s birthdays virtually!

Petit Party – Parties that Give Back

Petit Party has a virtual party package that gives back!  Every party booked through Petit Party includes a donation to Birthday Angels, an amazing nonprofit that provides party packages for those living in shelters.  Your party package includes one of the following amazing Canadian artists or business:

Each artist will host your party via Zoom and the birthday kid will receive a video keepsake. Your invitations ask the guests to contribute to a group gift and a donation to charity in lieu of individual gifts.  Support small business, give back and have a fun party! To book your party click here contact Petit Party.

Get started at petitparty.ca

All Wrapped Up

All Wrapped Up Events, a local Hamilton business, will host your virtual party for you!  They will provide you with the Zoom link, the entertainment and host the party for you!  Choose from a variety of entertainers including princesses or superheros. It’ll all be recorded so the birthday boy or girl can watch it over and over!  To book contact All Wrapped Up.

Book at www.allwrappedupevents.ca

Mini Kinz

Minikinz is a professional children’s entertainment company that is now taking their birthday packages online! Enjoy a video gram, meet and greet, or virtual birthday party from one of their many characters or entertainment packages all from the comfort of your own home.

To register a princess, super hero, paint night, dance party or interactive virtual magic show, visit www.minikinz.ca to find out more.

More Unique Virtual Ideas:

3 Ways to Celebrate Your Birthday Virtually During COVID-19
Invite your friends to join a virtual baking competition, choose a theme or a picture, bake at home and join a virtual call to show off your creations.

Virtual Baking Competition       

 Bake from home and show off your creations virtually via Facetime or Zoom!  Get inspired from the popular baking shows ‘Nailed It’ or ‘Sugar Rush’ or your favourite baking show.  For a Nailed It style competition, choose a picture and have everyone replicate it. For a Sugar Rush style party, choose a theme and see how each family interprets the theme.  Both ways are so much fun and will spark lots of laughter and joy!

Fitness Party

Host a virtual yoga party!  Hire a personal instructor to join your party. With all the anxiety right now it’s a great time to get kids to stretch, breathe and relax through yoga.  Find an instructor to join your virtual party through FitIn, a community-based directory of online classes.  Good anytime too, not just for a party!

Find an instructor through FitIn www.fitin.io 

Dance Party

Host a virtual dance party.  Our friends at Superfly will virtually provide the DJ, 2 dancers and a custom playlist.  Invite as many as you want to join in virtually!

Book at www.superflyentertainment.com

Birthday Parade

Know someone who has a birthday coming up?  Drive by their house, text them when you are outside and invite them to come out to their porch and then sing happy birthday from the car or sidewalk!  Make their day special from a distance.

Invitations that Give Back 

Wish & Give invitations ask guests to contribute to a group gift and a donation to a Canadian charity or nonprofit.

Wish & Give

Perfect anytime, but especially right now while we can’t shop or meet in person!  Each free online invitation through Wish & Give asks guests to contribute to a cash group gift and a donation to charity.  Our local charities need us more than ever right now. And the birthday kid still receives a gift from their friends!

Throw your virtual party today!  Include a Zoom link in the invitation and gather your friends online.

Start your invitation at www.wishandgive.ca

Happy Birthday to all our Canadian kids!  We hope this time can be special for you…different yes, but still special!

 

 

3 Ways to Have a Virtually Brilliant Birthday during COVID-19

There’s no doubt about it: things are a little crazy right now. But in the midst of the fear and anxiety over COVID-19, celebrations are all the more important.

In my family we have five birthdays in the next few weeks. Since we all live in different parts of the world, we don’t usually get together. But over time, we’ve learned a few clever tricks to make birthdays special even when we’re miles apart. So if you or your kids have a birthday in the next couple of weeks or months, here are three ways to “lock down” your birthday celebration and have some safe, friendly fun in the midst of a pandemic.

  1.   Virtual Baking Competition

Do you love baking shows? My family does. And you can do your very own family bake-off using your favourite social media tools. This year, the cousins in our family are getting together to do a Sugar Rush style competition virtually. We’ve chosen one day to bake a spring-themed cake or dessert—you can choose whatever sparks joy for you! Once your confections are done, connect with your family and show off your creations. (You can even get Grandma and Grandpa to judge!)

  1. Throw a Virtual Party

You can’t catch COVID-19 over the Internet, thank goodness! Plan a time with your friends, create a  Zoom link (free for up to 100 connections) and invite your friends and family and come together for a virtual party.

Add in an online quiz where everyone uses their smart phone to answer questions—a fun and friendly competition! There are lots of choices online—my favourite is Kahoot. Just set up the quiz ahead of time and everyone can use their smart phone to answer in real time.  It’s a great way to get to know the honoured guest.

If your kids are missing their school friends, you can also use Zoom to help them get together. Ask the class parent to send the link to the class so that everyone can come online and sing happy birthday to your child. (You’ll also be giving all those kids’ parents a few seconds of break.)

One bonus? There’s no limit to the guest list when it’s virtual!

  1. Donate to Charity

Now more than ever our small Canadian charities will need our support. They are often on the front lines helping people access food and essential services.  Set up a Wish & Give link and ask your friends to donate in lieu of individual gifts. Your local food bank will thank you!

You can contribute the cost of dinner or bottle of wine to the charity of your choice and use your birthday to spread a little compassion during a crisis. I promise you’ll feel great about yourself. Win-win!

It’s time for the Wish & Give March Break Charity Challenge

Home for 3 weeks? We’ve got you covered!

It’s time for the 3rd Annual Wish & Give March Break Charity Challenge!  And in Ontario we have 3 weeks to complete the challenge!

We’ve come up with the 5 top challenges for kids of all ages to accomplish over March Break.

Goal setting is so good for kids!  Goals are a great way to keep kids learning, motivated and feeling good.

And even better by reaching the goal? Kids are fundraising for their favourite cause!  Canadian charities need our support more than ever right now. And it feels good to give back! Every March Break Challenge is a fundraiser for your favourite cause.

So, what is your kid’s stretch goal?  Think of something so big that you would sponsor them too!  The past few years our kids have been motivated to reach huge goals in reading or learning a new skill. They’ve each chosen goals that impressed me enough to sponsor them!  And now they plan all year what their March Break goal will be!

Top 5 Challenges to try:

Reading 
How many books can your child read in the next 3 weeks?  This works for any age, whether it’s learning to read or reading full novels.  Is it 10, 20 or 50 books?  Pick a big goal, they really can do it!

Exercise
It’s never been a better time to get outside!  The weather is mild and social distancing works well outdoors.  How far can they run or bike?  Set a big goal and train for it.  Maybe it’s learning to bike or biking 20km for the first time.  Grandma will be proud to sponsor this goal!

Learn something new
3 weeks is plenty of time to pick up a new skill.  Is it baking, cooking, doing the laundry or knitting a hat?  Encourage your children to learn something new.  Be sure to post pictures with the hashtag #MarchBreakCharityChallenge so we can celebrate these new skills!

Daily routines
No better time than now to start a healthy daily routine and do it every day for 3 weeks!  Is it making the bed every day, cleaning the house, putting away toys daily, or helping mommy and daddy.

Math
Time off from school is perfect for brushing up on new math skills. Is it telling time, multiplication tables, adding, division, fractions?  Set a big goal and get to work!

It’s easy to set up your March Break Charity Challenge at www.wishandgive.ca

  1. Simply log in
  2. Select ‘Invitation’
  3. Choose your charity
  4. Create your invitation – name your prize in the group gift section
  5. Send the URL to your friends and family and ask them to sponsor you (tip…don’t enter the email addresses online, just sent the URL)

For more information on how to set up your March Break Charity Challenge ‘invitation’ click here: March Break Charity Challenge Tool Kit. The tool kit provides a step by step process.

I’d love to hear what your family is going to do for your challenges?  Please share more ideas below.

Have fun!! And thanks for giving back this March Break!  The world is better because of you!

Be sure to tag #MarchBreakCharityChallenge so we can celebrate your accomplishments!!

March Break Charity Challenge Example

Curious what a March Break Charity Challenge Invitation looks like?

Click below to see our daughter’s invitation from last year:

https://www.wishandgive.ca/events/details/221/zos-march-break-challenge

After setting up your invitation, email the URL to your friends and family.

Tip: don’t input emails into the platform or your friends and family will receive the automated email inviting them to a party. 🙂

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!